Picnic Recipe Ideas for Earth Day
Each year, the whole family makes a trip to the annual plant sale held by a local non-profit group called Wasatch Community Gardens. While I contribute recipes to their monthly newsletters, focusing on seasonal produce, and am always happy to connect with the staff and see the dedicated workers in action, the real excitement lies in picking out the vegetables and herbs for our raised planters. There are the stand-bys that make an appearance in our garden each year...zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes and a wide variety of herbs. But we don't stop there.
The fun comes when our boys set off to pick out their special vegetable to plant for the year. For the 7-year old (T), the task is a slam dunk. He heads straight to the tomato section (he would happily eat them by the bucketful) and picks out the funkiest looking heirloom tomato plant of the bunch. The 10-year old (M) takes a little more time to make his choice. Sometimes he ends up with a plant that promises to produce deep violet eggplants and other times it may be a spicy pepper (as long as I promise to make salsa).
Of course, the lesson doesn't really lie in the specific vegetables that fill our garden. Rather, it comes in setting the plant into the soil, in tending and nurturing it and, finally, in harvesting and eating food that grew in our own backyard. It gives my husband and I joy to see them run straight into the backyard after school to check on the plants, and to see their excited faces as they run to the door with a ripe specimen in their hands.
I will admit that we are unlikely to raise chickens in our backyard or to stop buying bananas which have traveled thousand of miles to reach our grocery store. However, I hope we can teach our kids to ask questions about where their food came from, to eat locally as much as possible and to encourage them to support growers who raise and grow food in a sustainable manner.
Earth Day is just around the corner. Several years ago, The Nature Conservancy introduced Picnic for the Planet, a fun event to encourage people to enjoy food and their loved ones while educating them about the benefits of eating sustainably raised and grown food. The Picnic for the Planet event encourages people to consider five things: Eat Local, Eat Smart, Eat Sustainably, Eat Green and Eat Out. People all over the world enjoyed picnics with their family and friends to celebrate the day. This year, The Nature Conservancy is reaching for new heights in their attempt to set a world record for the most people picnicking in a 24-hour period.
Whether you plan to picnic on Earth Day or our planning to spread your gingham blanket on the grass later in the spring or summer, you will need some ideas for salads and sandwiches that are easy to pack and tote in your picnic basket. The recipes listed below are some of our favorites to take on picnics or camping trips.
Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy provided a gift basket for a giveaway. All opinions are my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.