The Greenhouse: Recover. Preserve. Share.
Transforming Health | 01.22.13
The Greenhouse is a community organization that works hand in hand with farmers across Pennsylvania to Recover. Preserve. Share.
The group is dedicated to recovering food that would otherwise be wasted, preserving the food by canning, freezing or dehydrating, and then sharing the food with community groups and charity organizations that serve people in the community that need it most.
Ashlee Shelton is the founder of The Greenhouse. She says, “So many of our social problems and the solutions to those social problems are so interconnected. And, I think that food is one thing that brings everyone together."
She adds, "If we can stop wasting food and provide it to the people who need it most, it seems like the most harmonious way to spend a day.”
And that’s exactly what a passionate group of volunteers did throughout the weekend of January 12th and 13th at the Village Acres Farm foodshed, loacted in Mifflintown, PA.
The group worked hand in hand with PA farms like Spiral Path, Joshua Farm and Village Acres Farm to turn an overflow of butternut squash into a nutritious and delicious meal!
Watch the video below to learn about what this group did to Squash Hunger! in our community:
Squash Hunger! is their second preservation event.
The first took place in November after the apple harvest, where they canned over 200 quarts of applesauce at the Yes We Can! event.
Squash Hunger! is the second preservation event for The Greenhouse.
When thinking about the next preservation event, Ashlee says that Squash Hunger! came about after speaking with farmers and learning that squash was the “thorn in their side” this time of the year.
“We found out that squash was the answer and our small group experimented with recipes and decided that a soup would be best to make,” she says. “We believe that a whole foods diet is the best way to go health-wise, and that’s just one of the reasons we’re attempting to preserve food at its freshest, so that it will last longer for people throughout the year.”
The squash machete.
Volunteers- young & old- sorted squash, then safely chopped it with a homemade “squash machete” that Ashlee’s dad created for the event. They prepared a homemade vegetable broth with spices, vegetables, and freshly-picked herbs from the Village Acres Farm greenhouse. They cooked and pureed, then preserved over 200 quarts of butternut squash soup.
“We believe that access to healthy food is a right not a privilege,” she says, explaining that access to healthy fresh food should be something that is an option to everyone, of any socio-economic status.
All of the soup made at the event will be donated to hungry neighbors at the St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen in Harrisburg.
Milton Hershey School volunteers.
Ashlee says, “It just makes my heart so full- every piece of it... being connected to farmers and the growing process, and just to know that the hard work and energy that went into making it is being enjoyed and savored by people that need it most.”
Follow The Greenhouse on Facebook to stay tuned for their next volunteer opportunity!
*A big thanks to Sabrina Kreps for sharing her beautiful photography of the event!
Check out a slideshow of the Squash Hunger event: