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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Tomatoes, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Thyme, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Green Onions, Sweet Corn, and Crenshaw Melons

Coming Soon… Winter Squash and Sweet Potatoes

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week’s harvest is looking very similar to last week. As we desperately are waiting for our fall, which I describe as a very slight cooling at night. I have been looking for new recipes, mixing up the same vegetables that we have growing, in slightly different ways. I started with a fresh summer pasta. The important step is to cook the eggplant first, longer than the other squash and much longer than the tomatoes and corn. This pasta makes a quick, weeknight meal.

Fresh Summer Pasta

8 ounces dry linguine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

2 summer squash, halved and sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

Kernels from 1 ear corn

¼ cup dry white wine

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and set it aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and ½ teaspoon salt and stir, let it cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the zucchini and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and corn, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, then toss to coat with the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and basil, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Cucumbers and Tomatoes…

This fresh vegetable salad uses peppers and green onions along with cucumbers and tomatoes. Mint and parsley are the traditional herbs, but you can use basil or cilantro or other fresh herbs.

Israeli Salad

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 small cucumber, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

¼ cup sliced green onion

½ cup fresh herbs, roughly chopped (parsley, mint and basil)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Serve with couscous or rice.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda May Melendez

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -- Ephesians 2:10

It is amazing to me, that before time began, God was preparing all that we would need to live life fully and abundantly, not just limping along, but thriving! He is a God of preparation. Because He loves us, He set a plan in motion that must be seen to completion…our God is not One who operates by halves. Yet, I am astounded at how easily I forget.

I reflect on the work we do here at the garden. There is a plan; there must be. To pull forward with the best of the resources given, we must reflect on the seasons and the types of plants which thrive according to each season. We must account for the type of nourishment each plant needs; the type of weeding, thinning; how each must be harvested and stored. We then

communicate with one another regarding these plans. The workmanship and creativity of the volunteers join together to bring forth the best from the land, the plants, and from each of us. In these moments of collaboration with God and others, we become living works of art…workmanship. Why? To accomplish the good works God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

What a privilege to participate in this venture of life and gardening together!! I delight in my depths to see each of you bring what God has equipped you to do. You are each important and unique. You bring what no one else can; it is what God created for you while He knitted you together in your mother’s womb. Thank you for bringing who you are.

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