Community Garden Celebrates Harvest


By Michele Nelson
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
About 60 people attended the annual Payson Community Gar­den potluck dinner.

Next to tables groaning with dishes from stews to soups, salads to casseroles, and a myriad of desserts, garden director Roger Kreimeyer ticked off this year’s successes:

“We had 172 garden plots under cultivation, the pumpkin patch sold out in two weeks and brought us $2,000 for garden improvements and we donated 8,100 pounds of food to local food banks,” he said.

The dinner serves two purposes, celebrating the harvest and signing up gardeners for next year.

Kreimeyer said not everyone has re-upped their plots, but garden staff will wait until Jan. 1 before giving away plots to newcomers.

“It’s still $60 for a plot,” he said, “but new gardeners can sign up now and be on our waiting list.”

If interested please contact Linda Croy at (928) 951-0543.

Here are a couple of different recipes that used produce from the garden:

Beet Lemonade

(provided by Kaylie Ford):

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup finely grated raw beet*

6 cups filtered water, divided

*Kaylie said she used the fine grating side of a box grater to shred a small, raw, unpeeled beet. She said she could have used a food processor with the shredder attachment, but she found the box grater to be much easier.

In a blender (Vitamix is wonderful) or food processor (fitted with the blade attachment), blend together lemon juice, sugar, shredded beet, and one cup of water.

Blend for one minute until the mixture is bright pink and well combined.

The beets will never be fully smooth — that’s OK.

Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl.

Use the back of a spoon to press any remaining juice out of the beets and into the lemonade.

Transfer strained mixture to a pitcher and discard the beets.

Add remaining five cups of water to the pitcher and stir.

Taste and add more lemon or sugar as necessary.

Store in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Coconut-Rhubarb Spice Cake

(from Ralph and Geneva Baird, Basin, Wyoming:

1/2 cup shortening

1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg.

Beat in vanilla.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cloves: add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Fold in rhubarb.

Pour into a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish.

Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12-15 servings