Greener Village Community Food Centre

Food Bank Distribution. Community Gardens. Teaching Kitchen. Clothing Boutique


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Fredericton Steps up to the “Plate” with Dine Around Freddy!

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to join Heather Allaby and Debbie Perry (with Fredericton Tourism) in their efforts to blog about the upcoming Dine Around Freddy event. This annual event is aligning with FROSTival, Fredericton’s very own winter celebration. Commencing on January 23rd, the dinning event runs until February 7th, where FROSTival will be in action until February 15th. Check out all the events and dates here–> www.frostival.ca

In previous years, the Dine Around Freddy event involved a number of Fredericton’s local restaurants that prepared a special 3 course menu for a great value ($29.00). Proceeds from each dinner were then donated to a charity. This year, I am happy to announce Greener Village’s involvement with Dine Around Freddy as their charity of choice, donating $1 from each plate sold between the 10 host restaurants.

Between Debbie, Heather and I, we visited each of the 10 restaurants and tasted their “dine around” dinners. As for me, a staff member at Greener Village, I wanted to be as involved as I could. I think with all the great non-profit organizations in Fredericton today, when an opportunity like this happens and you are the “chosen one”, you have to run with it! I wanted to show as much support as possible and do what I could to help the whole project be successful. In this case, I decided to offer my inexperienced skill set of food blogging. Now, I am guilty of taking the odd photo of a meal and posting it to Social Media, but going into a restaurant knowing I’d be taking the pictures, tasting the food and then having to write about them was a whole new thing for me. I love food. I love to write. I love social media. It was also a bonus that I got the pleasure to meet and dine with two very nice ladies!

Each restaurant has a special menu offered, typically an option between two starters and two main dishes plus your desserts. They have totally accommodated for the vegetarians and special dietary needs. Some offer the Soup of the Day so that may change depending on when you go!

Here are a few of my favourite dishes from each restaurant I attended!

Isaac’s Way

I was blown away by one of the main dish options: Pork tenderloin with apple chutney. Beautifully presented, hint of flavourful spice, a smashed potato with season vegetables cooked to perfection.

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For dessert, we were served a heaping portion of apple bread pudding and a glass of mulled cider. It tasted like my grandmother had just pulled it out of the oven!!
photo 4 (5)Catch Urban Grill at Delta Fredericton

To start, Catch had a delicious beet salad BUT they also had these hand made loaded perogies served with mushrooms, onions and spicy sour cream. They stole the show for me!
photo 2 (4) As a main, this flatbread pizza was a great size and big hit between Debbie and I. Roma tomatoes and asparagus added the gourmet taste and look to this dish!photo 4 (4) The East Coast Bake. Baby shrimp and scallops. Mussels. Salmon. Fusilli pasta. Need I say more? photo 3 (4)

Terrace Dining Room at Crowne Plaza

To start we had a beautiful, light, summer cocktail salad. This immediately put me on a beach! Cucumber Carpaccio: a vodka mint vinaigrette with grapefruit salsa. Presented so elegantly and left me ready for the next course!

photo 4 (3)I have been told that the Terrace knows their desserts so it was no surprise when we were greeted with the dark chocolate tart. Accompanied by vanilla sea salt and fresh berries.
photo 5 (1)The Palate

Serving up their classics for Dine Around Freddy, the soup of the day and caesar salad with their signature poached egg prepared us for our mains. This one in particular was my favourite because of the delicious seasonal hearty vegetables. Chicken supreme with mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, roasted potatoes, and pureed squash.
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540 Kitchen & Bar

Am I allowed to have a favourite? …because this is definitely it. 540’s dine around menu was perfect for a cold winters’ night! You will definitely have trouble choosing between their two main dishes.

Seared Atlantic salmon with spicy chorizo sausage and mussel risotto. YUM. So much flavour in every bite. The salmon was perfect and the mussels were like an added surprise!
photo 5How great is this presentation? The perfect portion of lamb shepherd’s pie with a delicious light side salad. That little pot tasted like heaven.photo 4 (1)

Are you hungry yet? With all the conversation, photos and food over, I do have one take home message that I wanted to end with: Not everyone can afford to eat out. If you can, it’s an event like this that really highlights why Fredericton is so great. We see some of the best restaurants in our community stepping up to the “plate” to take part in Dine Around Freddy, proceeds of which are being donated to Greener Village Community Food Centre. At GV, we strive to make good nutritious food available to everyone who needs it. So please, support the local businesses, know you are helping out a local not-for-profit and GO ENJOY THE GOOD FOOD!

Be sure to tweet, share, post and instagram photos of your experience with Dine Around Freddy!

Full list of menus and participating restaurants here:

www.DineAroundFredericton.ca

-S

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Lettuce Share!

Our greenhouses are over producing, faster than we can keep up with and give out to our clients at the Food Bank. This gives us a huge opportunity to help others, and so we are sharing our produce with our neighbours, the Oromocto Food Bank! We hope that their clients enjoy the fresh salad greens like ours do! #peoplehelpingpeople #community


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Looking Back with Pride & Looking Forward with Passion

My time at Greener Village is almost finished for another summer 😦

While I was writing yesterday, I got a little nostalgic and ended up really looking back into how far the centre has come along since its move. I decided it would make an excellent post; gathering our past with pride and pursuing our future with passion.

We moved to this location in May 2012 (our first open day was the 28th of May 2012). Lots of clean up and renovations had to be done around the property so there wasn’t any gardening happening that first summer (I honestly don’t even know how much work had to be done). My first visit to the food bank was with a food drive in January 2013; I was amazed by the vision and goals that were set for the location. The teaching kitchen was barely started and the garden space and greenhouses were buried in snow, but I knew I wanted to be part of the project.

GV Time line

Before I began as a summer student last year, I was a volunteer in the gardens. We accomplished so more with the gardens last year, than I ever thought possible. I’m very thankful that I was able to return this year and continue to contribute to the growth of the gardens and this community.

I’ve gotten to meet so many unique and fantastic people while working in the gardens. Everyone has a story to share and I’ve been lucky enough to hear countless ones. Everyone brings something different to the gardens and leaves with something different.

GV Garden Story

In my first year, I came here missing my family farm and working in the great outdoors. I left feeling like I had found a new home and I was happy to find out that I loved gardening, not  because it was what we did to have food as a child, but because I enjoyed planning, planting, growing, and sharing the harvest.

I came back this year eager to plant again, but I didn’t really expect there to be much difference from the year before; maybe a few more beds and a few more workable rows in the greenhouse. Boy, was I wrong! A second greenhouse fully planted and growing, six new raised beds, the community garden off to an impressive start, and lots of things ready to start up next year.

So, this year, I’m leaving with projects and dreams for next year. I’m taking a stronger knowledge base with me and I have things I want to come back and accomplish.

– Briana

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Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.

– Dorothy Day


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Amazing Things are Growing

Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.

~Marcelene Cox

IMG_5559My pole beans are starting to create the column I was hoping for; they aren’t as full as I’d like, but it’s been an excellent trial run for next year.

IMG_5556Our gourd has reached the roof of its trellis! We’ve had lots of fun showing off its progress to everyone who visits the garden.

IMG_5558And its starting to put out fruit!

IMG_5567We have a beautiful, volunteer sunflower growing in the front bed. By volunteer, I mean he grew all on his own from a seed that would have been dropped by the seven foot sunflower we had out front last year. I’m excited to see how tall this one will grow.

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IMG_5523Greenhouse #2 is producing wonderfully. We’ve been picking off of it for the last two weeks and everyone is enjoying the lettuce and the experience. There’s nothing more calming than picking your dinner (or lunch).

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A few of the tomatoes are starting to ripen! But we’ve also had some green ones go home for fried green tomatoes. I’ve never had friend green tomatoes, but those who love them are very excited to see the tomatoes growing so well.

IMG_5508We have a tiny little watermelon starting; it’s about the size of a quarter, but we’re all really excited about it.

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IMG_5514Our beautiful swiss chard, which is no longer being guarded by wasps.

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The corn, gourds, and cucumbers are putting out lots of beautiful green. I’m checking regularly (and some what patiently) waiting for the cucumbers to be big enough to pick!

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Turnip or rutabaga? Can anyone tell me?

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A surprise broccoli plant as well was found among my brussel sprouts.

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I have never grown brussel sprouts in my life! I hadn’t even tried them until a year ago because my mother didn’t like them so we never grew up eating them. I discovered I adore them and learning to grow them has been a wonderful adventure and a great learning experience. They definitely require patience, but seeing the little bulbs starting is so exciting and rewarding for me!

They may be one of my favourite plants in the garden this year.

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The garlic is ready to harvest and cure!

Our volunteers are really excited to help out with this. It’s going to be much easier than when I used to harvest it at home (we grow a lot of garlic!).

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Now on to all the flowers!

The earth laughs in flowers.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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IMG_5529(I really love gladiolus)

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IMG_5518– Briana