Mar 8, 2019

Nelsonville Community Garden -- Almost there!

Mulching paths in the Community Garden
Mulching paths in the Community Garden

Community Food Initiatives is excited to announce that we have been partnering with the Creating Healthy Communities Coalition to work towards completing the new Nelsonville Community Garden.  The space has come a long way from the paved parking lot it used to be—the plots have all been amended and have cover crops growing over the winter and the paths are all mulched, but there is still lots of work to be done!  Once the weather cooperates, our next steps will be installing a compost system, a tool shed, a kiosk, and the final side of the fence. With the help of the CHC, we will be looking into ways to make this Community Garden more accessible to all, including looking into building different types handicapped-accessible gardening beds.  We have begun recruiting gardeners for this new amazing space, and are in the process of planning a ribbon cutting ceremony that we hope to hold in early April. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be a community-wide celebration inviting everyone to come see the progress and potential of the new Nelsonville Community Garden!

Jan 3, 2019

4 Fall Recipes

Discovery Kitchen Tasting Table
Discovery Kitchen Tasting Table

Twice a year our Discovery Kitchen partners with the Athens County Public Libraries to put on ~Tasting Tables~ a series of tasting demonstrations at all of the Library branches, highlighting seasonal and healthy food recipes. We all tried some tasty dishes together and I had tons of fun preparing the food and interacting with the tasters!

For more upcoming workshops at the Athens County Public Libraries, check out the F.E.A.S.T program going on now through April 2019!

The first week was Fun with Ferments which featured fermented carrots, ginger, and sauerkraut.The second week was Bubble & Squeak which is a traditional British dish that is meant to use up some of your leftovers! The third week was an Aromatic Granola that was made entirely in a toaster oven. The final week was a Stuffed Pumpkin which was this beautiful centerpiece of a dish with an Italian style stuffing.

Bubble & Squeak 

Bubble and Squeak is meant to be a hodgepodge of whatever you have in your fridge, with the base usually being mashed potatoes. For my bubble and squeak, I had mashed potatoes, pureed butternut squash and fresh cabbage. You could use cabbage, peas, corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. and it will turn out amazing.

Mashed potatoes 2 cups
Mashed root veggies or roasted veggies 1 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter 1 tbsp.
Optional: ½ cup peas, ½ cup cabbage, 2 to 3 scallions, chopped


1. Combine the mashed potatoes and mashed root or roasted vegetables in a large bowl. The measurements are more of a guideline, so if your mixture is falling apart, add more potato!

2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix into a thick kind of dough.

3. Grease a skillet over medium heat (use the 1 tbs. of butter to follow the original recipe or swap for an oil like canola or grapeseed)

Add the mixture into to the pan and press it into a flat pancake that fills the pan all the way to the edge.

Let it cook for 5-7 minutes without disturbing it.

4. Check the underside of the pancake. When it is golden, flip it! If you’re feeling brave, you can try to flip it all at once or flip sections of it and smoosh it back together into one pancake.

Brown the other side of the pancake for about 10 minutes.

Once there is a nice golden crust, turn off the heat and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

5. Slice into wedges and serve.



Rolled/whole oats 1 cup
Shredded coconut (unsweetened) 1/2 cup
Hulled pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup
Maple syrup 5 tbsp.
Pumpkin pie spice (or spice of choice) 1 tsp.
Salt 1 tsp.


1. Preheat the (toaster) oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and sesame seeds.

3. Transfer the mixture to the lined baking sheet and spread it out for even baking. Bake at 350 F until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.

4. Allow the granola to cool on the pan completely before removing it. Use your hands to break the granola into smaller pieces and store it in an airtight container until ready to eat.

5. Granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for up to a month.

Stuffed Pumpkin
As a grand finale, I took on the adventure that was a stuffed pumpkin. Many of the tasters told me they thought it tasted like lasagna! You can use any stuffing recipe you see fit!


Perfectly-shaped pumpkin, about 6 lbs. 1
Water 1 3/4 cups
Dry/uncooked lentils 1/2 cup
Dry/uncooked brown rice 1/2 cup
Poultry seasoning 2 tsp.
granulated onion 1 tsp.
Medium white or cremini mushrooms, chopped 5
Large rib celery, sliced 1
medium yellow or white onion, chopped(optional) 1
Freshly chopped garlic (4 to 5 medium cloves) 1 tbsp.
Old-fashioned rolled oats 3/4 cup
Tomato paste 1 can
Minced fresh sage 1 tbsp.
Minced fresh thyme 1 tsp.
Minced fresh rosemary 1 1/2 tsp.(up to 1 tbsp.)

Preheat oven for 375 degrees.Cut off lid of pumpkin & scrape out the seeds and strings. Sprinkle a little bit of salt inside and set upside down to drain while you prepare the stuffing.
Place the water, lentils, rice, poultry seasoning, and granulated onion into a medium saucepan over high heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes with the lid still on. (Prepare your remaining ingredients while the rice and lentils are cooking.)
Place 1 tablespoon of water into a medium frying pan over high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the chopped onion, mushrooms, and celery, and cook while stirring for 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little water, as needed. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes more until the vegetables have softened. If you're using dried herbs, stir them in with the garlic; if using fresh herbs, you will add them in step 4. Remove from the heat.
Place the oats, tomato paste, and nuts (if using) into a large bowl. If you're using fresh herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), add them to the bowl as well. When the cooked vegetables, rice, and lentils have cooled for at least 10 minutes, add them to the bowl, and stir until all of the ingredients have been mixed thoroughly.
Transfer the mix into your pumpkin, with the lid wrapped in foil, and bake for 40-60 mins until the outside of the pumpkin is tender enough for a fork to go through.
Slice into slivers, serve, and enjoy!


Dec 10, 2018

It's official-- We're moving to Nelsonville!

Rye Cover Crop at Nelsonville Community Garden
Rye Cover Crop at Nelsonville Community Garden


It’s official—Community Food Initiatives is moving to Nelsonville

In February 2019, Community Food Initiatives will be making the move from Athens to Nelsonville! We have outgrown our office space at the ACEnet business complex in Athens, and have signed the lease for new office space in The Mary Hill Health Center (formerly Doctor’s Hospital of Nelsonville), located at 1950 Mount Saint Mary’s Drive, Nelsonville, OH.

Community Food Initiatives will be joining Integrated Services Behavioral Health, as well as Hopewell Health Centers in the newly renovated space. CFI is thrilled to have a new community garden right in our own backyard at the new location! 

We look forward to engaging the Nelsonville community this spring. The new community garden is about 9,000 square feet and will have numerous garden plots for community members, Mary Hill Health Center staff and Integrated Services clients.

Thanks to numerous Ohio University student volunteer groups, the Nelsonville Community Garden is all ready for the spring. Soil amendments have been added and rye has been planted as a cover crop for the winter.


Thank you to all of our supporters, we cannot wait to share our growth!


WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.