From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Sprouting Broccoli, Celery Stalks, Green Onions, Cabbage or Cauliflower or Swiss Chard, Kale, Carrots, Rosemary, Arugula and Braising Greens Mixed, Bok Choy, Oregano and Oranges

Coming Soon… Cauliflower and Broccoli

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

For the next few weeks we will have a limited supply of vegetables, but the garden keeps providing us with an assortment of produce that we can put together to make amazing meals. This week we should have enough bok choy and sprouting broccoli for everyone so I started with an Asian influenced recipe combining the two. By separating the bok choy leaves and stems you can cook the white stems enough to become tender, while keeping the leaves from over cooking. Look forward to more creative combinations until we get to spring.

Sautéed Bok Choy and Broccoli

1 bunch bok choy

3-4 pieces sprouting broccoli, including stems

1 tablespoon oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 green onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Cut white bok choy stalks from the green leaves; slice the stalks into ¼ inch pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. In a large skillet, add the oil, garlic, red chili flakes, bok choy stalks and broccoli. Stir for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add ¼ cup water and cover, simmer over medium-low until broccoli is bright green, 3-5 minutes. Uncover the pan, cook on high, if needed, until water almost evaporates, then add bok choy leaves, ginger, green onions and soy sauce. Stir until the leaves are wilted and serve immediately with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Soup Making 101…

With the assortment of vegetables that we will see in the next few weeks, making a simple soup is the perfect answer for an easy meal no matter what we have available. I put together a list of mix and match components to bring together a complete meal. Instead of a recipe use this as a template to create your favorite combination.

Liquid:

Water, broth, stock, miso paste, bouillon or base, or bean liquid (from home-cooked beans)

Vegetables:

Anything cut up into bite-size pieces

Meat:

Cooked chicken or beef, chopped or shredded, but you can also use a bit of sausage or raw shrimp.

Grains, beans, rice, pasta:

Add raw rice and pasta when the soup simmers. Add pre-cooked grains and beans to make you soup faster. These add bulk and calories to your soup. You can omit them if you are avoiding grains. Because soup is water-based, it is inherently low in calories, and if you are hungry, these components will make your soup more filling.

Garnishes:

Soy sauce, fresh herbs, green onions, chili flakes, hot sauce, fermented vegetables, kimchi, lemon juice, vinegar, chopped pickled vegetables, extra virgin olive oil or toasted sesame oil, grated Parmesan cheese.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul

Bone to Bud... by Cindi J. Martin

A blustery autumn or early winter day will strip a tree of its multicolored coat of leaves. What is surprisingly hopeful behind this loss is the tiny bump of a bud that has been quietly growing at that exact placement of the leaf on the boney limb. It is the promise of spring on the eve of winter that pushes the colored leaf to risk a final wind sailing performance. When we observe closely, we see that the new growth is nudging the leaf into the final plunge; into a descent, sometimes violently blown, sometimes gently gliding before it lands upon the good earth.

Each season of our lives seems to include some shade or color of letting go. In the winter of loss, we rarely perceive the promise of growth under the grief that is nudging us to take a risky plunge into the unknown. We do not imagine that our singular loss might involve fullness of gain. The tree seems to quietly welcome the loss of leaves and the wintery cold and understand they are necessary precursors to buds that will burst into flower and leaf when the warmth of spring has come. As the fruit tree flowers lose their petals in late spring, the once small center ripens toward a fully plump harvest of summer. It is a comfort to know that letting go is followed by growth. Is there something in our lives that is nudging us to let go of something precious? Are we holding on tightly and resisting the inevitable free fall into the unknown? May we learn from the wisdom of the trees to trust God’s transforming power as we work at letting go and waiting in hope of new growth. Somehow I can just imagine the trees clapping their hands in Praise of God and His children as we go out and grow in joy and peace!

“For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace and the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

---- Isaiah 55:12-13

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209-607-1887

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