School Gardens Ready for Winter

As the winter months approach, it’s time to put the gardens to bed. The gardens will slumber to awaken in the spring, ready to grow again. On a recent beautiful fall day, Judy joined teacher Renee Lockwood of the Northeast Elementary School and her class to prepare their garden for winter. First up: taming the raspberry patch and setting a path to make gathering the raspberries easier. Kids pulled weeds and raked leaves to clear some space. Then, over at the newest section of the garden, the last few crops were gathered: husk cherries, broccoli, arugula and herbs. Tender perennials could be covered to winter over; weeds and dead plants were added to the compost pile. Enjoy these photos of fall gardening. For more gardening information, see our gardening resources here.

School gardens are great places to learn.

School gardens are great places to learn.

Working in the garden.

Working in the garden.









A path takes shape through the raspberry patch.

A path takes shape through the raspberry patch.









Late season broccoli.

Late season broccoli.





Join us for a Walk!

It’s been proven! Walking is one of the best ways to get active and improve your overall health. On Sunday, November 5, 2013, people of all ages are invited to join us for a walk at Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate. Our friends from the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Waltham Land Trust, and Stonehurst will lead us on a walk around the historic mansion and then branch off in two groups. Younger kids can continue on a walk around the property as we look for leaves and play some games. Other folks are invited to join the Waltham Land Trust on a walk along the Western Greenway Trail. The fun starts at 1:00 PM and ends approximately 3:00 PM. We’ll be meeting outside the mansion.

Stonehurst is located on Robert Treat Paine Drive. Look for the Stonehurst sign near the rotary by Bentley University on Beaver St. Follow the road uphill to the end and park in the lot on the right. Download our flyer here. Come and bring a friend! Rain or shine except in severe weather conditions.

Want to know more? The Appalachian Mountain Club has recently launched a program called “Outdoors RX” to help encourage people to me more active. Waltham is one of the pilot communities, with walks being organized regularly at different spots around the city. Read about the Outdoors RX program in our Waltham News Tribune Column by clicking here or see the Outdoors RX website here.


Fall Intern Sara Shares Her Experience

                                                                        Sara Taylor

Hello! My name is Sara Taylor and I’ve been an intern at Healthy Waltham this fall semester. Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Charlottesville Virginia, I have an inherent passion for being outside. Coupled with a childhood influenced by my mom’s career as a chef and a Montessori background, I’ve followed a hands-on path which has lead me to work at farms in Belize and Belgium, as a prep-cook at a French retreat center and as a counselor at farm-camp in Vermont among other things. Currently I’m (semi) settled at Brandeis, pursuing a food-oriented education however I can. This fall I was lucky enough to team up with Louise Forrest to help run the Stanley Elementary School Garden Club as well as work several Healthy Waltham events promoting two of my favorite things: good food & good fun outside!

One of the highlights from my experience was taste testing cherry tomatoes with the Stanley students and watching the astonishment on their faces as they discovered how sweet these freshly picked gems were, bursting on their tongues. I saw kids who had been earlier disengaged, light up and connect with nature in a way that only getting outside and getting your hands dirty can do. My time with the Garden Club students was precious and made me realize how many communities still need opportunities for kids to foster relationships with the natural world.

I gained a real sense of how vital healthy eating education is in urban areas that went beyond the articles and papers on community gardens or the rising disconnect between children and the outdoors that I’ve studied in class. I’m grateful to have worked in an environment such as Waltham that provides such a contrast to the rural areas of Charlottesville, Virginia and Plymouth, Vermont where I have most of my experience in food related education. Though my efforts with The Garden Club may have only impacted the students on a surface level in our short time together, I found it very rewarding to show the students new things about the garden and nature that made them excited to be outside.

I thank the Healthy Waltham staff for accepting me briefly into their incredibly busy lives and showing me how essential and loved this organization is in the Waltham community. I am inspired by the level of outreach this organization has and am proud to have played a part, however small, in bringing Healthy Waltham’s noble mission to a few more Waltham residents, however small…

October 5 Events

Saturday, October 5 will be a great day in Waltham! There are many events happening around town and we hope you will join us!  The day starts with a 5K run to benefit the Waltham Land Trust.  Then head over to the Waltham Common where the 128 Business Council is holding its first GreenWatch event focused on green living and sustainability.  Across the street at the Waltham Public Library is the Waltham Neighborhoods Fall Festival, with food and fun for all.  And from 2:00 – 5:00 PM Healthy Waltham will be at the Waltham Fields Community Farm as we celebrate farming in Waltham and MA Harvest for Students week with our annual Waltham Farm Day. Come to one, come to all!  Help us spread the word with our event flyer here

Two Salad Dressing Recipes

Why buy dressing when yummy salad dressings are easy to make at home? Here are two of our favorite dressing recipes that we served recently at the KaBOOM playground building day of service on September 17 in Waltham. Mix up a dressing, toss over your favorite salad and enjoy!

Looking for that kale salad recipe? See our previous post here.

Sesame Ginger Dressing

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pureed ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a bowl. Toss over your favorite salad. Try: 6 cups chopped purslane sprigs and 2 grated carrots. Also tasty: shredded nappa cabbage, bean sprouts and diced cucumbers.

Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well (shake in a jar). This tangy, mustard-y dressing is great on many types of salads. Try on greens, tomatoes and beans.