NEWARK, Ohio -- As Ohio gardeners head from the backyard into the kitchen, they can get ideas for how to use their tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, herbs and spaghetti squash in a series of short videos from Ohio State University Extension.
“We want to create an awareness that it’s simple to take foods from garden to plate,” said Shari Gallup, family and consumer sciences educator for OSU Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“There are very few ingredients in all of the recipes. It’s easier than you think to go to the farmers market and cook fresh foods that are both healthy and taste good.”
Gallup said the project started when a Master Gardener volunteer in Licking County attended Gallup’s Dining with Diabetes program. Dining with Diabetes is a series of classes led by OSU Extension and community health partners. It includes diabetes education and cooking demonstrations for people with diabetes and their spouses and partners. The participant suggested that the Dining with Diabetes and the Master Gardener programs in Licking County team up.
“She said, ‘You teach these classes on food and health, and we have this beautiful garden. Could some of the food from the garden be used in your classes? And could we make videos on how to use the food?’”
“That planted the seed,” Gallup said.
Not long afterward, Gallup took some cucumbers, sliced while they were still warm from the garden, and offered them at the beginning of a Dining with Diabetes class.
“They were gone by the time everyone sat down,” Gallup said. “Everyone loved them and wondered what made them different from cucumbers they normally ate.
“That’s when I realized that many people no longer eat foods fresh from the garden.”
It took some time to put the project together, but the result is a series of Garden to Plate videos available online on OSU Extension’s Local Foods website at localfoods.osu.edu/node/282 and the Licking County Extension office’s website at licking.osu.edu/news/new-our-garden-to-plate-videos.
The 2- to 4-minute videos include nutrition information and demonstrate how to make:
- Cucumber dill dip.
- Green beans with nuts and cranberries.
- Pesto and herbs.
- Spaghetti squash.
The videos feature Gallup and Linda James, Master Gardener volunteer and former home economics teacher at Newark High School.
The project was a cooperative effort between Licking County’s OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and Master Gardener programs. Licking County Senior Levy funds earmarked for diabetes education provided support. The videos were filmed at the Licking County Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens and the Bryn Du Mansion in Licking County.