All posts by boxeth

Gardening for the Winter

The Ryves! Up Program aims at bringing the children the idea of leading a green life by helping them practice specific gardening techniques. We support growing natural and unpolluted foods by your own hands through an environmental friendly process. As the end of the harvest season has come, here are the tips you need to know to prepare your garden for the winter:

  • Clean up the remains of plants in harvested beds.
  • Sow the soil and collect the leaves and kitchen garbage to create the compost. Fall leaves can be used for mulching in the garden, as a brown component of compost. Compost is of great significance to your garden. It recycles with 100% natural material and creates non-chemical fertilizers.
  • Put all the materials in a stationary compost bin and wait until it’s fermented. It will add beneficial bacteria and humus to the soil, which will help the plants grow.
  • Add a layer of compost to the ground, it will keep the moisture and temperature of the soil, and help your plants grow healthier.

Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

So you go to carve a pumpkin and you first cut out all the guts and throw it all away. Wait… we can use some of the guts. The seeds, once separated from the rest of the guts, are quite tasty when roasted in an oven.



  • 1 ½ cups whole, raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • Pinch of salt



Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Then, in a large bowl, mix seeds with butter and salt until all seeds are covered. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and (after the oven is preheated) place in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the seeds occasionally while baking.

Pumpkins, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Spice Latte

Tis the season to the pumpkin spice and all things nice. At Ryves Up!, the kids grew pumpkins to help act as a natural suppressor for weeds. While they can always carve the pumpkins for a good decoration, this holiday season also brings the hype for pumpkin flavored everything back into style (or not if you are one of the negative nellys pissed about pumpkin spice lattes for no good reason). I am here with good news as 3 billion pumpkin pies are made for Thanksgiving dessert; it is actually one of the healthiest holiday desserts!

If there is a nutrient, it is in a pumpkin. Well, maybe not. But pumpkins do offer a wide range of nutrients. Pumpkin is a great source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese while also providing many other nutrients.

Pumpkins also provide many health benefits that I think we all need in our lives. Some of the things that eating pumpkin could do for you are:

  1. Lower Blood Pressure
  2. Sleep Better
  3. Have a Healthier Heart

As happy as the kids could be with a nice Jack-O-Lantern, (hopefully) they would be as happy with pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread and it would help them grow and prosper! Also, now going into the holiday season, you can eat a whole pumpkin pie by yourself guilt free! Okay, maybe don’t eat a whole pie, but make sure to have a slice. Below you can see many other delicious foods that you can indulge in!

Does Terre Haute have a Desert?

One of the major issues that the Ryves Up! program is trying to combat at Benjamin Franklin Elementary is food deserts. Well to start off, what is a food desert? (well I’m glad you asked, thats a great question) According to the American Nutrition Association (USDA), food deserts are parts of the country where fresh, healthy food, and produce are scarce, due to the lack of grocery stores and farmers markets in a certain area.

Due to the difficult nature of transportation in Terre Haute and the lack of stores in residential areas, this makes Terre Haute one of the victims of Food Deserts. Unfortunately,  it happens to exist in an impoverished residential area around The Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. The following map will show the location of the school and grocery stores around it.

As you can see in this wide radius of 6 blocks there’s only one Kroger and a gas station. It’s also quite a walk, assuming you live by the school it takes 22 minutes to get to that gas station imagine if you lived even further west from the school.

This issue has gained the attention of the state of Indiana according to a Tribune star article, and there has been multiple proposed solutions, but due to the merging of Whole Foods and Amazon the food industry has been rapidly changing  and people are getting less access to grocery stores in general. The following video highlights some of the difficulties people face while living in a food desert:

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Recipe: Pumpkin Puree

Making pumpkin bread (or other pumpkin flavored goods) with fresh pumpkin is just as easy as using canned pumpkin, just with a little extra step of making the pumpkin into pumpkin puree.



Cut pumpkin in half and discard guts (but save seeds for roasting!). Place the pumpkin, 1 half at a time, in the microwave and turn microwave on high for 7 minutes, turning occasionally to cook evenly. Then, scoop out the insides of the pumpkin and mash it until it have an even, puree-like texture. Now, this puree can be used in all sorts of baking dishes such as in pumpkin bread. You can store it in the fridge for 3 days or up to 6 months in the freezer.