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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash, Basil, Red Onion, Carrots, Beets, Snow Peas or Bok Choy or Spinach, Lettuce Heads, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Kale

Coming Soon… Fennel, Potatoes and Cucumbers

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

The summer squash and basil are signaling the first signs of summer. I have a simple recipe to enjoy the fresh flavors. This week we are also sending out a giant red onion to each of you. And I mean giant. The red onions don’t store as well as the yellow and white varieties, and these are getting so big that they will split in the field and we could lose them. I recommend, roasting or grilling slices of onion and enjoying their sweet flavor on their own. Because they are not cured, store them in the refrigerator in a container or a sealed zip top bag so that the smell doesn’t permeate the entire fridge. If you can’t use it all at once, just cut off a section and put it back in the fridge, it will keep well for a week or more..

Sautéed Summer Squash and Basil

2-3 medium pieces of summer squash, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup chopped basil leaves

salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, squash, and garlic. Sauté the squash for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat, toss with the basil and serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Eat right away.

Roasted Red Onion “Steaks” with Feta Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

You have to really love fresh red sweet onions to enjoy this recipe. But they will melt in your mouth. Slice off the ends and paper exterior of your onion. Thickly slice your fresh red onion into half inch slices being careful to keep them in tact if possible. Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. Brush one tablespoon of olive oil (or cooking spray) with some kosher salt on a silpat mat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Carefully lay the thick slices of onion on the lining. Brush the top and sides of the onion with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place in your preheated onion for 15 minutes and then carefully turn using a pancake turner. Roast another 15 minutes until browned to your liking. Test for doneness with a fork. There should be no resistance. Now sprinkle a small or generous amount of feta on the slices and roast until melted and brown. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Allow to cool five minutes before enjoying.

Colorful Spring Beets…

This week we are harvesting beets. I have two main ways to roast them, but this is by far the easiest and it will maintain the beautiful color of the golden and Chioggia varieties. Let the red beets stain the others for a pretty pink shade. I like to serve these as a salad by themselves with walnuts, goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Roasted Beets

4 beets

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the greens from the beets and reserve for another use. (You can combine the greens with your kale or Swiss chard or eat raw in a salad.) Peel if desired or just scrub well, peeling is not required. Slice the beets in half and then place the flat side on a cutting board and slice into half-moon shapes. Toss them in a large bowl with the salt, pepper and oil. Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…by Cindi J. Martin

We have slowly been planting a few more fruit trees on the plot of land where we harvest produce for our Wellspring Charitable Gardens Subscribers. Every year at this time, the limbs begin to bough down, heavy with dense clusters of green, hard fruit that must be thinned or “cleaned” as the New Testament Gospel calls it (John 15:3).

I have to admit that at the beginning of my agricultural experience I had to invite my farmer friend to the property to help relieve my anxiety about knocking off so much fruit. He explained to me the risks of not thinning. Disease, mildew, damaged fruit, broken limbs and ultimately small sized fruit. Intellectually I understood. But I found that a very greedy emotion came up inside of me when I was told to discard enough fruit so they were about a fist apart from one another. I knew I would need my friend’s help to follow through with pruning and to wait to see whether what he said was really true. Doubt and fear crept in but I did the thinning anyway. After a few years of thinning with my farmer friend, I developed a secure faith and trust in the thinning process and the promised results. Faith and trust in God is built in a similar way. People of great faith often speak of coexisting great fear and doubt. But they built confidence one experience of “doubtful trust” at a time. Emily Dickenson wrote, “We both believe, and disbelieve a hundred times an our, which keeps Believing nimble.” The father who approached Jesus for the healing of his daughter said, “I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”

The thinning of fruit makes room for growing the remaining fruit into maturity. Sometimes, the fruit of the soul is small because we are not thinning out the number of things in our lives. Trying to do too many good things can actually stunt our growth. Sometimes letting several good things drop to the ground so the few things that remain can grow to maturity is an enormous step of faith.

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