April 2016 | St. Louis Area Foodbank

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Garden Planning and Preparation

Spring is here, and April showers are quickly becoming May flowers – or vegetables!

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One of the most cost-effective way to get fresh produce in your diet is to grow them right in your backyard. Many vegetables are easy to care for as long as you do the right amount of planning and preparation.

If you don’t have a yard, many plants can be grown in pots on porches, patios, or in window sills. Even having a small herb garden will save you money on delicious flavors for your meals.
Planning your garden can be as simple as deciding which vegetables your family likes and how much space you have to utilize. Preparing your garden will likely consist of clearing garden beds of weeds and rocks, and filling pots with soil.

This blog walks you through a simple way to plan your garden, so you and your family get the best use of it throughout the season. 

Here, you’ll find an infographic that explains the best plants to grow in beds and pots, when to plant and harvest each plant, and which plants grow well together. 

Tips for planning and preparing your garden:

  • Involve your whole family in the planning process. This way, each family member can have a say in what they’d like to grow, and kids will get a better understanding of where food comes from.
  • Write it down! Not only will this make it easy to remember what you want to grow, it will serve as a reminder to get the job done. Use maps and diagrams to help you plan out your space more efficiently.
  • Water your bed before you clean it out. It may seem like a waste to water a bed full of weeds, but unwanted plants are pulled out more easily if the ground is wet. This will also help get the soil ready for new plants.
  • Skip the seeds. Many stores and even farmers markets sell sprouted plants at relatively low costs. By planting young plants instead of seeds, you’ll see results sooner. The cost is generally outweighed by the benefit, especially with plants like tomatoes, peppers or beans that yield more than one harvest throughout the season.

Mini Cooper Test Drive

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MINI Cooper is partnering with Feeding America during their Test Drive Program.

During the MINI Cooper Test Drive Program, Feeding America receives a $20 donation for every test drive. As a partner food bank, that money will help feed people in our region! Each test drive would mean 80 meals for families in need.

The program runs from April 15 – 24.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to give back to your community, visit  MINI of St. Louis and test out a new MINI Cooper!

MINI of St. Louis

40 Sunnen Dr

Maplewood, MO

63143 

Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month, and our Registered Dietitian has several reasons for you to celebrate.

Garlic is very versatile, which makes it an easy and inexpensive addition to lots of dishes. Garlic is heart healthy because it reduces the risk of heart disease, and it’s antioxidant properties reduce the chance of getting colds and the flu. Additionally, it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium.
Kelly has put together recipes for two different dips that are easy to make, and great with a variety of crackers, vegetables or chips.

Easy Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor; add reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved.


Garlic and Herb Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, minced garlic clove, chopped chives, salt, pepper, dried dill, and lemon juice; serve with veggies, crackers, or chips.

PS: If you’re worried about garlic breath, eating an apple or drinking green tea can help neutralize garlic on your breath!