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From the Garden this Week

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash, Lettuce Heads, Snap Peas, Carrots, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Parsnips, Spring Onions, Beets, Cabbage, Red Radishes, Arugula, Turnips

Coming Soon…Garlic, Onions, Potatoes

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week the garden is flourishing with the rain and now the warmer weather. We have lots of fresh spring vegetables including the snap peas and summer squash. These vegetables are fine eaten raw and if cooked they just need the lightest of cooking methods to keep their fresh flavor. The Spring Vegetable Sauté recipe I included this week, takes advantage of this, with a simple flash in the pan. I included all of the vegetable items that are coming that take advantage of this quick cooking. For the carrots and turnips, you can grate them or chop them in small squares so that they cook quickly too. I will serve these sautéed vegetables over rice or pasta, with grilled meat or you can even serve them with this week’s lettuces and arugula to make a giant vegetable salad. Garnish with some sliced almonds maybe crumbled goat cheese.

Spring Vegetable Sauté

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup sliced spring onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups of vegetables, snap peas, chopped bok choy, grated carrots, turnips, summer squash

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

In a very large sauté pan, over medium high heat add the olive oil and cook the spring onion for about 2 minutes, add the vegetables and cook for about 4-5 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over pasta, rice, with grilled meat, or over lettuce greens for a vegetable treat.

Praying for Laborers!

As you know, our Charitable Garden is run primarily by our volunteers and they need regular time off without any feelings of guilt. So one of the things we have done from the beginning is to hire two to four part-time garden enthusiasts to help fill in the gaps when our volunteers are gone. As long as God provides the laborers, we will continue bringing you wonderful farm to table produce. This is God’s Garden!

We are currently recruiting more volunteers and also seeking to hire two part-time staff. The paid positions are Mondays from 8:30 am-12:30 pm and the other for Thursdays from 8:30-12:30 pm. These positions are for independent contractors who must sign a W-9 and have a business license to be paid by our non-profit organization. Call Cindi at 209-607-1887 if you know someone who might be interested!

Flavor Food with Food

This is a great recipe to use the vegetables to season the coleslaw. If you don’t like beets at all, leave it out, but I find the turnip mild enough to blend into the cabbage and even go unnoticed. You can also omit the chili flakes if you don’t like the heat. If you have a good food processor, it will make easy work of the shredding, but be careful if the blades aren’t sharp enough, they will turn everything to mush.

Spicy Beet-Turnip Coleslaw

1-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 beets, peeled and shredded

1 apple, shredded

1 turnip, shredded

2-3 carrots, shredded

1 head cabbage, shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl combine the garlic, chili flakes and lemon juice. Use a box grater or food processor to shred the beets, apple, turnip and carrots with the largest holes and use a thin slicing blade to shred the cabbage. Combine with the garlic mixture and add the olive oil and salt. Stir well and let sit for 30 minutes or more before eating, if possible.

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

This week there has been wonderful rain and cooler weather, which has lengthened the lifespan of our kale and other brassicas. But it has also invigorated the weeds. The gophers continue to munch on our beets but I also noticed they are breaking up our hardpan soil in certain spots!! We have beautiful roses but the thorns are sharp.

It seems there is no joy in life without some kind of sorrow. No rainbow without a combination of rain and sun.

It is difficult to live in the tension between the best and worst that life has to offer us. Yet that is often exactly where we gain insight for growth. Still, we find ourselves longing for a world without thorns, weeds, and tears.

Ken Gire wrote a book called, Life as we would want it . . . Life as we are given it “The Beauty God Brings from Life’s Upheaveals. It is a short book that explores nature as a way of helping us understand how to grow and mature through the difficulties we experience along our journey. On page 3 he writes, “When we draw close to Nature, reaching out to it for clues to our existence, Nature takes our hands and fills them with the fertile loam of our humanity, reminding us that from the earth we were taken and to the earth we will return.”

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