July 21st was a tremendous day for Farm to Freezer as volunteers prepped a record 119 lbs. of food for our freezers, including a tomato sauce base, roasted eggplant, blanched zucchini, and for the first time, blanched green beans. We also got to test out our brand new (and improved) vacuum sealer that worked great! Our frozen produce stored in Ziplock bags should keep for up to a year, but I’m sure it will get used up before then—Bethesda Cares’ chef, Blake, continues to tell us how valuable our contributions are, and that he’s using the veggies and sauce in a variety of ways—including lots of vegetable laden casseroles. Now that we’re vacuum sealing what we prepare, we are providing him with vegetables that will stay tasty and nutritious for two years!
This week we welcomed our largest (thirteen) and most geographically-diverse group of volunteers including four friends of mine from Tufts University. We also welcomed our first international volunteer, a high school visitor from Germany -This weeks’ team also represented quite a diversity of ages. We had adults, high school students, and college students. Across all ages, everyone agreed that the afternoon spent cooking together was fun and engaging.
This upcoming Saturday, July 28th, Farm to Freezer will be hosted in the kitchen of Whole Foods Bethesda, where their staff will learn about Farm to Freezer’s mission to preserve fresh, local food to nourish the hungry. Then we will prep the produce we pick up from Spiral Path Farm. But I’m sure that these staff, many who are skilled chefs, will be teaching me a few things about new and creative ways to turn our donated produce into food that Blake can use. I look forward to telling you all about the experience.
In the mean time, please sign up for future prep dates via Bethesda Cares MeetUp! We have available dates from now until the end of October. We also invite groups of 8-12 people to sign up for a dedicated prep day, as fun community service activity for your friends, colleagues and classmates. Advanced sign-ups helps us plan, and it guarantees you a spot in this project.