Growing Questions?

  • How do I stave off the Japanese Beetles this year?
  • Why aren’t my tomato plants growing?
  • When should I harvest my garlic?

Growing vegetables, fruits, herbs or flowers usually also grows questions! We try to print information that is seasonal and helpful to all growers, but every garden (and every gardener) is different.


So this edition of VegOut explores one resource that we really like, A Way to Garden, a blog by Margaret Roach, “a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. [She] hosts a public-radio podcast; …lectures, plus holds tours at [her] 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.”

This blog is funny, smart and really helpful. Margaret Roach talks about gardening as not just a hobby but a way of life and her love of the practice of growing things really shines through.

Some links to what you will find there, of just start at the home page and explore for yourself.

We hope you find the answers you’ve been looking for and a whole lot of inspiration to keep growing!

Amberjack with Radishes and Basil

With the cold spring many vegetable gardens are not as robust as they were this time last year. Our gardens and farm shares seem to have plentiful basil and radishes right now, so we found a simple recipe with those flavorful ingredients.


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fillets amberjack,* cleaned and skinned
  • 4 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 2 lemon leaves, torn, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 lemon leaves, torn, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until just smoking.

Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan and cook on one side for about 3 minutes.

Turn fillets over when browned and add radish slices and lemon leaves (or zest). Cook for 1 minute and add white wine.

When wine has evaporated, add fresh basil, and season, to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali, 2001

 *Amberjack is an extra lean fish that has a firm texture, white meat with mild flavor. Substitutes  could be mahi-mahi, mullet, tilefish, grouper or shark.

General Faculty Resources

About Greenlight

This is not your average science fair project!  We are looking for passionate innovators who love any subject to participate.  This year’s theme, Changemaker 2020, is a behavioral change challenge.  We hope students and faculty from all subjects, such as Social Studies, Psychology, Business, English, Math, Science, and more, will get involved!

We encourage teamwork and multi-disciplinary approaches to tackle problems in our community. Students have great ideas for tackling climate change and resource protection, and there are many ways to approach environmental challenges, including:

  • Science-based solutions
  • Entrepreneurial inventions
  • Web solutions
  • Research projects
  • Grassroots efforts
  • Pilot program implementation
  • Policy change (at the local or institutional level)
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Education through presentations, workshops, art, film, etc.

Promote Greenlight

flyers and information to be posted soon.

‘Harvest Community’ program brings Westchester community together

Local food vendors such as the John Jay Homestead Farmer’s Market have partnered up with the Antioch Baptist Church of Bedford Hills to create Harvest Community, a program which redistributes excess produce to people in Bedford. Vendors that work with Harvest Community include Hilltop Hanover Farm, Stew Leonards, and grocery stores. Merle McJunkin, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, says many vendors are interested in donating their excess produce, but don’t have the time or means to. Harvest Community gives them a free, easy way.

“If farmers don’t sell everything at a farmer’s market, most farmers don’t take it to another place to try and sell it— they’ve got to get back to their fields, and the excess produce goes to the compost heap. So we have a crew there to receive whatever it is that they want to give, and we bring it back to the church, we sort it, we bag it, and we open our doors to the community,” said McJunkin.

McJunkin expressed his happiness with the high quality of the food distributed.

“We get everything from Jerusalem artichokes to beefsteak tomatoes. Those big boys that are like 6.99 a pound! Those juicy, tasty things for free, can you imagine? These are really, really good bags–most times we think the bags range in value between 25 and 30 dollars.”

Harvest Community is a flexible program—no sign up is required, and people who take bags do not have to give their names. Typically, each person gets one bag, but they can take more if they express a special need. McJunkin emphasized that Harvest community is not seen as a charity.

“Harvest Community isn’t like oh, look at the poor people in the community who can’t afford food. It’s more about bringing together the good hearts of all the people involved. The good hearts of the growers, who put their all into really growing fine produce and giving their best. The good hearts of the people here at the Church, who said they wanted to do what they could to help make the connection. And the good hearts of the people who respectfully received the bags, some of whom made donations as well. Some, in solidarity, said they’d like to come and volunteer, so we let them. It’s kind of a community share program.”

With the help of increased donations as well as increasing the distribution points to include local apartment complexes as well as the Church, Harvest Community has grown over the years—from distributing around 200 bags two years ago to over 700 last year. Harvest Community, however, is still looking to expand its donations from individual gardens. In fact, that’s how the genesis for Harvest Community, a program called Sharing Works, was started.

“Years ago, before she was a member here at Antioch, Wendy Webb-Weber would come and let the pastor Paul S. Briggs know that she had produce she wanted to share with the parishioners here. So she would bring it on a Saturday, and after Sunday services people were pleasantly surprised to see that someone from the community had thought enough to share their produce with them. And it went to good use!” 

Seeing how well received this program was inspired Antioch to work with Wendy and local farmers to expand it. Westchester farmers Mimi Edelman, Deb Taft and Doug DeCandia were part of the founding group, and Derek DiGuglielmo of EatLocalNY donated produce as well.

Says McJunkin;

“We took what she was already doing here at Antioch and decided to not make it focused on Antioch receiving, but rather to make Antioch participate in the sharing.”

Interested in getting involved?

Prospective volunteers can reach out to Antioch beginning Monday, July 17th by calling 914-241-0189. Harvest Community begins Saturday, August 12th, and is looking for volunteers to:

-Bring produce from their gardens

-Transport the food from the farmers markets back to the Church

-Receive, unload, sort, and bag the produce

-Go to sites beyond the Church to help with distribution

John Jay Homestead Farmer’s Market opens, featuring exciting new vendors


The John Jay farmer’s market opened on Saturday, June 10th, featuring exciting new vendors and changes made by the new market manager, Vanessa Pahucki.

This will be the first year the John Jay market will not require exclusivity, meaning artisans can bring all their products, even if someone else is selling the same thing.  

“We felt exclusivity was a disadvantage to both the customers, who deserve choices, and the vendors, who should be allowed to bring all their local, sustainably grown items to market. We want our customers to have options,” said Pahucki.

The market is also welcoming many new vendors, including Dam Good English Muffins, Will-Yum Spice, Pickleicious, and The Peanut Principle. Pahucki thinks these new vendors will be very popular and bring exciting, unique new products to the market.

 Brandalyn Williams of Will-Yum spices expressed her excitement to be at the John Farmer’s Market for the first time, especially as the first spice vendor. She and her husband, Warren, started Will-Yum spices after the spices they gave out as their wedding favor were very well received.

“The reception has been great, and working at a farmer’s market is really a grassroots way to get out and meet people. Being that we do sell online, it’s a completely different business model actually being in person, and so it’s been great. It’s good to see that people not only come back, buy more, and replace their bottles, they also bring their friends over and buy for their friends and family,” said Williams.

Irvington Delight is another first-time vendor at John Jay, selling homemade Mediterranean and American cuisine.

“All our food is homemade, and all the grape leaves, basil, and mint we use is from our garden. Everything we make the day of or the night before, it’s all authentic, all 100% old family recipes, so hopefully everyone enjoys it” said Jordan, one of the owners of Irvington Delight.


Pahucki emphasized with these new vendors, everyone can find something at John Jay for them—from Conte’s, which has been selling fresh seafood in Westchester for over 65 years, to fresh fruit and vegetables from R & G Produce. These new vendors might bring some exciting changes, but the parts of John Jay that make it so special remain the same. Pahucki noted that John Jay’s location is a special and important part of the market.

“We’re on a historic farm, while many farmers markets are in concrete jungles, so when you come here you really feel the authenticity of the farmer’s market,” she said. 

The John Jay Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, June 10th-October 28th. Stop by today to explore its diverse assortment of food!

Spaghetti with Summer Squash and Spinach

Summer Squash and spinach are among the delicious vegetables whose harvest periods are in June. Use their delicious flavors in this simple and easy recipe perfect for a summer dinner.

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (1/2 box)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, cubed
  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large summer squash (or 2 med.), chopped
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

In large saute pan, heat butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add squash and chili pepper flakes, and season the pan with salt. Saute until onions are browned, and squash is tender.

Stir in reserved pasta water and spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, and adjust salt, to taste.

Add drained and cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with remaining Tbsp. of olive oil if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, topped with pumpkin seeds and Parm.

Thank you to Grace Dickinson of for this recipe!

Sow What Now? Best Bets for June Sowing


May 31, 2017|

Planting too early in the spring is one of the most common garden mistakes. But this time of year a different misconception among new gardeners is equally unfruitful: Not planting because they think it’s too late.

Whether you’re just getting your first seeds in the ground, or you’re starting the process of succession planting, June is still a great time to sow seeds.

Best crops for direct-seeding during the month of June:

  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • beans
  • cucumbers
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • Swiss chard
  • zucchini

Make sure that the crops you sow now will give you plenty to harvest by checking the days to maturity listed for the variety. All of the crops listed above grow well through the summer months, mature quickly, and will offer a good harvest even if planted later this month. Not surprisingly, most of them are considered warm-season crops, but even some cool-season crops, including lettuce and radishes, can still do well when grown throughout the summer. You’ll have the most success with these by paying attention to irrigation, planting in a corner of the garden that gets some afternoon shade, or by harvesting when plants are slightly under full size. Summer lettuces can be harvested as baby greens instead of mature heads to help ensure that the leaves remain tender and without bitterness.

For more garden tips, visit

Come to the Greenlight Finals and be Entered to Win!

All are invited to attend the Greenlight Award Finals on May 17th at Fox Lane High School! There will be a Keynote Speaker as well as a free raffle in addition to the inspiring presentations by Greenlight Award Finalists from John Jay, Fox Lane and Harvey School!


All who attend will be entered into the raffle for some great prizes! Including:

4 tickets to the Ghostbusters Hyper-Reality Experience in NYC


$50 gift card to Salsa Fresca

$50 gift card to Chop’t

$25 gift card to KR Cafe


$25 gift card to Squires

Two $25 Gift Cards to Mount Kisco Sports


$20 gift Card to the Mount Kisco Diner

Sign up for Community Compost

Town of Bedford residents may sign up to drop off their kitchen waste at the Town of Bedford’s Community Compost at the Town Recycling Center on Saturdays.  Sign up now and we will follow up with you for payment (one-time nonrefundable fee of $25) and to give you your Compost Kit once the program launches in Summer 2017.

Community Compost Program Pre-Registration
Help us get Bedford composting! Volunteers can help us spread the word and educate our program participants.

Summer 2017 Internships Available

Exciting news!

Bedford 2020 is hiring two interns this summer to help us educate, engage and activate our local community to reduce greenhouse gasses and protect our natural resources.

Thanks to a grant from the Rustics Garden Club and Bedford 2020 supporters, we will offer two paid internships for the Summer of 2017!

Internship Descriptions

Click here to read more about the internships opportunities for both a Food/Agriculture Intern and a General Bedford 2020 Intern.  

To Apply – Applications due by April 25th

Interested college or graduate students should email us a letter of interest and a resume. We will follow up in late-April and early-May with all applicants.