Health & Wellness
A Community Garden is a piece of land cultivated by members of a community in urban areas to grow their food or donate what they have grown. Such land helps in nurturing a sense of togetherness and socialization within the community. The gardens encourage food security within the community.
Community gardens beautify the area and provide a stopping point for conversation and is a great positive ice-breaker for meeting people. It also helps our children better understand where their food source derives from. Community gardens create friendships and build community spirit. Ashbury Sprouts, located on East 111th Street off Ashbury Avenue is one such garden, which is under the direction of Ms. Sandra Robertson. As a child, she was taught the different methods of gardening by her father. She incorporates the old and traditional gardening methods along with more recent, innovative ideas into the Ashbury Sprouts Gardens. It is the desire of Sandra to plant sweet potatoes which contains the essential carbohydrates of all staple foods and is an ideal vegetable to try and grow.
We have now come to learn that it was the slaves’ diet that was primarily responsible for their near-perfect health. Small gardens that were planted adjacent to the slaves’ cabins produced an abundance of fresh produce for the majority of the year. These gardens oftentimes produced 15 or more different vegetables.
Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Makes 16 to 18 servings:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-cup tube or Bundt pan.
Make the batter:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low or switch to a wooden spoon and gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 3 additions, beating well after each addition. The batter should be stiff, Add the vanilla, pecans and, if desired, the coconut.
Bake the cake:
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, Bake until the cake tests done when a wire cake tester is inserted in the middle, 50 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and remove.