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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Kohlrabi, Lettuce Heads, Baby Arugula, New Potatoes, Summer Squash, Cucumber, Basil, Green Onions, Carrots, Beets, Garlic and Cilantro

Coming Soon…Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have one of the best treats coming in our baskets, freshly dug new potatoes. I am always amazed at how good they taste compared to anything that you can get at the store. And, rightly so, because, even though potatoes are available every day of the year at the supermarket, they only come out of the ground once a year. A fresh potato, is full of vitamins and minerals and flavor that can’t last though a year of storage. The sugars and starches are at their peak and when you roast them in the oven they will brown perfectly. We planted a variety of thin-skinned heirloom potatoes. They don’t need to be peeled, just give them a good scrub. Season well with salt to balance the potassium in the potato, and enjoy your roasted potato wedges dipped in classic basil pesto, made with our fresh picked basil.

Roasted Potato Wedges

2 pounds potatoes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, leave the peel on and cut into wedges. 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.

Classic Basil Pesto

2 cups basil leaves

1-2 cloves garlic

1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup olive oil

Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with pasta, white beans, steamed rice, as a sauce for seafood or chicken.

Two Easy Potato Salad Recipes

4-5 scrubbed new potatoes boiled with skins until tender to the fork. Allow potatoes to cool. Peel or leave the skins on. Cube or slice.

Creamed Potato Salad: Mince one garlic clove, 2 green onions, 2 Tbls red onion, dill and/or parsley and stir into ¼ - ½ cup of sour cream or yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, warm yogurt or sour cream and mix into potatoes (red potatoes if possible). Serve warm or cold.

Swabian Potato Salad: Chop one yellow onion and add to 1 cup of beef broth, 1/8 tsp white pepper, 1.5 tsp. salt, 2-3 tsp. sugar, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 TBls. canola oil (opt), 1 tsp German mustard. Bring to a boil. Pour over sliced boiled new potatoes (yellow potatoes if possible). Cover bowl and allow to marinate for one hour. Garnish with minced chives.

Cucumbers are getting started…

The cucumbers in the picture below are just reaching a third of the way up our trellis. The rows are all organized and neat right now. Soon everything will be running wild and we will appreciate the trellis, keeping the garden in a vertical direction. It’s nice to enjoy the cucumbers with a simple dressing in this recipe here.

Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber, peeled and seeds removed if desired

¼ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ cup sliced red onion

Sprinkle of red chili flakes

2 teaspoons rice vinegar or white wine or red wine vinegar

Cut the cucumber in half from top to bottom and the slice each piece, with the flat side down on your cutting board, into thin half-moons. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, salt, sugar, red onion, red chili flakes and vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes and then enjoy.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Cindi J. Martin . . . The Teaching Tree

We have an early ripening apricot tree on the plot of land from

which we harvest each Thursday. The first tree to offer ripe fruit in late Spring, the beautiful ros

y orange, sun kissed color of the fruit has often deceived me into picking fruit prematurely. This tree has taught me to sweep away any thoughts of picking from the tree branches until I begin to see fallen apricots on the ground. The beautiful fruit will yield to my pull but will most assuredly taste sour. Instead of grasping, I must simply test the ripeness of each apricot by gently touching a finger to the flesh of the apricot at its stem. If it is ripe, it will literally fall into my hand without a tug or a pull. It simply yields to my gentle touch. I dare not grasp with two fingers or I will have plucked yet another sour apricot. I have found that the best and sweetest apricots from this tree are those that have fallen to the ground. I have come to accept that my task is to gather rather than pick fruit early every morning and to be willing to share some of the harvest with the ants and birds who arrive before I do.

This experience reminds me how gentle our Master Gardener is with His human trees! He is patient with the unique needs of all His children. When we plant our families, homes, friends, ministries and careers, we have ideas about how they will look and the sweet ways they will taste upon maturity. We may even have feelings of entitlement when it comes to tasting the fruit from trees we have planted and cultivated. It is certainly not wrong to want to enjoy the fruit of our labor because even God talks of His expectations of enjoying the good grapes in the vineyard of His planting (Isaiah 5). But we must be cautious about judging things to be ripe for the picking by appearance only. We can be so quick to grasp at the fruit of our efforts. We sometimes pull and tug at people and even demand that their lives produce the sweet fruit we desire. And then, when the taste is bitter or sour, we marvel at their tart behavior toward us! May the Lord give each of us grace to wait patiently and have a gentle touch rather than a demanding grasp when it comes to the harvest of our lives.

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