November 1, 2017

Hello Dear Friends!

What a bumper crop these warm days have delivered to us. I am still in awe that we are harvesting so many tomatoes each week. Thanks go out to my mom, Wendy Miller, Becky Slaughter, and Jenny Russell for help last week with that job!

I hope you are finding things to do with all those greens we have been sending your way. They will start growing more slowly once the temperatures drop. Some of you are won-dering what we were thinking when we planted all those radishes. Well, we kind of hoped some restaurants would like them but we have been so busy harvesting, I haven't had time to talk to any restaurants! I actually tried roast-ing mine tossed with some kosher salt, olive oil and in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Not bad. It would have been better mixed with carrots and beets so keep that in mind for a unique way to use radishes.

We have a wonderful answer to prayer!! Vince Hobbs has agreed to take on the task of building us a 10 x 12 green house made of repurposed windows from our 1911 win-dows. They were salvaged from the remodel of the Well-spring office in 2004. What a blessing! We will need your help or that of your church group or any other volunteers the first three Saturdays in December. We will break ground in November, so if you can come with a group of people in November, please let me know so I can schedule a work day with you. We are looking for donations to help defray the cost of the other materials we will need includ-ing concrete, plywood, and brick. We also need two pro-pane tanks for the outdoor heaters Dave Berrens just put together so our harvesters won’t freeze while filling boxes as the temperatures drop. Thank you Dave and Nancy for the sacrifice of time and talent on Sunday afternoon! I also want to thank Frank Ortiz and Rod Kennedy for taking on the task of stripping and revitalizing the old windows! What a job!

Special Thanks to Chris Leonard, Amanda’s boyfriend for his work on helping create a website and Facebook page!

Garden Contemplation

I read something this week that really resonated with me. It is a quote by Michael Ableman, the author of the book, Street Farm. He writes,

“Whether it is strawberries, or figs, or melons, or peaches, the ones that taste the best are almost al-ways those that have suffered. Having everything you need all the time, living a life where the road is straight and smooth and without challenge, does not develop character and depth. Those misshapen, sometimes smaller strawberries or apricots inevitably have the most sugar and intensity and complexity of flavor.

Grape growers understand this principle well: Hold back the water, provide a little stress, and the sugars and flavors concentrate. In California I dry-farmed our tomato crops. I let them grow as tall, lanky plants in our propagation nursery and, in the spring, planted them eighteen inches deep in the field, where they never received a drop of irrigation. The result was always tomatoes with rich flavor and sug-ars. Those plants suffered, but the fruit was good, re-ally good (pages 171-172).”

WOW! I want to have character and depth but I sure hate suffering. Maybe Paul was on to something when he referred to the “fellowship of suffering.” We get to share in the sufferings of Christ as long as we are in these human bodies on this earth. But suffering is not in vain if it produces in us character, depth, and the sweet fruit of our Lord Jesus’s Spirit.

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