By JIM WILLIS
With winter edging nearer, a dozen or so area residents of the Green got together at Earth Pizza in Red Bank last week to discuss this past season’s gardening and brainstorm ways to encourage local food production and consumption.
During the discussion, organized by Transition Monmouth, participants shared their recent gardening experiences, noting what grew well and what didn’t.
Jonas Forssell of Red Bank, owner of an edible landscaping company, Ecologic Landscapes, noted that this year, Red Veined Sorrel was a standout.
“It’s a perennial herb that you can grow as a micro-green,” he says. “It tastes like kiwi fruit. I plant it really dense, and you want to get it when it’s really young. It’s a lesser-known crop, but it’s definitely worth it to put in a spring mix.”
Forrsell suggests throwing seeds for this green in early spring.
Susan Farina of Rumson singled out the broccoli rabe from her garden. “We prepared it with cherry peppers that we pickled last year, garlic that we grew this year, and oil. It was all from the garden and it was delicious,” she reported.
“Transition Monmouth takes a comprehensive approach to meeting community needs locally— it’s about energy, transportation and economy,” says Sarah Klepner an organizer with the group. “But the bulk of the involvement in this area has been around food production”
Klepner says that in addition to sharing garden knowledge, the group also discussed how to make more residents aware of local food production and consumption.
“We discussed how to promote local food, and how we could encourage local residents to increase the demand by putting pressure on stores and restaurants to buy local produce,” she says Klepner.
Those interested in this discussion can find out more at the Transtition Monmouth Facebook page.