POMPTON PLAINS, NJ - Cedar Crest is committed to going green and helping the environment. The active adult continuing care community also prides itself on producing the finest cuisine with fresh ingredients.
What happens when the concept of "going green" collides with fresh, fine food? A bumper crop of healthy herbs and spices grown right on campus, which are used in meals for the approximately 2,000 residents.
Cedar Crest constructed garden beds on campus where they grow approximately 20 different varieties of herbs and spices such as sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, basil and parsley.
"Homegrown produce and herbs are so tasty and refreshing and our residents love it in their dishes," said Cedar Crest Executive Director Lou Varella. "By growing basil, cilantro and other herbs we are providing our community with great-tasting accents to their already delicious meals."
Cedar Crest Director of Dining Services Edward Wang said, "The Fresh herbs certainly enhance the flavor of the foods and recipes we create as we prepare well over 25-30 different entrees daily on our menu cycle throughout all our restaurants. The initial responses from our chefs are that they're very happy to have fresh herbs in their back yard to prepare their homemade recipes and signature dishes."
The herbs are also available in the community's monthly farmers' markets, which sell fresh produce, baked goods, and confections from local farmers and vendors through the fall.
The going green concept is nothing new to Cedar Crest. In 2009, the community constructed a fuel conversion system that transforms used cooking oil into fuel to operate its shuttle busses and other vehicles.
Cedar Crest produces approximately 500 gallons of used cooking oil per month. The cooking oil will be processed into 80 gallon batches and can be pumped directly into any of the community's vehicles and equipment that run on diesel.
In addition, Cedar Crest administration began a "Go Paperless" volunteer drive in 2010, which limits the use of paper. Residents who participate receive community information through email as opposed to hard copy delivery in a mailbox, thus conserving paper.
About Cedar Crest: Cedar Crest is one of 17 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. The scenic 104 acre campus is located in Pompton Plains, New Jersey and is home to more than 2,000 residents. Cedar Crest is the perfect northern New Jersey retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.
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[caption id="attachment_122228" align="alignnone" width="225"] Cedar Crest residents Marilyn Goldstein (left) and Don Weintraub (right) plant varieties of fresh herbs into Cedar Crest's new second herb garden bed.[/caption]
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