In surveying our 62 orchard partners through our annual orchard partner survey, we heard that some fruit gets picked before it’s ripe and that some partners wanted more information to share with their community members on how to harvest, store, and prepare common or native fruits of their orchards. This feedback has been pretty common to hear for us, as developing fruit on the tree inspires the natural curiosity (& hunger) of many, checking to see when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat!
In response to this, POP has developed 2 sets of bilingual Rainbow Nutrition & Recipe cards for use by community partners, teachers, and culinary educators alike — focused on common fruits of the orchard (and ones likely to be found in grocery stores and some corner-store markets), as well as on native fruits of our region, and ones that are easy to cultivate and care for in small or home-scale spaces. Inspired by conversations with Penn State Nutrition Links’ nutritionist and educator Suzanne Weltman, these cards can be considered the first installment of other series of collectible recipe cards that be expanded by other organizations to include herbs and/or vegetables.
These cards also fit into POP’s CORE: Community Orchard Resilience Education series with POP CORE 3: Plants, Fungi, and What To Do With Them (offered twice yearly) covering how to make use of seasonal harvests and POPHarvestEd, now in our second year, which welcomes community teachers to lead workshops on under-known plants of the orchards with hands-on and take-home harvest, food and/or group medicine-making!
In an effort to make our materials accessible to a wider community, we offer them in English and Spanish. We offer our gratitude to orchard partners Camille Crane of Casa del Carmen for translation assistance and Gabriela Vecino of the Master Gardener Pollinator Garden, Food Forest Orchard, and Edible Demonstration Garden at the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center for offering help with proofreading.
The cards have been uploaded to our Resource Pages for your use, and POP will be printing a run of the cards to use in our School Orchard program and available during tabling events for a small donation. We also plan to share these materials with other organizations working to offer nutrition programming in communities throughout the city.
Have a creative idea for you or your organization would like to make use of these cards in your programming? Tell us! We’d love to share your stories and experiences. Have a recipe to share? Email POP at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your recipes and stories through our blog or printed materials.
This POP Blog Post was written by POP Education Director Alyssa Schimmel.
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