bountiful harvest

yesterday i had the pleasure of speaking at the coulee district garden club meeting in elroy, wi. my high school guidance counselor, v8, is a member of a local club in the coulee district and she suggested that i come speak about my experience working on my gardening project.

i was happy to agree – i don’t have a problem talking, especially if you get me going about my project!

i was up early to blog, then i juiced for brad & myself! we started with a bunch of fruit.

an orange, lemon, apple, carrots, cucumber, and strawberries.

2011-09-24 bountiful harvest

this was another winning combination! i was expecting it to be quite sour from the lemon + orange, but it was actually really soothing – not sour at all! i could really taste the cucumber flavor.

i made a pretty typical breakfast of oats.

made the same as always, but topped with some of jessica’s muffin crumbles. the cherry chocolate chip muffin went great with the very berry cherry blend!

then i realized that i was in danger of being late and i didn’t have time to eat at home…

so i plopped the oats in an almost empty almond butter jar, and was on my way. Smile


it was a beautiful drive up to elroy. the leaves are really starting to turn! i was shocked at the beautiful yellows, oranges, and reds that i saw the whole way up. i wish i had a photo for you.

i arrived at the meeting in time to check in, chat with v8, and browse around a bit. they had a raffle set up and some things for sale, including some fresh veggies and plants, so i got a couple raffle tickets and some produce…

(cukes, tiny yellow tomatoes, and green peppers!)

and this pot of succulants (for only $2!!!)

look at some of those adorable little guys – aren’t they cute?!

i also got to admire all of the decorations.

the theme was bountiful harvest, and there were a lot of great fall centerpieces around. each centerpiece was designed around a basket filled with goodies, which were the door prizes. isn’t this one cute?!  i won one (not this one) that i’ll show you in a bit!

then it was time for my talk. i discussed some background information on obesity, especially obesity in children, talked about how my project got started, and then told them about the project and some of our results.

i was so happy that people asked questions and seemed to be interested. that definitely helps a presenter!

after my talk was a quick meeting, and then lunch was served!

obviously, if it’s a garden club, lunch is going to be good, right?! right. they had pulled pork sandwiches, fruit salad, a broccoli salad, a wheatberry salad (i didn’t get any of that), pickles, and pickles beets. it was all awesome! i also had a (unphotographed) piece of carrot cake with amazing frosting. i was very satisfied with that lunch!

after lunch was a quick wrap-up, and then door prizes and raffle winnings were handed out.

seriously, i felt so spoiled after leaving!

i won a door prize basket, which was amazing!

it was a grape-themed basket with tons of fresh grapes (someone said one of the gardeners grows them herself – awesome!), some wine, squash, pears, raspberry jam, canned beans, and a beautiful purple potted plant.

i can’t wait to juice some of those grapes!!

the hill and dale garden club (the local club from the coulee district that my guidance counselor is a member of, and the club that was hosting the meeting) also gave me a gift basket as a thank-you for speaking.

it was overflowing with goodness!

it had:

  • five kinds of breads (pear pecan, pumpkin, zucchini, date, and cranberry)
  • huckleberry syrup
  • huckleberry jam
  • elderberry jam
  • hot dilly beans
  • lots of decorative squash
  • a butternut squash
  • homemade red raspberry wine from one of the ladies
  • a knit dishcloth
  • garlic

wow. everything looked amazing!

and then v8 gave me some of her homemade canned goodies!

she gave me:

  • her famous dill pickles (v8- brad & i tried these immediately when i got home – they’re so good! i definitely won’t be turning them into sweet pickles. Winking smile)
  • chili sauce
  • corn relish
  • salsa
  • spaghetti sauce

i can’t wait to try it all!

after the meeting, i got to chat and catch up with v8. it was so nice to be able to spend some time together – she was one of my favorite teachers in high school. looking back, i can’t remember a lot of the names of teachers that i had for various classes (or even which guidance counselor i was actually assigned to – i just went to v8). the ones i remember are the ones that made an impact on me, and v8 was definitely one of them! she was always willing to help and give advice, and she always had a smile on her face & a kind word.

i was excited to be able to see her house and farm, and meet her cats! we picked some tomatoes out at her farm, so of course she sent me home with a big box of them too (a few are pictured above). thanks, v8!

when i got home, brad and i watched the badger game (we kicked butt!) and played frisbee with our goofy puppy.

then i unpacked everything and made this cute fall-themed centerpiece from all of the squash i got.

i love how festive it is!

i had such a fun morning with the gardening club. it was so nice to meet all of the nice members and spend time with people who enjoy gardening just as much (probably more) than i do! i loved hearing about all of the projects they’re involved in with their local clubs and learning more about the gardening club organization.


today’s schedule is pretty open! the packers play at 3:15. we’re playing the bears so it’s going to be an exciting game – major division rivalry right there!

other than watching the game, i’ll probably do a bit of cleaning, some relaxing, hopefully take capone for a nice long walk, and we’ll see what else pops up! Smile

have a great day!


do you remember your high school teachers/guidance counselors?

are you still in contact with any of them?

i ran into my middle school/high school keyboarding/computer class teacher (he was also a softball umpire when i played in high school) when i was out for my bachelorette party! we ate at a pizza place to start the night and he was there. it was funny to see him at that event, but it was nice to catch up with him too!


About sarah

hi, i'm sarah. i'm a graduate student, dog lover, newlywed, blogger, aspiring baker/cook, and a veggie lover. :)
This entry was posted in breakfast, food, grad school, healthy living, nutrition. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to bountiful harvest

  1. Chelsea says:

    Nope, I never see anyone I knew in high school, but it’s a small world so maybe one day it will happen :). Your goodies look great and I’m definitely jealous of those dill pickles. I LOVE dill pickles.

  2. You got spoiled this weekend!!

  3. I went to the high school my dad teaches at so many of my teachers are family friends. Cool now to be in touch with them still, but mortifying when you are 16! haha

    Glad those muffins are working out for you even if it is as an oats topping. {Grrrr USPS Grrrr}

  4. Deb Sieracki says:

    That is really a nice gift basket, you’ll have to let me know how that spagetti sauce compares to mine.

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