From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Radishes, Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Assorted Eggplant, Heirloom Pumpkin, Radishes, Green Onions, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Salanova Lettuce, Mixed Arugula Greens, Strawberries and Fuyu Persimmons

Coming Soon… Curly Kale, Green Beans and Snap Peas

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This year we grew a few heirloom pumpkin varieties. This week we will send out the Squash Musquee de Provence and Thai Rai Kaw Tok. They have orange flesh and are sweet and meaty. I cut one in half, scooped out the seeds and cooked it in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Then scooped out the flesh and will use it as typical pumpkin puree. I was amazed at the amount of flesh and the meatiness of the pumpkin. The walls of the pumpkin were so thick that I would also suggest cutting off a wedge and slicing it into portions or cutting into cubes, then you could roast the pieces with salt, pepper and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. You can then save the remaining raw pumpkin in the refrigerator.

Roasted Pumpkin with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

4-5 cups pumpkin, cut into cubes or slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup walnuts

fresh ground pepper to taste

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the oil, salt and honey. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until tender. In the same oven, while cooking the pumpkin, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. When the pumpkin done, place on a serving dish and top with the walnuts, goat cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Simple, Sweet, Sliced Fuju Persimmons for Snacking

My favorite way to eat a Fuju persimmon is to thinly slice them horizontally and then enjoy them as a sweet, nutritious snack. Slicing in this way reveals a lovely star pattern, similar to that of an apple but without the seeds. You can chop them and add them to a salad or just enjoy them as they are. Sometimes you may encounter some very large brown seeds, which you can remove

and dispose of easily. But most of the time, they are not visible.

Sweet and Heat Together…

My favorite food combination is sweet and spicy food. In a savory dish I always think of chili. The fall is the perfect time for our peppers, both sweet and spicy. I found an interesting vegan chili recipe with pumpkin too, so this seemed like a good choice for this week. Whether you are vegan or not you will find it delicious with the sweet pumpkin puree.

Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

half an onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 sweet peppers, chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

2 cups walnuts, chopped

1 cup red lentils

1 cup bulgur

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon salt

4 cups water or broth

2 cups pumpkin puree

2 or 3 - 14-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2-3 green onions, sliced for garnish

½ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven sauté the onions, garlic, sweet and hot peppers in the olive oil until soft. Add the walnuts, lentils bulgur, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and water. Bring the pot to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils and bulgur are cooked. Add in the pumpkin puree and the drained black beans. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with sliced green onions and cilantro

Metaphors of Soil and Soul … by Ronda May Melendez

Mallow and Goat’s Head…Do they have a place in a garden, yard…life? They are big and noxious. Mallow’s roots are strong and stubborn as the day is long…while, Goat’s Head is rather devilish… just like its rather appropriate nickname, Devil’s Thorn, suggests. The nuts from Devil’s Thorn mock me while I work, poking through my leather gloves and piercing my skin. Now, lest you think that this is just another garden rant, I want you to be encouraged…as with most things in my life…I try to make a point of inquiring why the irritants are present. Where are the roots? Why are these things there? Can they be used for good? Should I do something about them or just leave them be? The case with the Mallow and Devil’s Thorn is no different, so as I pulled…I pondered. Then, I researched. My simple ponderings are based on observations, which brought me to simple conclusions and simple objectives. For example, the Mallow requires me to dig in deep and pull hard, stabilizing myself, because the pulling efforts will knock me over if I am not careful! The Devil’s Thorn requires me to forego trying to touch the outward showings of the plant if I want to avoid immediate pain. Instead, I must go to the top of the root and pull from there. That technique is simple enough and effective but nothing is ever that simple with me. Curious minds must inquire to know! So, upon further research, I found that they, like most other irritating and painful things in life, these weeds actually serve a greater purpose. The Mallow for example, is edible in all of its parts. It is, in fact, one of the highest sources of Vitamin A among vegetation! It can be used to make marshmallows, which, is where its name originates…it is the mallow from the marshes. Devil’s Thorn on the other hand, serves as a medicinal plant for many ailments! Its healing nutrients are found within that devilish thorny pod and within the roots. Ironically, both of these “weeds” are found in what one writer calls “disturbed and waste places”. Are there areas in your life in which you would describe as “disturbed and wasted”? Are there irritants there that seem to poke and tear at your heart; at your very being? May I encourage you to quiet your heart in the middle of these places and ask the Creator, what good He might have in mind for these things in your life? Nothing is wasted in His economy. Even amongst the weeds, when it seems all is meant for evil, He can help us find the things that make for our good.

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