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Vegetable excitement

The ACC is now getting huge haul of fresh produce from Luscher Farm


by: VERN UYETAKE - Brice and Amber Anderson keep busy at Luscher Farm growing lots of vegetables for the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.All of the fresh vegetables coming in from Luscher Farm are making the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center an exciting place to work on Friday mornings.

“All of these fancy veggies really add to the appearance and taste of our salads,” said Julynne Pang, head chef and meals program manager at the ACC for the past 10 years. “And our cooked greens too. They add nutritional value and taste. It is exciting, so exciting, every Friday to see what we get.”

Even better, all of these fancy veggies don’t put a single dent in Pang’s tight budget. The Luscher Farm veggies are not only nutritious and delicious but they’re free. by: VERN UYETAKE - Julynne Pang is always excited on Friday mornings when she sees the huge haul of fresh vegetables from Luscher Farm.

This program came into existence because ACC Manager Ann Adrian likes to eavesdrop.

“I heard of this wonderful produce looking for a home,” Adrian said. “I thought we can certainly use that. Our kitchen staff is excited about working with such great stuff. It is oh so wonderful.”

Adrian’s partner in this enterprise was Jan Wirtz, recreation supervisor for the city of Lake Oswego, who has never met a vegetable she didn’t like. Wirtz practically starts singing “My Favorite Things” when listing the vegetables and herbs now heading toward the ACC — fennel, radishes, oregano, cilantro, onions, garlic scape, sage, mustard greens, chard, collards, kale, herbs and many, many heads of lettuce.

“Our first delivery was 8 pounds, and it has been going up ever since,” Wirtz said. “The last delivery was up to 45 pounds. And the tomatoes aren’t even ready yet. Then we should go over 100 pounds a week.”

It is a young couple, Brice and Amber Anderson, who have the happy task of planting the vegetables and delivering them to the ACC. It all started a couple months ago when Oregon Tilth closed down its operation at Luscher Farm and left behind a garden that had been extremely well tended for years. When Wirtz dropped a hint, the Andersons took it.

“It’s amazing what you can do in a small garden,” Amber Anderson said. “There is so much to see here.”

“This is the freshest, healthiest food you can find,” Brice Anderson said. “The garden has been carefully tilled. Tilth did an awesome job. We try to take advantage of every square inch available.”

The Andersons are avid gardeners by both avocation and profession, and they promise to keep the vegetable train running.

“It’s important for the property that things can be utilized,” Brice Anderson said. “Garden food can continue to be grown year-round.”

“We can continue to grow food throughout the winter,” Amber Anderson said.

“This has worked out beautifully,” Wirtz said. “Brice has done a wonderful job. This program is just a winner all the way around.”

“The vegetables look so pretty sitting there,” Adrian sighed.

“It seems like a present,” Wirtz said.

The Luscher Farm vegetable program does even more than feed patrons at the ACC, the overflow of vegetables is delivered to the Tualatin Schoolhouse Pantry to feed hungry families.



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