Team Orchard Gardens contributes two cents.

Garden City Harvest’s Orchard Gardens Neighborhood Farm and Community Garden is staffed by a team of three. Sarah, Kate and Amy, with the help of many volunteers, grow several tons of food to distribute to CSA members, Volunteer for Veggie participants, Mobile Market and the Missoula Food Bank.

This season we decided to join the Garden City Harvest blogosphere.  We three, in turn, will share stories, photos and recipes from our week at Orchard Gardens.

First up, Sarah.  (hello.)

The World’s Greatest Bike Trailer (this is a little bit of a pun because not only is the trailer truly fantastic, it is GIANT)Garden City Harvest bike trailer

Every week, June-September, I make twice weekly deliveries to the Missoula Food Bank.  I’ve always made these deliveries in a truck and I’ve always wanted to make them on a bike.  Last fall, one of our Community Gardeners, Dave, gave us a beautiful, bright red cart-turned-bike trailer.  Mike from Home Resource fashioned a hitch and we were off.  Two problems:  1)There were gaps in the frame big enough for our boxes to slide out and 2) It wasn’t quite up to my desired level of “cutest bike trailer on the planet.”

Solution:  Hellgate High School Advanced Welding Students.  Josh Legrey and his students narrowed the gaps to make the trailer functional.  And they designed and manufactured a tailgate to make it fashionable.  Thank you so much Hellgate High Industrial Arts! The only problem now is that it might also be the “heaviest bike trailer on the planet.“  Either I’ll end up keeling over on side of the bike path or by the end of summer I’ll have legs like this.

Veggie of the week:  Salad Turnips

This is the second year of growing Salad Turnips at Orchard Gardens and we love them.  Sweeter and smaller than a regular turnip, they are excellent raw or lightly cooked. Both root and greens are edible.  Thinly slice the roots and toss in a green salad or on a sandwich.  Throw some bacon (or oil) in a pan, add a bunch of mustard and turnip greens (chopped), saute until wilted.  Toss in a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper.  Viola.

My current favorite turnip recipe comes from the book Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing.

TurnipsSkillet caramelized salad turnips

2 bunch golf-ball size salad turnips, stems trimmed to 1/4 inch, sliced in half lengthwise
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
pinch cayenne


Toss the turnips in bowl with half the oil, salt and pepper.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over med-high heat.  When it is quite hot, coat with the remaining oil and add turnips.  Reduce heat to medium.  Saute, carefully turning the turnips occasionally, until they turning golden brown.  8 to 10 minutes.

Combine honey or maple syrup in a small bowl with cayenne and teaspoon or so of water.  Add this to turnips and cook, tossing frequently, for another few minutes until the turnips are tender.