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story.lead_photo.caption Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Cucumbers are one of the vegetables that are ripening in The Garden in Siloam Springs. The Garden will host Sliced and Diced on Saturday. The educational event is modeled after a television cooking competition.

The third Sliced and Diced competition will showcase ways to use fresh vegetables from The Garden in Siloam Springs.

The free educational event, inspired by television cooking competitions, is planned for 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Siloam Springs Community Building.

Two local chefs -- Stephanie Truitt of Chickadee's Fresh Fare and Zachery Hersha of Ziggywurst -- will choose a team of five willing audience members to help them with the contest. Each team will be challenged to use a box of surprise ingredients to create an appetizer and main course dish in the timed competition. They will also have access to ingredients in a common pantry to use in their recipes.

The surprise ingredients inside the boxes will all reflect items that are either currently growing in The Garden or grow in another season, according to Patty Arnett, director of the non-profit.

"The purpose of (Sliced and Diced) is just to show how to use fresh vegetables that grow in The Garden in everyday cooking, and that anybody could come up with some of the dishes the chefs come up with," she said.

Preparing healthy foods does not have to be a daunting task, according to Arnett.

"I think with so many fast foods and already prepared foods, and with our schedules being so very busy, it's hard to think about going home from work and preparing fresh vegetables, and so if it can be easy, if somebody can show you how to do it, and how to make it easy, then that's what we want, so people will eat healthier," she said.

Julie Davis and Cherie McFadin will emcee the event, walking around and giving updates on each team's progress. A panel of six judges will taste the resulting recipes.

Audience members will get a free T-shirt until supplies run out and there will be more than 50 door prizes, including an Instapot electric pressure cooker, a Kitchenaid mixer and gift cards to downtown businesses.

The Garden in Siloam Springs is a community garden located behind Grace Episcopal Church that is free for everyone and open to everyone 24/7, Arnett said. Although The Garden is supported by the church, it is a separate nonprofit, she explained.

"It's open to everyone," she said. "Anybody can come in and pick any food they like, then we ask they weight it and write down what they have taken on the little clipboard that hangs at the entrance of The Garden... Also, if people want to weed and water in The Garden, we ask they write that on the clipboard as well so we'll know when its been watered."

The main garden includes 15 vegetable beds, two fruit trees and a raspberry patch. A Little Free Pantry has partnered with the organization and is located in front of The Garden so that people can pick up canned food and other staples as well as fresh vegetables.

"Hopefully people will come and get the canned goods they need from the pantry but then they will also step over and they will get a zucchini or grab some lettuce or something like that and have a complete meal," she said.

The Garden also has a pocket garden behind The Manna Center, which is cared for by members of the Boys & Girls Club of Western Benton County.

The Garden is partnering with the city parks and recreation department, and downtown businesses such as 28 Springs, TC Screenprinting, Pure Joy Ice Cream, Pour Jons, Chickadees Fresh Fare, Ziggywurst and The Cafe on Broadway to host Sliced and Diced.

Even though the event is free, it is best to register online at Eventbrite, although tickets will also be available at the door, Arnett said. For more information, visit www.thegardeninsiloamsprings.org or the organization's Facebook page.

General News on 07/11/2018

Print Headline: Sliced and Diced set for Saturday

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