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.


KaBOOM! at Prospect Hill

On September 17, we were thrilled to participate in the building of a new playground at Prospect Hill Terrace in Waltham. The main organizer of the event, KaBOOM, is a non-profit organization that helps communities build playgrounds for children. It was both exciting and energizing to see so many groups of volunteers turn out to make a difference for kids, including members of the NE Patriots and NE Revolution teams.

Healthy Waltham’s efforts included leading groups in the building of/ enhancement of garden spaces at the housing complex.  We also served two salads to the volunteers at lunchtime. Both salads received rave reviews with so many requests for the kale recipe especially that we wanted to post them here. All the kale for the event was donated by the Waltham Fields Community Farm, and the salad greens were donated by Whole Foods.  Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Mandarin Oranges & Honey

  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher/coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can mandarin oranges in juice, drained (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Put thinly sliced kale in a large bowl. Add a little of the lemon juice, oil and salt and massage with hands until kale softens. (Alternately – and this is what we did for KaBOOM – let kale marinate in the dressing in the refrigerator over night to soften and wilt.) Dressing: in a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice with honey and pepper. Whisk in oil until dressing forms. Pour dressing over the kale and add the mandarin oranges. Adjust seasonings and add some of the mandarin juice if a sweeter salad is desired. Sprinkle with the pepitas before serving.


Community Health Fair at JMS Center

Come join us on Wednesday, August 14 from 9:00 AM-Noon for the Waltham Community Health Fair at the Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center, located at 564 Main St., Waltham! There will be fun activities for kids, tips and snacks to keep your family healthy, health screenings, and more!  At 10:00 AM, the Waltham Land Trust will lead us on a walk around the Waltham Common, just down the street!  Sure to be a great time, and of course it is free!  Hope to see you there.  Please download our flyer here.