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Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens - February 22, 2024

Fresh Today…  Cabbage or Romanesco Cauliflower, Purple or Green Sprouting Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Beets, Parsnips, Carrots, Kale, Green Butterhead Lettuce, Green Onions, Dill, Cilantro, Lemons, Limes, & Grapefruit

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.


I often make a pasta and vegetable recipes for quick and easy dinners. This type of dish is versatile, and you can substitute the Swiss chard for other veggies, depending on what is in season, or mix up the vegetables. With chard, you will want to separate the thick stems from the quick cooking leaves. Slice the stems across the grain and cook them first with the onions so they have more time to soften. I will warn you that the red and pink stems will bleed their color into the dish, turning the pasta into a pretty shade of pink. This recipe will serve two as a main course or four as a small side dish. If you want to make more, you can double the recipe and use beet greens mixed with the chard to have more vegetables.

Swiss Chard and Pasta


½ pound linguini or spaghetti pasta  

2 tablespoons butter 

½ onion, thinly sliced  

1 bunch Swiss chard leaves and stems,

cut stems into thin strips, and chop leaves

½ teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons white wine or water 

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese 

Fresh ground pepper 


** In a large pot, bring about 8 cups water to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water and then add the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan, heat the butter, onion and Swiss chard stem slices.  Cook the for about 2-3 minutes and add the Swiss chard leaves and ½ teaspoon salt.  Toss the chard and onion together and add the white wine or water.  Place a lid on the pan and allow the chard to steam for 1-2 more minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat.  When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the chard.  Toss together with half of the parmesan cheese and then portion out into serving bowls, topping with the remaining cheese and fresh ground pepper. 

Loofah – Your Garden-Grown Veggie Buddy


Months back we created an Instagram contest - “Name that Useful Vegetable” - to promote WCG. Some contestants said “Cucumber” but those in-the-know replied “Loofah.” Though loofah can be picked young and eaten, the loofah allowed to fully mature and dry on the vine becomes a remarkably non-abrasive scrub pad. It can be used in the kitchen to wash dirty dishes or in the bath to gently remove dry skin. The loofah is no ordinary vegetable – it is useful, versatile, gentle, and renewable. What more could you want from your kitchen or bath buddy?   

Plant your Loofah seeds in late April or early May. Provide a trellis structure to support the climbing vine. Allow the fruit to hang and stretch downward as it grows. Harvest in late fall before the rains.

Not So Secret Recipe…


When we have carrots available to harvest each week, I always have ranch dressing in the fridge. It’s simple and quick to make. I included dill because we have it now and it brings fresh flavor to the creamy base.

Ranch Dressing


½ cup sour cream or plain      

     yogurt or buttermilk          

½ cup mayonnaise                     

1 tablespoon lemon juice               

1 large clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon chopped dill

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

* Combine all the ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes, if possible, before you serve and enjoy.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Rest and Rise

by Cindi J Martin


I recently mentioned to a friend that I experience the presence of God when baking bread. Knowing my limitations from pain after three cervical spine surgeries, she asked if the demands of working the dough increased my pain. The reason I can bake bread without increasing my pain, I said, is that while “allowing the dough to rest and rise” I am able to rest and renew. Rest benefits both the bread and the baker.  Rest lets dough fully hydrate, which relaxes the starches in the flour. Helped along by air and yeast, the relaxed dough expands and becomes more pliable and easier to shape. Rest elevates the character of the dough and the quality of the baked bread by creating a delightful open crumb and airy light texture. Rest and those results elevate the mood and well-being of the baker.


Rest is not merely beneficial, it is transformational. In Under the Unpredictable Plant, Eugene Peterson comments on the spiritual significance of rest in the works of Jonah and Jesus. His work is a study of vocational holiness inspired by the resistant prophet Jonah and his three-day ordeal in the belly of the whale. Jonah’s Second Day, sandwiched between being swallowed up and being spit out, was a sacred and silent time for his transformation, just as Jesus’ Second Day in the grave was. Saturday provided Jesus a Sabbath rest that separated the Good Friday work on the cross from the Easter Sunday work of resurrection from the grave. As I read Peterson’s reflections, it occurred to me that Jesus’ three-day ordeal - from the garden through the grave to the empty tomb - could be likened to baking bread. As the Bread of Life, Jesus’ body, like dough, rested in the grave after having been severely beaten and bruised, just as dough is worked in the kneading process. After the “leaven” of sin had worked itself through His body on Friday, He rested on Saturday. Eternally significant promises were fulfilled that Second Day - the Silent Saturday - in preparation for His promised and victorious Sunday rising.


Still a recovering work-/ministry-a-holic, I do not rest easy, but the LORD God has taught me through this weary and broken body how to rest, how to Sabbath, and allow His Spirit to transform me with Light, Life, and Truth from within. Slow to learn why sacred Rest is essential, I supposed the holy command did not apply when I was busy doing “the Lord’s work.” Rest seemed a waste of precious time that would be better invested in kingdom work with people. I now know that rest IS a sacred gift from the LORD and a holy act of worship: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


Remarkable things happen to bread dough as it rests, wonderful things happen to garden soil as it lies fallow, and miraculous things happen to our souls when we rest in the presence of the LORD Almighty. May we all take to heart the gift of rest in His life preserving Word: “Cease striving and know that I AM God!” 


“If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasures, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”  Isaiah 58:13-14


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