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From the Garden This Week

From the Garden this Week…

Baby Swiss Chard, Lettuce Heads, White Salad Turnips, Mixed Red and Green Lettuces, Spinach, Carrots, Celery, Parsnips, Spring Onions, Dill, Lemon Balm and Thyme

Coming Soon…Asian Greens, Salanova Lettuce, Sweet Peas, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are thinning a new planting of beets and we will have baby beets with greens attached. These are tiny, sweet and tender beets with their greens attached. I wouldn’t even try to peel the beets, you will understand when you see them. They are so young and tender that they definitely don’t need it. I have a recipe for sautéed greens to use these up. They can be mixed with the spinach. I would just chop up everything first and then wash the greens in water to remove any remaining dirt. Drain well, but there is no need to get them completely dry, the leftover water will help to steam the greens in the hot pan. I am going to leave in the cream of celery soup recipe for another week. Our celery is getting ready to bolt (set seeds) and this week will be the last. The soup is a great way to use most of one head. I do recommend freezing or drying any remaining celery that you might have, so you can have it for use in the fall. It will be a year before we have it again.

Sautéed Greens

6 cups chopped greens

1-2 tablespoons chopped onion

sprinkle of red chili flakes

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

salt and pepper

lemon juice

Wash the chopped greens in a bowl of water, let any dirt settle to the bottom and pull the greens out of the water and let drain, they do not need to be dry. Then you can use the water for a nearby plant. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the garlic, chili flakes and butter over high heat, until the garlic starts to brown slightly. Add the wet greens, salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the greens and cook until any liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with a squeeze of fresh lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Last of the Season’s Celery

You may find that our celery is fibrous and not the tender stalks used for snacking and filling with peanut butter or cream cheese. That is because the celery season is ending. The tender shoots have already been harvested and yet the celery flavor is excellent for homemade soup!! There are a few things that big food has messed up and one is cream of celery soup. Most canned soups are perfect, especially if you are sick and need a quick meal, but I can’t say I have ever been tempted to eat cream of celery soup on its own. Fortunately, end of season celery is perfect for this recipe since you won’t want to snack on them. This recipe will also use this week’s green onions and I included a parsnip to enhance the creamy texture (you can add more if you like). Now, enjoy what real food can taste like.

Cream of Celery Soup

2-3 green onions, green and white parts, washed and chopped

4-5 cups chopped celery

1 large parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

2-3 cups water

½ cup half and half

Serve with a lemon wedge or hot sauce if desired

In a large saucepan cook the green onions, celery, parsnips, butter, thyme and salt over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, if needed add a few tablespoons water to keep the vegetables from drying out. Add the flour and stir well to coat the vegetables. Add water, to just barely cover the vegetables, about 2 cups and bring to a boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the celery and parsnips are soft. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender. Stir in the half and half, taste for salt, pepper and eat. This is great reheated the next day.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…by Cindi J. Martin, LCSW

Today my computer crashed just as I was finishing this section of our newsletter. It is evening now and I just finished talking to my technical support person, Dillon Cain. Despite his expert advice, I was unable to retrieve the document. I am very tempted to leave the section blank for tomorrow. But it occurs to me that this breakdown of my computer is an opportunity for the breakthrough I wrote about in my first draft. It has become a living metaphor. My computer crash is a sign that I need to take my computer in for some maintenance. Will I make an appointment? Or will I opt for a quick fix, do an update, restart my computer and hope for the best? It is easy to do the same thing in our garden. In particular, it is easy to take our irrigation system for granted and not plan for regular maintenance. How often do we treat our hearts, minds, souls and bodies like that? They work hard for us and we press them yet harder. We often treat our own spiritual, emotional, interpersonal, and physical aches and pains as a nuisance to be endured. Only when there is a breakdown – a meltdown or a crash -- do we really stop to assess what might be happening or ask for professional assistance. Yet, emotional pain is to the soul what physical pain is to the body. Rather than a nuisance, pain is a faithful warning system that an adjustment is needed. Just as the GFI trips an outlet in a house electrical system when it is overloaded, so God has created humans with emotional and physical pain that trips us and alerts us to a potential problem. Experiencing feelings of depression, anger, and anxiety can feel like a breakdown but when welcomed rather than avoided, they can become an avenue for early intervention that prevents an even more serious problem. I had the opportunity to put all of this in practice this week as both computers and irrigation systems broke down. I even had to listen to my internal irritation and ask God what the irritation was teaching me about my internal system. I realized that I see maintenance as an obstacle to my “To Do List” rather than an integral part of maintaining optimal health and well-being. If I can begin to welcome and plan for regular maintenance, that will be a breakthrough indeed!

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