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Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens this week - March 21, 2024

Fresh Today…  White Salad Turnips, Red Beets, Curley Kale, Parsnips, Celery, Red Scallions, Red Butterhead Lettuce,  Dill, Thyme, Cilantro, & Citrus

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.


White salad turnips are different from the larger purple top turnips. They are less starchy and have a higher moisture content. They have a tender texture and a sweet taste, more similar to a radish. They can be eaten raw, and can be sliced and added to salads, but are also great lightly cooked. I like to cut them in half and sear them on one side, this caramelizes the natural sugars. You can roast them at a high temperature (about 450° F for 15-20 minutes) or braise them like this recipe where I cook them with their greens. Once you add them to the pan, it’s important NOT to move them around so that the flat side will develop color. If you have a cast iron pan, then is a good recipe to use one.

Braised Turnips with Their Greens


1 bunch salad turnips with greens

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup vegetable stock or water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon cold butter

2 teaspoons honey


Separate the turnips and greens, discard any yellowing leaves. Cut the turnips in halves or quarters, depending on the size of the turnips,so they are about the same size. Chop the greens and stems, rinse away any dirt from the greens if needed and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add turnip halves in a single layer with the flat side down, cook 3-4 minutes, without turning. Add thyme and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add vegetable stock, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until turnips are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and add greens; cook until liquid reduces by three-fourths, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the butter and honey, stirring until the butter is melted. Serve right away.

Remembering the Passion for Palm Sunday

There are many moving and poignant passages of scripture that portray profound depths of anguish. Recall David's anguished cry after learning of his rebellious son’s death at the hands of Joab, his cousin: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Remember the moving lament of Jesus as he looked out over His beloved people in Jerusalem after his so-called “triumphal entry” into the city: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” The anguished pain of betrayal, rejection, and death are felt and known intensely by both humans and God Himself, but the noteworthy difference between David and Jesus is how each bears the burden. One wanted to bear the enormity of the loss, but the Other did!

Celery Salad…

I love the combo of bleu cheese and celery, which started with Buffalo chicken wings and their traditional side of bleu cheese dressing and celery. This salad includes all the components except for the chicken. If you are opposed to the cheese, leave it out. The flavor should be similar to ranch dressing.

Spicy Celery and Bleu Cheese Salad

(Adapted from


1 tablespoon mayonnaise         

1 tablespoon sour cream or        

   plain yogurt                               

2-3 dashes hot sauce                   

¼ teaspoon garlic powder           

Sprinkle of salt and fresh

ground black pepper

3-4 celery ribs thinly sliced,

  leaves chopped

1 carrot shredded

2 green onions, white and

green parts, thinly sliced

3 ounces blue cheese crumbled

Stir together the mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the celery, carrot, and green onion and stir until the veggies are coated. Gently fold in the blue cheese crumbles; taste and add additional salt, black pepper, and hot sauce as desired.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul …

Redeemed on Purpose

by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin


Mallow and goat’s-head, weeds native to our fertile valley, are banes of the garden. They are invasive and aggressive intruders. Mallow spreads rapidly after spring rains, roots deeply, and is stubborn as the day is long. The puncture vine called goat’s-head is devious and deserving of its nicknames - devil’s-thorn and earth’s-terror. It emerges in spring but thrives in summer, despite the parched ground. Its barbed and sun-hardened seed casings pierce me as I weed, poking through my leather gloves to puncture my tender skin. Should you think this is just another garden weed rant, be encouraged; it’s not. With all intruders in my life, I want to know why they are here, how they emerge, where their roots run, and whether they can be used for good. Mallow and devil’s-thorn are no different, so as I pull, I ponder and prepare my mind for the research.  


My first thoughts are practical and based on experience and my simple objective: How do I remove these vile weeds from the garden! Pulling mallow demands strenuous effort and extreme care. I gather its unruly green stems into a firm grip and pull hard – no, extremely hard - while stabilizing myself.  When it releases its hold on the soil, the force will knock me over if I am not settled securely! To avoid the devil’s-thorn pain, I keep clear of its tangled outer vines hidden beneath seductive yellow blooms. They conceal sun-tempered barbs. Instead, I grasp its barbless center taproot and pull. The techniques are simple and effective but tedious. Weeding is never easy. Exhausted, I need rest.


Now rested, I do the research. Like so many irritating and painful things in life, these vile weeds, I learn, can serve a purpose. Mallow is edible and provides one of the highest sources of Vitamin A found in vegetation! Mallow grows well in marshes. Ancient Egyptians used its root sap to make marshmallows. Sweet! Devil’s-thorn has healing nutrients in its thorny seed pods, tangled vines, and center taproot. Chinese herbalists grind these to powder and prescribe it to promote heart health, healthy skin, athletic performance, and to increase libido. Go figure! Ironically, these “weeds” flourish in areas described as “disturbed and waste places.”


What landscapes in your life have become “disturbed and waste places”? What vile weeds have overtaken the mental or emotional terrain in your sacred garden? Do they overrun your thoughts or poke through to your heart? If so, I want to encourage your resolve to enter your sacred garden and engage those weeds in battle. First quiet your mind and settle your heart before the LORD; then swing your garden gate open to Him. Our Creator is the Master Gardener. Tireless, He knows where to grab, has the power to pull, and can remove and repurpose those vile weeds. No effort or growth is wasted in His garden. He will redeem your landscape and restore your garden for good. Then you will find rest.


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