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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Employees sow fresh produce, help farmers

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
Alice LoGuidice has a new favorite day. It’s Wednesday.
That’s when the nurse educator in MUSC’s Pediatric Emergency Department gets her box of goodies. For the past three weeks in April, she and about 35 people make their way from MUSC and various points in downtown Charleston to the Wickliffe House to retrieve a bag or box filled with some of the Lowcountry’s freshest, organically-grown fruits and vegetables.
LoGuidice is part of a growing trend of people who participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and receives a weekly harvest from Ambrose Family Farm in Wadmalaw Island.
Pediatric emergency nurse Alice LoGuidice and Wickliffe House's Jeff Glein sort through a CSA vegetable delivery.

The latest stash included spring onions, baby bok choy, sweet onions, turnips, red leaf lettuce, strawberries and broccoli—produce that was at the peak of the spring growing season, April through July. Within a few weeks, she and other members will receive tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, summer squashes, cucumbers, blueberries and other items.
Sustainability farmer Pete Ambrose makes a weekly delivery to the Wickliffe House and to Jeff and Beth Gleim, owners of Mediterra Catering, who operate the food services in this historic campus location. The Gleims have been active-share members and supporters of CSA and happily volunteered their location as a pick-up site, given its easy access.
Ambrose Family Farms is one of fewer than a dozen CSA providers in the Tri-county area. The family has been farming since 1976 and it wasn’t until 2007 when they turned to this sustainable farming practice in response to the region’s growing interest in freshly harvested, organic produce.
Community Supported Agriculture operates by consumers financing farming operations through the sales of prepaid shares. The farm currently has 950 members with about 50 individuals affiliated with MUSC. Its program offers two, 13-week growing seasons—spring and fall. For the fall harvest, October through December, members can expect to enjoy carrots, beets, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and other crops. Ambrose Family Farm CSA offers four share sizes from small (feeding one person) to extra-large (feeding up to a family of six to eight). Prices range from $175 to $465 per season, depending on share size and delivery method.
“More and more people are learning how to cook using fresh, delicious ingredients versus opening food from a can,” said Babs Ambrose of Ambrose Farm. “They’re discovering that fresh fruits and vegetables taste better and are more nutritional and offer healthier alternatives.”
A self-described foodie, LoGuidice signed up for a single share of the week’s pre-packed spring harvest and loves that she and her husband are eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, saving money and supporting local farmers. “It’s a real win-win for everyone. I just love it,” LoGuidice said.
As easy as it is to obtain fresh, organic produce, the real challenge comes in the cooking and preparation. LoGuidice often refers to her own recipes, some cookbooks, food Web sites and even shares ideas with co-workers and friends. For one Wednesday night dinner, she prepared some of the fresh, baby bok choy in a fish dish. She baked a halibut filet inside seasoned bok choy leaves and stir fried the rest with spring onions, sweet peas and broccoli. She served both dishes with brown rice. For dessert, she and her husband enjoyed macerated, fresh strawberries with sugar over vanilla ice cream.
“It’s been a fun routine of picking up goodies and making something different each week to supplement our usual dining,” she said.
LoGuidice’s next challenge is searching for a new recipe for turnips and preparing turnip mashed potatoes.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.