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Sweet peppers are low in calories and excellent sources of dietary fiber.  They are also packed with healthy nutrients and minerals, including:
 
Vitamin C
Vitamin B6
Vitamin A
Folate
Molybdenum
 
Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more Vitamin C.




 
SWEET PEPPER PASTA SALAD
16 oz orecchiette pasta
4 oz bacon (cut into ½ inch pieces)
1¾ cup corn kernels
¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup of ranch dressing (see instructions below)
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Ranch Dressing Ingredients:
2 tbsp onion powder
4 tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried dill
2 tsp red wine vinegar
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cup plain Greek Yogurt

Cook pasta according to instructions. About 1 minute before the pasta is al dente, add the corn to the boiling water with the pasta. Drain the pasta and corn, and set aside to cool. Cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is well browned. Remove the excess grease. Combine all the ranch dressing spices and herbs in a bowl and mix well. Add mayo, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir well. In a large bowl, add the pasta, corn, bacon, and the remaining ingredients. Toss with ranch dressing. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


By Lisa Reeder - Local Food Hub

Did you know that all peppers start out green? As their flavor grows sweeter (or spicier), their color shifts to red, or yellow, or orange, or purple-black. This time of year, all the peppers are ripening quickly because the cold weather is coming, and they want to drop their seeds in the soil for next year!

When farmers harvest their peppers and other vegetables, they carry reusable plastic crates or buckets into the fields and use them as harvest bins. Back in the protected packing shed, produce gets wiped or washed clean of dirt, and sorted by size, shape and color to meet wholesale expectations. If a pepper is wrinkly, lumpy, too large, or too small, the farm family might eat it for supper...or toss it to the chickens. In this way, extra food is "recycled" back into the farm and the people and animals that power the farm.
Students at Johnson Elementary School grow peppers in their school garden.

Top Left: Student at Johnson Elementary is enjoying his Harvest of the Month snack during lunch time. Top Right: Students at Johnson Elementary try their snack during circle time. Middle Left: Students at Greenbrier Elementary gather around their class serving of sweet peppers. Middle Right: Students at Greenbrier Elementary are eager to see what healthy snack is in the bowl. Bottom Left: Assistant Principal April Douglas of Burnley Moran Elementary shows off the November Harvest of the Month poster. Bottom Right: Charlottesville High School student stops by the Harvest of the Month table to try some sweet peppers.

Top Left: Volunteers wash sweet peppers at the Central Kitchen. Top Right and Bottom Left: Volunteers slice red, yellow, and green peppers. Bottom Right: Volunteers pick up sliced peppers from the Central Kitchen to deliver to the elementary schools.

Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped wash and slice 220 lbs of sweet peppers and who helped deliver the snack to the classrooms! Thank you to all the CCS kitchen staff for sharing the kitchen space with us, and especially to Chef Karen and Lopsang, who helped us get a head start on slicing peppers.
Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 
 
It takes a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City Schools and Local Food Hub. Supported with funds through the USDA, the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors. Thanks to rock paper scissors for their design work and Desmond Cormier, Buford Middle School Art Teacher for working with his students to produce the artwork. 

    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5282, Charlottesville, VA 22905
 
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