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From the Garden this Week…

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From the Garden this Week…

Broccoli, Summer Squash, Romaine or Mixed Lettuce, Snap Peas, Cucumbers, Carrots, Potatoes, Green Onions, Red Onion, Arugula, Rosemary, Basil.

Coming Soon…Peppers, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onions

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

It’s that time of year for summer squash. Summer squash is one of the easiest vegetables to spiralize and it makes a great substitute for noodles in you favorite pasta recipe. I don’t have a sprializer and you don’t need to get one. There are many other options some are more pretty than others, but they will all taste the same, including just cutting up the squash into small cubes. The easiest option is to grate the squash on a box grater, with the large holes. You can also, use your vegetable peeler to peel thin strips over and over again. Once you mix the squash with the dressing and salt, it will start to leach out the water inside, so I recommend eating this as soon as you mix it. If you wanted to make it ahead, cut the squash and store it in a container with a few paper towels at the bottom. Mix all the other ingredients together and then only combine the squash with the salad at serving time.

Summer Squash Salad

3 summer squash

1/2 cup green onions thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup feta cheese finely crumbled

4 tablespoons basil, chopped

¼ cup, toasted pinenuts or sliced almonds

½ teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

Spiralize zucchini using the larger blade on a spiralizer. (If you don’t have a spiralizer you can grate the squash with the large holes on a box grater, peel ribbons with a vegetable peeler, use a mandolin with the cross cutting blade, or just cut it into a small dice with a knife.) Toss the squash with the remaining ingredients and gently toss. Eat right away. (The water from the squash will continue to leach out the longer it sits.)

Have you heard about Neem Oil? Mixed with water, it becomes a wonderful, natural insecticidal oil that can be sprayed to protect your plants from many of your common garden pests! If you are new to organic or natural gardening practices, you will enjoy learning a little more about Neem Oil. I was in the dentist chair recently and was told that one of the earliest types of dental care can be traced back thousands of years in India to the Neem Tree. Before tooth brushes, there were Neem twigs chewed to clean between teeth and guard against gingivitis with its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Did you know that in the United States, tooth brushing did not become a regular part of our national dental hygiene practices until the soldiers brought them back with the provision packs they were given to carry while fighting during World War II?

Healthy Vegetable Snacking …

In the spring the carrots don’t have the same sweetness that the do in the winter so I will use them differently. These marinated carrots make a healthy snack, of course serve them with tacos or use them in salad. Reserve the liquid for salad dressing. Adjust the quantities of herbs and vegetables, to your taste. They don’t have to be that spicy if you don’t like it, maybe just a sprinkle of red chili flakes would be a good, if you don’t like the heat.

Mexican Marinated Carrots

2-3 large carrots, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

¼ onion, sliced

1-2 hot peppers, sliced

2/3 cup vinegar, apple cider, white wine, rice or even plain distilled white vinegar works in this

½ cup water

Pack the carrots, garlic, oregano, salt, onion and jalapenos into a pint jar. Pour the vinegar over the vegetables and add the water until the jar is full, leaving about a ¼ inch at the top. Seal the jar and shake until the salt is dissolved. Refrigerate and enjoy after at least 24 hours.

Note: I like these on the raw side, so I don’t bother to heat the carrots or even the liquid brine. They continue to marinate over time and will keep for several months stored in the fridge.

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

Have you ever planted something in a garden area only to find that it did not thrive in that place? Then, have you noticed when pruning back your shrubs, that a volunteer plant had secretly been growing well in the undergrowth? I have learned that plants will often give me clues to what they need to thrive. Instead of trying to make certain plants grow where I want them to, I have learned to look around and see what is growing well naturally. Then I look around for another space in the garden that has similar conditions such as soil, sun exposure, and water. I have been amazed at the changes that resulted from my willingness to let the plants make suggestions about the way my garden could be designed to grow.

People can be like that as well. Sometimes we find ourselves in a job or in a subject at school that is not conducive to our development. We try over and over to do well and yet we do not seem to grow and learn the way our employer, teacher or parent would like us to. Many children and adults suffer for years trying to please others and be someone whom they are not. Then along comes a teacher or adult who notices for example, that you thrive when you are in motion. You are what they call a kinesthetic (movement oriented) learner. Instead of giving you sedentary jobs, they involve you in things requiring physical exercise and frequent changes of scenery. Suddenly your attitude changes, you think creatively, and become more productive. You are enjoying your work. In any job, you may have to do paperwork, but a desk job will probably never be your sweet spot. It is wonderful to be known for who we really are. “O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up. Thou dost understand my thought from afar…and art intimately acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3

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