From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Summer Squash, Gita Long Beans, Cantaloupe, Mini Flame Seedless Grapes, Bell Peppers, Delicata Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Basil, Red Onions and Garlic
Coming Soon…Baby Greens and Arugula
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Even though we don’t seem to have a fall season in the Central Valley, the weather does make small changes that affect what is growing and what is ready to harvest. This week at the garden, our peppers are making their fall comeback and our second planting of tomatoes is starting to come on strong. With our very long summer growing season, we are able to harvest both of these vegetables up until we see a real cold snap usually in early November. This week we will see more cantaloupe melons. Since we are still waiting for fall greens, I have a recipe for a Melon Salad. The cantaloupe and cucumbers provide a base with tomatoes, red onion and our fresh basil. You can use the same recipe and cut all of the produce smaller and use the same recipe to make a salsa. This would be great on grilled chicken or fish.
1 musk melon or half a watermelon, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1 bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix everything and eat immediately.
I was harvesting our Gita Beans today and was able to enjoy the beautiful purple flowers that the beans make. These beans are a variety of a subtropical bean that does well in our heat. True green beans like it a little cooler and work better here in the spring and fall, we will have more in a couple months. You can cook these beans like you would green beans. My favorite is to sauté in butter or oil with a little onions and garlic.
Winter Squash Rotation…
This week we have delicata squash coming in the baskets. This variety of squash is more perishable and this will be the main harvest for the delicata. You can look forward to more of the butternut and spaghetti squash over the next few weeks as we send out our harvest. The when cooked and mashed the butternut squash makes a great substitute for canned pumpkin puree. 1&3/4 cup of puree equals one can of pumpkin.
Roasted Delicata Squash
2 delicata squash cut into rings, seeds removed
1-2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup or sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
½ fresh or dried thyme or rosemary
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the squash into rings or half moons and remove any seeds. Place the rings in a large bowl and toss with the honey, salt, pepper, oil and herbs. Place the vegetables on an oiled baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…by Ronda May Melendez
Over this last week, I did not have opportunity to spend time in the garden, but I did spend time in the mountains, walking in the open air. The paths, which I roamed, were tucked amongst the aspen and pine. There were cleared green fields that were mown short and overlooked by peaks.
This was a garden of a different sort. Large and winding swaths of valleys, the paths lined with sedge and the scent of balsam fir filling the air. Much of these seeds and plants had come to be there naturally. They were placed there by nature. Each one holding their place alongside those plants that are quite different themselves and yet, doing so with such a sense of peace.
The sun shone much of my walks; the wind wrapping my face with a tender touch of coolness, keeping the journey quite pleasant. It occurred to me during those moments, these plants and paths had been established because there was room made so that this beautiful growth could occur. These creations did not fuss with what was going on beside them. They did not point out how different their neighboring plant was. They did not try to change all that was going around them. Rather, they were just themselves and grew.
Perhaps, there is a lesson to be seen here. Just as the aspen has glorious, small, fluttering leaves and the pines prickly needles, each has their place and role in the garden. Each needs to maintain its own expression of self. Trying to be the other would be no good. Being angry at one another because of unique differences would be pointless as well. The solution? Accept the space in which they were planted and be the creation they were meant to be.
Can we resist trying to be what we are not? Can we find beauty among the differences, all the while enjoying the sun, wind and journey?