Pleasant Prairie teaching gardens hosts harvest fest

A harvest fest made up entirely of produce from the RecPlex community learning garden was held last night at the RecPlex Beach Pavilion, across Lake Andrea from the RecPlex, 9900 Terwall Terrace, in Pleasant Prairie.  This was the Walk, Grow & Sow Community Learning Garden’s celebration of their spring and summer efforts.

Jenell Pluskota, wellness coordinator at the RecPlex, and Kate Field, Gateway’s horticulture instructor, served as hostesses for last night’s event.  Here is what the menu consisted of:  Italian marinated baked chicken, tomato and cucumber salad, opal basil-infused garden medley salad, spicy chickpea and sweet potato stew, veggie pizza, zucchini, tomato and rice casserole, bean salad, coleslaw salad, chocolate mint cantalope, brownies, herbal tea, and pomegranate cherry drink.  There were about thirty people in attendance.

In their efforts to remain environmentally friendly and sustainable, they utilized compostable tableware and “donated” the items to their compost project.

The 2012 Pleasant Prairie teaching gardens had 20 to 35 participants each week.  The participants espoused a healthy lifestyle by walking 1-1/4 miles from the RecPlex to the beds, gardening, and walking a second 1-1/4 miles back, for a total of 2-1/2 miles.  They kept up with watering in one of the driest summers in history.  The group also looks to continue the walking club at the RecPlex throughout the year.

Additional pictures from last night’s event:

Plans for 2013 include:  creating a garden club with dues of $10 to $15/month, offering garden programs for kids and parents, teens and therapeutic gardening, herb classes in the winter, installing a water line under the road and battery-operated timers, making the garden more accessible, laying a gravel path around the edge to make the garden wheelchair accessible, and increasing the size of the gate opening.

Field teaches horticulture courses at the Pike Creek Horticulture Center, part of Gateway Technical College.  Fall courses include:  Horticulture Practicum, Landscape Plants, Greenhouse Business Planning, Floral Design, Herbaceous Plants, Landscape Management, Soils and Plant Nutrition, Urban Farming, Plant Pests, and Perennials.

If you’re interested in any of these courses, please visit:, Web Advisor for on-line registration, or call (262) 564-2200. Field’s contact information is, or (262) 564-2418.

Or, if you’re interested in more information on the RecPlex’s wellness and fitness offerings, please visit:, or call (262) 947-0437.

Happy gardening (and walking)!


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