Archive for the ‘Growing The Future’ Category

This is the first time Growing the Future fell on the same day as Halloween so it was only appropriate that we had a pumpkin themed evening.

Frank, our fabulous and dedicated adult volunteer, started off the session by teaching the youth some knife skills and how to safely use them.

We’ve been quite lucky that there isn’t any snow on the ground yet, even though it has been on and off with chilly, cloudy and rainy weather. So a bunch of our youth, along with Robyn, hit up the youth garden, to clean it up and put it to bed for the winter.

Everyone there was already excited about going trick-or-treating so our pumpkin carving activity added to the enthusiasm of the evening. It turns out most of Toronto was sold out of pumpkins, so it was quite the mission to find carving-worthy pumpkins on the day of Halloween but our super heroes Robyn and Frank came through with some nice big ones to carve!

Though our dinner lacked candies, we did make some yummy sweet deliciousness which also reflected the fall season– which is nothing without thinking about Halloween– pumpkin curry with basmati rice and apple beet salad.

If you have any pumpkin leftover and you’re looking for something to warm you up this evening, try our pumpkin curry recipe and do let us know how you liked it!

Pumpkin Curry
Adapted from Inspired





Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
6 cups peeled, diced pumpkin
4 teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup chick peas
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Using a food processor, purée the onion and garlic into a paste.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion-garlic paste and ginger. Cook until most of the moisture evaporates.
Stir in the pumpkin, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook for 1 min.
Mix in the tomato paste and cook another 2 to 3 min.
Add the broth, cover loosely and keep to a low simmer. Cook until the pumpkin is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, 10 to 12 min.
Stir in the chick peas and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 min.
Garnish with raisins and cilantro and serve with Basmati Rice.


Have you heard of the garlic diet?

If you saw our menu yesterday you would think we were trying to keep people away from us. It was  quite the opposite. It was only our second session of Growing the Future and we were at full capacity with 35 students cooking, planting and learning about GARLIC!

We are planting garlic and daffodils (planted last week) this fall since they need a period of cold temperature in order to grow properly. In case you are thinking of planting your own garlic, here are some quick steps:

Break apart the head into individual cloves, and plant the individual cloves separately, about 7-12 cm apart.  Each garlic clove will become an entire bulb by the time you harvest it next summer.  Make sure to plant the cloves the right way up and make sure each clove has four inches of soil cover.

Did you know there are two types of garlic grown in Ontario? hardneck and softneck.

Enough about planting, you must be wondering what did we end up making with all that garlic? We made Garlic bread, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Greens. We also harvested a lot of greens from the youth garden for the garlic greens dish. By the way I wrote the word garlic 15 times in this post!

If you also harvested some garlic from your own garden or bought some from the farmers’ market, here’s one of the recipes for you to try:

Garlic Greens
Adapted from

Note: You can use any dark green leafy vegetable for this recipe. Some greens you can use are: spinach, kale, beet greens, mizuna, collards, mustard, turnip greens, and bok choy.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
1 pound greens, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup water
Juice of one lime or lemon

Heat oil at a medium temperature in a large pan.
Add onion and garlic and fry until onion is softened.
Add greens and stir to combine.
Add salt and water.
Cover and reduce heat. Cook over low heat until greens are just tender.
Sprinkle with lime or lemon juice and toss.

So what is the garlic diet? Well, you don’t lose much weight, but from a distance your friends will think you look thinner
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