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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Broccoli and Sprouting Broccoli, Cabbage or Cauliflower, Spinach, Lacinato Kale, Kohlrabi, Mixed Lettuce, Purple Top Turnips, Lemons and Navel Oranges

Coming Soon… Purple Cabbage, Radishes and Beets

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

The warm weather is beautiful, but it is making for challenges in the garden as the plants are confused as to the season. I had to prioritize our harvest to make sure that we don’t lose any vegetables that will want to form flowers and bolt. With the large amount of broccoli in your basket, I get to continue to share my favorite broccoli salad recipe. I would recommend doubling the recipe here if you like it. The salad is better after a night in the fridge, it’s great to have on hand for a few days. This salad is one of the better ways to eat broccoli cold and uncooked.

Broccoli Salad

3 cups chopped raw broccoli, leaves, florets and stems (peel the thick coarse stem pieces as needed)

¼ cup chopped cooked bacon

¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup finely diced red onion

¼ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar, red or white wine or good apple cider vinegar (balsamic is not recommended)

1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating.

Staff Introduction...

Ronda Melendez

Ronda, how did you begin an interest in gardening?

My interest in “gardening” began very early, as I noticed the structure of flowers particularly and would ponder how they grew that way. In addition, my grandparents would take my younger brother and I out into the woods and taught us how to forage for the plants that were edible.

Where were you born, go to school and or grow up?

I was born in northern Arkansas and grew up exploring the countryside in the mountains of the area until I moved to Ohio as a young teen.

What drew you to volunteer in our Charitable Garden, when did you start and what keeps you passionate about our work?

The drawing interest to Wellspring Charitable garden was the idea of working on as a team, each one utilizing their strengths for the forward momentum and growth of the both the individuals and the project, a purpose for the project that helps others, and I love playing in the dirt All these things keep me passionate, but I believe that it is Cindi’s dedication to her vision for this Garden even in the face of obstacles that has helped me to stay connected.

Who do you call family?

I call those who are involved with one another, want to be engaged and want to know and be known. For this reason, it is not always those who are blood relatives that I would classify as family. In fact, there are those with whom I share DNA and/or legal relative relationship with that I would not classify as true family, while there are others with whom I do not share these specific bonds, that I would classify as family.

What is something interesting about you that others might not know?

I have a deep desire for artistic expression and feel I am really allowing myself to be authentically ‘me’ when I allow myself that freedom.

Winter Salads…

Our winter citrus makes a great salad with fresh spinach. This week we have some beautiful baby spinach, that I planted in December, ready to harvest now. Combine it with a fresh grated raw turnip. If you haven’t eaten turnips raw, you will be amazed at how sweet they are. The best food combinations are when all of the ingredients are fresh out of the garden at the same time.

Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced red onion or shallot

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 cups spinach leaves, washed and chopped

1 turnip, peeled and shredded

1 orange, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese or goat cheese

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine lemon juice, minced onion, salt and olive oil, whisking together in a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and toss to coat everything with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper if needed. Eat right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul …

by Julie Powers

Often as I’m working in the yard, I think of the parallels between the work I am doing with my hands and the work going on inside my heart. If you’re like me, you may be venturing outside to take inventory of your flowerbeds that have been neglected over the winter months. With the recent warm sunshine, it seems as if weeds are popping up everywhere! So, when I came upon a plant full and green at first glance, I thought everything was fine. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the plant had actually entwined with an equally large weed. What I first thought was all healthy growth was actually a plant destined to be choked out by an equally healthy-looking weed that would need to be removed. Weeds and plants rarely cohabitate well before the plant gives way to the weed. Weeds inevitably grow faster, taller, and seemingly have a better ability to utilize water and available nutrients more efficiently than the plants I’m trying to cultivate. And sometimes as I’m surveying my yard my gaze lands on a weed that somehow has grown 2 or 3 feet tall! And I think to myself, how did I miss this? I already know the answer so I shouldn’t be surprised and yet I am. When I’m not out regularly checking the status of my yard, things grow...good and not so good things. Isn’t this how life is? Upon first glance or a casual gaze around us, we might think to ourselves, “My life is pretty good because I see some green growth.” And if we never examine more intently the picture before us, we may never see that the “green” is actually growth in the wrong direction. We might not ever notice that we are actually cultivating soil which produces weeds that choke out healthy growth.

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