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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash, Cabbage, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Carrots, Young Beets, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Onions, Basil, Rosemary, Peppers and Plums

Coming Soon…Garlic, Onions

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week our tomato plants are growing strong and the rows are full of multicolored fruit. If you are a tomato lover this is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the harvest. As gratifying as it is to grow tomatoes, I am not one of those people. I do enjoy tomatoes cooked and have learned to love raw tomatoes in many of their forms. I have to admit that one of my favorite meals is slices of ripe tomatoes sandwiched between bacon and mayonnaise in the classic BLT. The recipe that I have today is for a BLT Salad. It takes all the elements and lets you eat them with a fork, to keep your fingers clean. It also omits the bread, which can be helpful if you are trying to reduce your carbohydrates. If you don’t mind the bread (like me), add some fresh made croutons. A few tomato tips, always store tomatoes at room temperature. If you have too many tomatoes and they are getting ripe, cut the core out and freeze them whole in the freezer to make sauce later. If you don’t like fresh tomatoes, either try the yellow and orange varieties that taste a little different, because of the different pigments in the tomatoes and don’t forget the salt.

BLT Salad

2 cups chopped tomatoes, halve cherry tomatoes and cut larger tomatoes into 1 inch chunks

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3-4 cups chopped lettuce

2-4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Combine tomatoes and salt in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes and drain the tomatoes, discarding the juice. Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, and pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add lettuce and bacon to the drained tomatoes and drizzle with the dressing. Toss gently add additional salt and pepper if desired and eat right away.

Tomatoes for Canning

We have lots of extra tomatoes this year, if you would like to can or freeze some for the winter please let us know. We will have extra for the next several weeks. They will be $1 per pound for the traditional red slicing tomato and $1.50 per pound for heirloom tomatoes. We also have a limited supply of San Marzano tomatoes available at $1.50 per pound.

Please email, text or call.

Vegetable Snacking …

Any way to turn a vegetable into a snack is a good way to eat your vegetables. Following last week’s summer squash dip, this week I have Beet Butter. This is a good recipe to make ahead and have in the fridge for when the urge for a snack strikes.

Beet Butter

3 beets, scrubbed and cut into ½ inch chunks

1 cup macadamia nuts or cashews

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

½ teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, cover the cut beets with cold water and heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beets for 15 to 20 minutes until very tender. Drain the beets and let cool for a few minutes. Combine the cooked beets in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process the mixture until smooth. Let cool completely and serve with crackers, toast, as a sandwich spread or as a dip for vegetables.

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

My mom grew up as one of nine children on a farm in California during the 1920’s and 30’s. The depression years were hard years and for my mom, the idea of farming brings back a lot of painful memories. One of the most difficult things she did on the farm was to help her dad when the animals were slaughtered and butchered to feed the family.

It is rare in our modern suburban and urban culture to grow our own vegetables let alone experience the slaughtering and butchering of animals for family consumption. Ironically, our children are often allowed to see violence and death on television but shielded from seeing the dead body of a family pet or from viewing the dead body of a loved one. In reality, we rob our children of the opportunity to learn an important emotional and interpersonal skill: the healthy grieving of life’s losses. Agriculture and animal husbandry can reacquaint both adults and children with the joys and sorrows that are a natural part of life. We learn the process of hopes, expectations, disappointments, loss, grief, healing, and restored hope during the life cycle of our gardens and livestock. But children and adults need support to embrace rather than avoid these uncomfortable feelings. Recently, I was confronted with a painful and brutal reality of life in the country. A family of raccoons ravaged our Wellspring flock of chickens leaving only 4 of 25 hens. Twenty-one hens were left scattered around the property…the dead prey of their raccoon predators. As I came upon this scene, I plowed into the grieving process as I initially faced shock, denial, then anger, sadness, and bargaining (also known as the “what if’s”). I am grateful for friends that allowed me to have these feelings and didn’t try to talk me out of my sadness and cheer me up prematurely. I had to keep telling the story as part of my grieving process. Adults at times think children are morbid when they want to know or tell details about the death of a loved one. But it is often exactly what the children need to make their way through their own grief process. It may sound counter-intuitive but accepting the pain of a broken heart actually helps us to heal it. Mourning is the path to comfort.

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