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this and that

La Dolce Vita

A REFRESHING DRINK FOR A LINGERING SUMMER by: JOY FLANAGAN Apricot season is short and sweet (just like the fruit) so enjoy this while you can. The spice notes of Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila serve as a balance to the sweet apricots. And the combination of orange juice and lemon juice keeps the tartness in check, with just a dash of Amaro Averna to add complexity. Averna is made with herbs, roots and citrus to create a sweet and slightly bitter liqueur.

1.5 oz Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila .5 oz Averna .5 oz Lemon Juice .5 oz Orange Juice .5 oz Apricot Purée * Shake with ice and strain straight up into a chilled coupe. Take a wide peel of orange, express the oils over the drink, and drop in. *If fresh apricots aren’t handy, replace with canned or frozen apricot puree or apricot nectar.


creating cards for a cause In 2008, with a passion for photography and an interest in helping others, a 14-year-old Erica Greenberg started a fundraiser for Hope in Bloom, a nonprofit that builds free gardens for women who are coping with breast cancer treatments. Greenberg’s idea? Take some pictures and sell them as greeting cards to raise money. She gathered some friends, started a photography club and made an initial batch of 100 cards. The club quickly raised $1,000, enough for one garden. Erica is no longer a young teen. She’s in college now, but her club has carried forward and kids of all ages are still taking pictures, turning them into greeting cards and selling them through the Hope in Bloom website (hopeinbloom.org) for $3.25 each. To date they have raised over $15,000 and have built seven gardens with an eighth on the way this fall, proving that little projects by young people can have a huge impact.

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P I T H + V I G O R

GROWING GOOD THINGS FRESH IDEAS FOR SCHOOLS, KIDS AND YOUTH FOCUSED GARDENS by: SOFIA RIVERA Children and gardening seem intertwined. After all, the German word kindergarten literally translates to “garden of children.” The two subjects have a lot in common: both require love and patience to grow, and in the garden as in childhood, creativity is a welcome quality. Many schools and youth-oriented organizations are thinking about how to incorporate gardening into their curriculums, and how to fund these programs in innovative and sustainable ways. These organizations are proving that when children embrace gardening, good things grow.

Katie’s Krops has grown far beyond its original one girl operation and has earned press coverage and even presidential recognition. In 2013, at the age of 14, Katie was awarded the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society. Despite the accolades, Katie’s Krops still relies heavily on donations to keep it going. To learn more, make a donation, or to apply for a grant to start a new Katie’s Krops project visit katieskrops.com

Katie’s Cabbage Katie’s Cabbage tells the story of the original cabbage that inspired author Katie Stagliano. University of South Carolina Press, December 2014

CITYSPROUTS Even in urban areas, gardening is entering the classroom as organizations such as CitySprouts “sprout” up. Founded in Cambridge in 2001, CitySprouts is the brainchild of a small group of parents and educators who were concerned that without spacious backyards, children might be unaware of the possibilities of their landscape, as well as where their food comes from. Their solution was to bring the backyard to the children – to their schools, specifically. Today CitySprouts partners with more than 20 public schools in Boston and Cambridge, where they create school gardens and CitySprouts staff work with the teachers to integrate the gardens into the preexisting curriculum. For middle-school students who want to get their hands dirty after school is out, CitySprouts offers an after-school program as well as a summer session. During these programs the children learn about subjects as diverse as health, design and engineering; they harvest and prepare their own meals using produce from the school gardens, learn how to carefully map out a garden and how to design and build a hoop house.

. On the island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts, the Nantucket Lighthouse School teaches the importance of a relationship with the natural world through its innovative gardening program. There are 90 students in grades pre-K through 8, who, in addition to regular classroom time, experience weekly field trips and daily gardening as part of the curriculum. According to Head of School Emily Miller, a ‘kinderclass’ history lesson about the local Wampanoag Native Americans is connected to growing a traditional Native American ‘three sisters’ garden (squash, beans, and corn) in order to learn about sustainable gardening, which, in turn, evolves into a science experiment on the best way to grow corn. The schoolyard is not typical either: rain barrels, a compost station, several raised beds, a pollinator garden and a large hoop house decorate the grounds. The 17 x 28 foot hoop house is a new installment – the result of fundraising efforts from the Nantucket Garden Festival. The Garden Festival, which celebrated its seventh anniversary this year, is a multi-day festival during the high season on the touristy outpost. It celebrates the horticultural diversity of the island with garden tours and workshops in topics ranging from flower arrangement to botanical printmaking. A dozen paid entry events – all of which sold out this year – raise funds for financial aid and offset general operating costs for the Nantucket Lighthouse School. The 2016 Nantucket Garden Festival will take place from July 20-21, and a portion of the event will be dedicated to raising funds to complete the second floor of the Nantucket Lighthouse school house. Visit nantucketgardenfestival.org to find out more.

SOUPS FOR SCHOOLS In rural Harvard, MA, the cafeteria at the Bromfield School showcases an innovative lunch program. An open-style kitchen allows the students to watch as the chef and kitchen staff prepares the meals, to better appreciate how their food is made. To answer the question of where their food comes from, the students often have to look no further than the town limits – many ingredients come from local vendors. This partnership was a natural progression from the soup stand at the Harvard Farmers Market that was started over five years ago by head Chef Paul Correnty. With the help of high school seniors and volunteers, fresh soups are made weekly in the school’s kitchen with local ingredients and are sold at the market. This hugely popular program (you must arrive early –the soups always sell out) has raised over $10,000 per season that is directly fed back into the school lunch program. Over the years, the school kitchen has been able to upgrade not only equipment, but also been able to purchase better quality ingredients for school lunches throughout the year. Soups can be purchased weekly from mid-August through October at the Harvard Farmer’s Market. Visit harvardfarmersmarket.org

AUTUMN Find out 2015more pithandvigor.com at citysprouts.org.


The South Carolina based nonprofit, Katie’s Krops, took root in 2008 when nineyear-old Katie Stagliano planted a cabbage seedling as part of a school project in her backyard. Through careful weeding and watering, she nurtured the cabbage plant to an incredible 40 pounds. Not knowing what to do with so much cabbage, Katie donated it to a local soup kitchen, where her homegrown product helped to feed more than 275 people. Inspired by the power of something so small having such a big impact, Katie came up with the idea for Katie’s Krops – gardening to help feed the hungry. What began as one garden in a plot of donated land at her school has grown into a network of 83 gardens located in 31 states across the country. The nonprofit provides grants to youth ages 9-16 who want to start their own garden, provided that each Katie’s Krops garden donates all harvested produce to individuals in need within their community.

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NLS and Nantucket Garden Festival Featured in Pith & Vigor  

NLS and Nantucket Garden Festival Featured in Pith & Vigor