Magnolia Garden Club donation highlights National Garden Week
by Cheree Dye
Jun 03, 2014 | 1132 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The month of June not only marks the arrival of summer but also ushers in National Garden Week. Beginning the first Sunday in June, the week-long celebration highlights the importance of gardening both for aesthetics and food production. In honor of the occasion, the Magnolia Garden Club gave three copies of “Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality” to the Bartow County Library System. The cookbook was authored by Bartow County resident, Atlanta restauranteur and award-winning chef Anne Quatrano.

The Connecticut native attributes some of her inspiration for Southern cooking to her childhood visits to Summerland, a family farm in Euharlee. Quatrano has resided at Summerland since 1992, but her family has called it home dating back to pre-Civil War times.

Quatrano and her husband, Clifford Harrison, oversee the working, organic farm. The produce they harvest is used in their four Atlanta-area restaurants — Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Abattoir, and Floataway Cafe.

“It is an extreme source of pride for us to grow flawless produce and serve it in our restaurants. Not many people have that kind of complete circle,” Quatrano said.

Carmen Sims, Bartow County Library System director, said “We are thrilled to have materials that support our residents and the activities that go on within our county. The Magnolia Garden Club has been wonderful to us in donating money, books and time. It’s a gorgeous book and it makes it a little more meaningful when it’s in your backyard, so to speak. I enjoy this one because it has so much background included and the photographs are outstanding. We have a few cookbooks in the library but nothing with this sort of Bartow County connection.”

Documenting the workings of the farm through a 12-month period was the motivation behind the book’s creation.

“The oversized cookbook is filled with wonderful descriptions of the food and the farming process, along with beautiful illustrations of growing food, farm activities and the recipes,” Sims said.

On Friday, May 30, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor signed the National Garden Week Proclamation and the Magnolia Garden Club presented the book.

“We need to get back to some basics, learn to grow things and cook more. We need to be healthier,” Bonnie Floyd, chair for Garden Week and Magnolia Garden Club member, said.

Paul Pugliese, the Bartow County Extension coordinator, works to keep residents updated on the best gardening practices and raise awareness for the importance of locally grown produce.

“There are numerous health and environmental benefits to gardening. Home gardeners tend to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, which encourages healthy eating choices. Freezing and canning your home garden vegetables gives you more control over the amount of sugar, salt and other preservatives that go into your food. Gardening promotes exercise and physically active lifestyles. Another great benefit to gardening and landscaping is providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.”