OL 304 Assignment Three Discussion
Online Learning:
Vegetable Garden Care & Maintenance for Family Gardens & Community Gardens
Center for Sustainable Development


This week we’re going to learn to be creative with food. It may be difficult for some families to have nutritious diverse diets; this could be based on culture, habit, lack of funds, lack of time, or lack of knowledge on how to plan a nutritious meal.

So this week we’re going to work with the list of the locally available foods (within the food groups) that you and your community came up with in week three during the nutrition workshop — in combination with what has been planted in the garden.

Using these foods like an artist’s color palette, we will insert them into a weeklong blank menu (that is provided in this week’s resources) and ask our friends, families, and community members for delicious recipes that we can plug into this menu too.

Part 1: Menu Concepts
The menu examples in the ‘Sustainable Nutrition Manual’ give a simple initial matrix for planning out a weeklong menu, and then a finished menu that you can use for reference. This example happens to be from Malawi, but you can interchange your own local foods. I have included a blank version of this menu for you to use in download class documents.

This book also has good charts that analyze what times of year foods are available, and it has charts which allow families to begin developing a food budget on pages 168 and 169.

But the point here is that the way that the menu is laid out ensures that the family is eating a diversity of different kinds of foods that exposes them to a variety of vitamins and minerals — but that also ensures that they get the proteins and carbohydrates that they need for growth and energy.

Part 2: Cookbook for a week’s menu
You could show the example menu from page 171 to your friends and family and community members — and brainstorm delicious local recipes that would fulfill the food group requirements at a cost which is affordable to the community members. You could also collect six or seven recipes that might be a little bit more expensive because of the addition of meat or fish, that could be saved to have once a week or for special occasions.

Another thing to consider is that herbs and spices are not very expensive and can transform an otherwise dull, normal meal into something special. For example, in Kenya, there is a wide range of recipes available because of the Indian influence and because of the coastal influence; there are some delicious meals in Kenya which could be prepared inland, but they might not be well known. This would give variety to meals at a relatively low cost. http://allthingskenyan.com/category/food-and-drink .

Another thing that you can try, much like you did in looking for handbooks on pests local to your region, is to look and see if an NGO has already prepared a cookbook for your locale. They might have already done the work of collecting recipes.

Please move on to Assignment Three Homework.