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From the Garden this Week

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash and Zucchini, Kohlrabi, Fennel Bulbs, Lettuce Heads, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Basil, Plums and a Mystery Item

Coming Soon…Peppers, Garlic, Onions

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have a late harvest of kohlrabi that is going out to everyone. I usually tell people to cook it like broccoli, one of its closest relatives. Regardless of how you cook it, you will want to make sure that you peel off the outer fibrous layer. For this summer weather, I would suggest grating it on a box grater with some carrots and making a fresh slaw with the two vegetables. If you need to serve more you can serve it over some greens, as we will have a little more lettuce coming this week. Below, I have included my favorite green bean recipe. I cook this in one pan, by lightly sautéing the beans with some garlic and then adding water and steaming them in the same pan. We will have just a handful of tomatoes coming this week. The are a good addition to a cucumber salad, or you can serve them on their own, with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Sautéed Green Beans

1 pound of green beans, ends removed, cut in half if desired

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter or oil

2 tablespoons white wine

¼ cup water

salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large sauté pan with a lid, cook the beans, garlic, salt and butter/oil over medium heat, for about 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic starts to brown. Add the white wine and continue cooking uncovered until the wine has evaporated. Add the water and cover the pan, cooking about 3-4 minutes more until the beans are cooked through. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Eat right away.

4th of July Holiday

There will be no harvest next week. We are taking next week off, hope you have a break as well.

Planning Ahead…It’s hard to believe but it is time for us to start thinking about our fall and winter crops. This week I inventoried our seeds to see what we have on hand and what we need to buy. We will start planting seeds into trays in July and August and then have crops starting to grow in the ground shortly thereafter. We are always trying to optimize what we grow, so that you get the produce that you want, with a few surprises here and there. If you have any feedback from our previous winter harvests, let us know now and we can work to include more or less of your favorites.

Simple and Fresh Summer Eating …

I was recently asked about how to keep summer squash from being mushy. There isn’t a great answer, cooking is going to change the texture, so I decided to write a recipe that takes advantage of the mushiness. This summer squash herb dip, is a variation of spinach-artichoke dip. You can prepare it ahead, but warm it in the microwave, it is too stiff to serve cold.

Summer Squash Herb Dip

2-3 summer squash, small diced, about 4 cups

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese

4 ounces goat cheese or cream cheese

¼ cup chopped chives or green onions

¼ cup chopped basil

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan cook the summer squash, garlic and salt over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes until the squash releases its water and becomes mushy. Continue cooking until the squash starts to brown slightly on the bottom of the pan. Then turn the heat off and stir in the Monterey jack cheese, until melted in. Add the cream cheese and chives and stir well then add the basil. Taste and add salt and fresh ground pepper if desired. Enjoy warm as a dip with bread, crackers or fresh vegetable sticks.

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

The summer vegetables like cucumbers and squash seem to grow overnight! But so do the summer weeds and pests! There is no substitute for regularly walking the vegetable rows. It is easy to look at the surface of our rows bursting with ripe vegetables and assume all is well. A closer look this week revealed that gophers had found a way to the root system of our winter squash plants, cucumbers and our Rainbow Swiss Chard. It was only in kneeling down and picking some weeds in these rows that I found what the luscious foliage was hiding.. What about our souls? Are we walking the rows of our lives and taking time to “kneel down” and look under the surface of our productivity? Sometimes that means having some true “down time” and spending time alone with the Lord for contemplation and reflection. I still remember the first time I experienced a silent retreat. It was the first time I realized that I used service and activity to hide from my own pain. Talk about coming face to face with some thoughts and emotions that resembled garden pests! Yet I am so thankful that God used silence to expose my “ ministry-a-holism” and “work-a-holism”. He revealed to me that He is the “Great I AM” not the “Great I Do.” God’s doing comes from His being but we humans often try to get our being from our doing. Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” We too are most fulfilled when our identity is based not on what we do but who we are: precious and beloved children of God.

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