Nearly 500 pounds of produce donated to Landisburg Youth Farming Program
Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf is proud to share that Harvest from the Governor’s Residence garden was donated to Landisburg’s LEAF Project, a regional organization that cultivates youth leadership through meaningful work in the food system. LEAF has used nearly 500 pounds of fresh tomatoes, peppers and herbs in its community feeding efforts, including preparing meals for neighbors through the Salvation Army.
“The past year and a half has really shown us the value of using all the resources we have to provide for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. The Residence Garden, although small, was one such resource that played a role in Pennsylvania’s efforts to ensure people had food to eat, ”First Lady Wolf said. “The Residence is the home of Pennsylvania, and our goal is to share what it means to be a Pennsylvanian with everything we do there. This is exactly what Chef Barry and the dedicated residence staff did by donating what we had to the phenomenal LEAF Project, which donated it to those in need in their community.
The Governor’s Residence Garden grew and donated 225 pounds of Roma tomatoes, 105 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, 90 pounds of green tomatoes, 25 pounds of cow horn peppers, 15 pounds of jalapeños, five pounds of sweet basil, three pounds of English thyme, and three pounds of French tarragon.
Roma and Heirloom tomatoes helped produce around 100 liters of roasted marinara sauce. The green tomatoes and jalapeño peppers will be made into 120 pints of green tomato salsa. Cow horn peppers were pickled and filled into 75 quart jars, and the fresh herbs were used for sauces and dried to make herb mixes.
“The LEAF Project has been an amazing group to work with, and it’s inspiring to see how they use food to help their communities and strengthen their own skills,” said Residence Executive Chef Barry Crumlich. “I have had the pleasure of mentoring these young people for quite some time now, and they continue to grow as they learn more about the nature of food and how they can use their own talents and resources. surrounding them to support food work. They worked tirelessly during the pandemic to meet the needs of the people around them, and I am proud to say that our Residence team was able to give them a hand in making it happen.
Food production in cities in community gardens, such as the governor’s residence garden, plays an important role in improving environmental and human health through the addition of green spaces and the availability of fresh produce for local and surrounding communities.
The Residence Garden is just one of many community gardens producing hyper-local foods across the Commonwealth that are essential to the resilience of local food systems. They serve to directly address issues related to access and availability of fresh and nutritious food for food deserts or areas affected by food apartheid.
“Community gardens are an important part of our Commonwealth’s food and farming system,” Secretary Redding said. “Many of these gardens in Pennsylvania are filling a void and tackling food deserts; I am grateful for this effort by the Governor’s Residence – through First Lady Wolf and Chief Crumlich – to directly advance food and nutrition security through their support to the LEAF Project community feeding program.
During the growing season, LEAF supplies a weekly share of the produce grown on their farm; everything is grown, picked and packaged by the LEAF youth team, giving them work opportunities that showcase their unique potential. First Lady Wolf visited the LEAF farm during her visit in June 2021 and saw firsthand how the organization conducts its operations. She was impressed with how the young group used their food security work to foster education and develop valuable life skills.
“LEAF is delighted to be associated with the Governor’s Residence in preserving the bounty of the on-site gardens,” said LEAF Founder and CEO Heidi Witmer. “Through this partnership, we are able to teach young LEAF valuable food preservation skills that will last a lifetime, provide personalized and much-needed access to healthy products that are shelf stable to our customers. partners in the fight against hunger, and to continue to engage our community in building a more resilient local food system. We are delighted to do this work alongside the remarkable staff of the Governor’s Residence.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence Garden grows fresh produce for use by Chef Barry Crumlich and staff at events.
In addition, the governor’s residence hosts an annual Earth Day event, celebrating Pennsylvania agencies, organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving the health, agriculture and beauty of the Commonwealth of Nations.
To learn more about the Governor’s Residence, visit www.residence, pa.gov.
To learn more about the LEAF project, visit www.leafproject.org.