There comes a time in every gardener’s life when they look at the bounty they’ve grown and think, “This is too much.” Typically, in August “too much” means an overabundance of fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil or peppers.
However, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to the plethora of produce culled from your therapeutic garden. Before you step into the kitchen to bake that 8th loaf of zucchini bread, though, pause and consider potential opportunities to socialize and build meaningful relationships within the community.
Five ways to make the most out of your surplus:
- Organize a delivery of fresh produce to your local food bank or homeless shelter.
- Host a recipe swap with taste testing stations. Encourage residents and staff to share their favorite recipes for soups, appetizers, entrees and desserts.
- Hold a bake-off. Deliver the tasty treats to local police, firefighters and EMTs, to thank them for their service to the community.
- Assemble a basket of fresh produce and baked goods for local teachers, wishing them well as they start another school year.
- Make zucchini butter to use as a spread or a dip. Recipe here.
Facilitating community connections and socialization fosters emotional and physical well-being for older adults, helping them stay happy and healthy.