—by Nicole Infinity

My wife and I have both worked in schools for several years now and are well versed in lunches the kids bring from home. When the students open up their lunch bags, the first sight is usually packages.

Although we agree that often school lunches leave a lot to be desired, there are many alternatives to prepackaged foods that are both lower cost and lower waste. These alternatives also apply to the lunches grown-ups pack for themselves.

Encourage your family to bring home any part of the lunch they do not eat. We watch mounds of food from home lunches get thrown away each day. Sometimes kids will throw out entire sandwiches or prepackaged snacks.

—by Naomi Jackson

—by Meredith Sommers

—by Kathryn Tempas

The Deli Team has been creating some exciting new sandwiches and salads to add a little variety and seasonality to the menu.

Produce manager Melissa Lindholm reports that in mid-August we can expect a variety of locally grown muskmelon and watermelon, as well as red bell peppers.

—by Monica Rojas

Tahini or tahina is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds. Tahini has been around for a very long time. The first written documentation is in a cuneiform document written 4,000 years ago, which talks about the custom of serving the gods a form of sesame wine. Historian Herodotus wrote about cultivating sesame 3,500 years ago by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where it was mainly used as a source of oil. Tahini is mentioned by name in a hummus kasa, a recipe in an anonymous 13th-century Arabic cookbook called Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada.

Think spring when you make a food shelf donation and include garden seeds, ready-to-go drinks, and portable, healthful snack foods.

Ongoing needs include canned goods (meat, soup, fruit, and vegetables); rice, beans, and pasta; boxed dinners and baking mixes; cooking supplies such as oil, flour, and sugar. Personal care items are also needed: bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, paper products, and toothbrushes.

Donations from your home cupboard are welcome as long as seals are intact and the product is not out of date. The food shelf is not able to accept bulk items that you packed at the store, or home-canned foods.

—by Roxy Bergeron, HPC volunteer

Is it too dramatic to call it cancer, this insidious affliction pursuing citrus trees?

Fruit warps into impossible green bitter phantoms of what they might have been, raining from a tree in despair, lying by the dozen on the ground. The tree itself becomes stunted, with deformed roots and yellowed leaves, rife with the lethal bacteria that invaded its phloem—its vascular system—months or even years before. It’s a not-so-subtle end-stage failure, with nothing to be done but thank a tree for its years of fragrant delicious yields, then destroy it.

—by Margot Monson

A Review of Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please
by Drew Ramsey, M.D., and Jennifer Iserloh

—reviewed by Nicole Infinity