WESTLAKE, Ohio — Westlake Senior Center chef Garrett Baglier wants to see older residents eat more organic foods.

So on September 8, he gave members of the center’s Engage, Thrive and Connect (ETC) class, which meets twice a month, a tasty demo.

Baglier sparked interest in his speech on organic food by telling the audience that he would prepare an organic salad for the 20 attendees.

But first, he imparted some knowledge:

If you want to grow your own organics, either in the ground or in containers, be sure to have your soil tested annually at a garden center to make sure nutrients aren’t depleted, he said. he declares.

He also advises using humus in your garden, not peat moss.

He noted to be sure to buy quality seeds. But, in the long term, it is better to buy plants that have already been started.

Another tip, for those looking to take a road trip, is to head to Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, for what Baglier considers the best organic produce, plus some great tips for growing your own organic food.

The Chef’s Garden practices regenerative agriculture, meaning there are no fertilizers or pesticides on the produce. There is also no excess clay in the soil or too much phosphorus or nitrogen, which can be toxic.

He said Chef’s Garden products are available for a long period of growth.

“The produce from the chef’s garden is grown until January,” he said, “and the produce provides up to 500% of the daily nutritional requirement.”

Those interested can visit https://www.chefs-garden.com/about-the-farm.

But Baglier said there are other farms that do the same as The Chef’s Garden.

For those who want to do home composting, Baglier said to remember that it takes about six weeks for kitchen compost items to decompose properly. This compost can then be used in your vegetable garden.

Finally, Baglier prepared the beautiful salads for everyone and performed a taste test. It was amazing how almost everyone chose the organic option and how much better the salad was than a salad made with local or store bought lettuce, tomatoes, onions etc.

His dressing was simply olive oil. Very surprising, but it was delicious.

“Remember, local produce that looks good isn’t necessarily the best,” he said of buying produce. He certainly proved his point with the salads made for the class.

Baglier is the kitchen coordinator and chef at the Westlake Senior Center. He is happy to answer gardening questions, especially regarding organic matter.

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