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Charlotte Observer Article – Organic Gardener’s Cookbook

Friday, Jun. 21, 2013 Charlotte Observer

In Charlotte, grow your own food, cook it

  • Megan Lambert and Don Rosenberg are passionate about preventing diabetes and other diet-related illnesses. Lambert teaches a nutrition class for people with diabetes through the Charlotte Community Health Clinic at Farmingdale Drive. Lambert and Rosenberg’s book, ‘The Organic Gardener’s Cookbook,’ is intended to help fight obesity and diabetes. He is available for lectures and book discussions at no cost. He has been to book clubs, moms groups, church groups, and more.

  • Learn more: “The Organic Gardener’s Cookbook” is available on AmazonKindle for $9.97 and in paperback edition for $14.95. Either can be purchased on Amazon or at Don Rosenberg is available for organic gardening consultations and installations by calling 704-910- 6498 or emailing him at He will also be teaching a three-hour class called Making Organic Gardening Easy through CPCC’s Corporate and Continuing Education department’s Personal Enrichment program this fall.

Organic gardening expert Don Rosenberg has been helping families, schools, businesses, nonprofits and communities build organic raised bed gardens since he opened Instant Organic Garden in November 2006.

Rosenberg, a 56-year-old resident of the Newell neighborhood in the University area, said that after consulting on gardening for seven years, he realized people had not only lost the art of gardening, but they had lost the art of cooking, too.

In February, Rosenberg resolved this dilemma by self-publishing his second gardening book, “The Organic Gardener’s Cookbook” with Megan Lambert, a professional chef and Senior Culinary Arts Instructor at Johnson & Wales University.

Rosenberg published “No Green Thumb Required!” in January 2009 to teach families how to build simple and efficient organic gardens. But this project was Lambert’s first book. She said she had been interested in writing a cookbook for a long time and that this was the perfect opportunity.

“I believe this book stands out, because it is a combination of both gardening and cooking basics broken-down into simple explanations, where anyone can understand it,” said Lambert, a 37-year-old resident of Glenwood Manor in Matthews.

“The Organic Gardener’s Cookbook” gives the information you need to go from seed to dinner table, Rosenberg said. The gardening part explains how to build the raised beds, compose weedless soil mix and make use of limited space for gardening. The cooking part advises on essential kitchen tools, teaches basic cooking techniques and multi-purpose recipes.

There are 83 recipes in the book. Some are Lambert’s recipes. Some were contributed from fellow chefs and gardeners. There are also family recipes included, like Lambert’s father’s Caesar salad and Rosenberg’s mother, Carol Rosenberg’s green beans and toasted pine nuts.

Rosenberg said that Lambert wrote the cooking basics and recipes with the intention of teaching people how to make a recipe their own by using the ingredients available to them versus having to follow it 100 percent. He also said that they want people to feel comfortable cooking on their own terms, in their own style.

“The total epidemic, in terms of diabetes, too much fat, sugar and salt, can all be controlled by eating fresh veggies,” said Rosenberg, who has volunteered with Lambert on nutritional panels with Sow Much Good – a nonprofit that brings awareness to the link between the environment, health problems and nutrition.

Lambert, who is also a registered dietician and mother to 9-year-old, Sergio, said, “The more we can do to help kids enjoy being healthy, we are setting them up for a better future.”

Peter Reinhart, the Chef on Assignment at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, writes in the foreword of “The Organic Gardener’s Cookbook,” … “you can’t beat growing your own … it reconnects and animates the bond between ourselves and the source of all things.”

Crystal O’Gorman is a freelance writer.