The Plant A Row for the Hungry blog is moving to http://farmsandgardens.wordpress.com!

The Plant A Row for the Hungry program has been incredibly successful–over 10,000 pounds of food donated by local greenthumbs to fight hunger in the Greater Triangle. It’s still going strong, with Fall gardens producing tasty greens.  We are already looking forward to next Spring and to an even bigger bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The PAR blog has been great fun. You’ve been coming here to get updates, gardening tips and great recipes. The feedback we’ve gotten is that you’d like to see the PAR blog consolidated with the Farms and Gardens blog. That makes a lot of sense to us. You’ll still get all the tips, updates and recipes and you’ll also get information on the  community gardens and small farms we help operate throughout the Triangle, all in the same spot.

So go ahead and mark farmsandgardens.wordpress.com as the place to go to keep with with all things PAR.  As a matter of fact, what are you doing right now? Go ahead and click here to check out your new virtual garden plot on the web!


If you are familiar with the Ripe Recipes we post on the Plant a Row blog, you know about Sally’s wonderful cooking! In this post, Sally shares her Greek Lentil Soup that uses fresh kale or collard greens that you may be growing in your garden! Here are some Ripe Recipes Sally has offered in the past: Grilled Tomatillo Salsa, Fresh Fig Tart,  Thai Basil Eggplant.


 Greek Lentil Soup

  • ¼ pound each, brown lentils & green split peas
  • fresh rosemary 1 pound sausage (lamb or Italian turkey sausage)
  • ½ – ¾ C dry white wine
  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2-3 C firm-packed chopped collard or kale leaves
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • fresh lemon


  1. Take about 1/4 pound each of brown lentils and green split peas. Rinse, and cover with water, add about 8″ stalk of rosemary and simmer until the beans soften, replenishing water as necessary.
  2. Remove rosemary twig when beans are tender. Then sautee about 1 pound of sausage in a skillet. I used Greek lamb sausage from Whole Foods, but Italian turkey sausage will work fine.
  3. After the sausage is well browned, remove from pan and slice. Deglaze pan with 1/2 or 3/4 cup dry white wine, and simmer to reduce slightly. Add juices to beans. Add 1 quart chicken stock to beans.
  4. Then, in several tbs of olive oil, sautee 1 large onion, coarsely chopped, 1 stalk celery chopped, and 1 carrot chopped. Add 1 tsp dry oregano.
  5. When veggies begin to release their juices, add 2 minced cloves of garlic. Sautee till the onion begins to become translucent. Then add 2 or 3 cups chopped collard greens (chopped kale will also do). Continue to sautee until the greens are well wilted.
  6. Add sausage, veggies, 1 can diced tomatoes to bean pot & continue to simmer for another 1/2 hour.
  7. Add salt & black pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon on top!

We know that you normally come to the PAR blog to hear great tips on gardening from Logan’s Trading Co, learn new recipes that incorporate fresh food from your garden, and to check up on the PAR donation total.


But, we wanted to interrupt the typical PAR blog post to invite you to an exciting event!


Bob Dylan’s new album- Christmas in the Heart will be released on October 13th. The Food Shuttle is having a listening party for the album’s release at Boylan Bridge Brewpub, and we would love to have you join us for a great night!

Bob Dylan Oct 13 flier

13,113 lbs


Over 13,100 lbs. have been donated to provide food to people in need since June! It has been exciting to watch people get behind this campaign and bring in extra produce to the Food Shuttle and to Logan’s Trading Co! Thanks to all the gardeners and farmers who helped over the past few months!

Do you have any suggestions for next year’s PAR campaign? We would love to hear your ideas.

another tantalizing Ripe Recipe from Sally.  She could open a restaurant just using the great recipes she’s shared on the PAR blog.  Today it’s Grilled Tomatillo Salsa. Give it a try this week and spice up your life!

Tomatillo Salsa on the grill

  • 12 tomatillos* (about 1 pound), husked, rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, halved, stemmed & seeded
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced thick
  • 2/3 cup (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt

In a grill basket combine the first four ingredients and roast over medium-high heat turning occasionally and allowing vegetables to sear & char just a bit. Remove items as they finish, and place them in a bowl or in a food processor. Peel the garlic before adding it to the other veggies. Then coarsely chop with a knife, or lightly process the veggies until they have reached a “salsa” consistency. Add the fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.

This simple salsa is good with anything grilled … chicken breasts, pork chops, flank steak. I particularly like it with grilled salmon … the colors are pleasing, and the tanginess of the salsa plays nicely off the rich salmon. Serve with beans & rice, or slice the meats and make soft tacos using steamed corn tortillas.

Plant A Row for the Hungry is having a huge impact and we are happy to extend it through the Fall! Our friends at Logan’s will continue to be a drop-off spot for your extra produce. And of course you can always bring it here to the Food Shuttle.

If you’re new to gardening, or new to fall gardening, we teamed up with the staff at Logan’s to make some helpful videos to get you started. Last time, we looked at container gardening.  This week, our friend Chris will show you how to plant a row using seed germination trays.

 The News and Observer’s Under the Dome blogon politics and government here in North Carolina posted a great YouTube video highlighting how the Governor became active in the PAR program earlier this month: