Parish House uses local garden for weekly salad bar

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Parish House was full Wednesday when the Parish House noon meal went green. Volunteer Sara Loughney said she had the idea to put together a garden salad bar for the noon lunches because the community garden is so close to the Parish House.

“Most people don’t put together their own salads at home because it can be a lot of work,” Loughney said. “But with the community garden so close, it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

Volunteers are also contributing fresh produce from their own gardens, and the salads are paired with homemade dressings including ranch, honey mustard and Italian. Volunteer Brooke Scott said the program is particularly good for the children that attend the lunches regularly.

“I think it’s good for the kids who come, because they can expose themselves to good vegetables and homemade salads that they might have never tried before,” Scott said.

This week the community garden provided the salad bar with fresh kale, broccoli and radishes. A greeter at the Parish House, Dave Rowan, said he never knew he liked salad until now.

“I never did eat that much salad, but now I know that I really enjoy it and it’s healthy for me and all the people that come to enjoy it,” Rowan said.

Rev. Alicia Rapking, director of the Parish House, said she is happy to feed people a healthy — and happy — meal.

“We just want to feed people who want fresh produce in a neighborly environment,” Rapking said.

Wednesday’s garden salad bar was the second of the summer and will continue every Wednesday through Aug. 22. The only week it is not taking place is July 5, when the Parish House will be closed.

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