Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - November 9, 2023
Fresh Today… Carrots, Beets, Butterleaf Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Watermelon Radish, White Salad Turnip, Winter Butternut Squash, Green Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Sugar Snap Peas, Cilantro, Fuyu Persimmon & Pomegranate
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.
The weather has cooled, and we’ve pulled the last of the squash and cucumber plants out of the ground. Enjoy the last of them until next year. Last week we saw the first broccoli and cabbage, look for lots more to come over the winter. The cold weather naturally sweetens our root vegetables. The starches are converted to sugars in the plant as the air temperature cools to protect the plant from freezing. This helps all of our winter crops but is most notable in our carrots and root vegetables like turnips. We have more arugula coming this week. This spicy green is related to turnips and radishes but has a soft and tender leaf. The peppery bite balances well with rich foods like cheese and nuts, as well as meat and eggs. Try it in this salad.
with Bacon and Eggs
2 thick slices of bacon, cut into strips
1 large shallot or ¼ red onion,
6 cups arugula
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
(optional, depending on how much
fat comes from the bacon)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
* Bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the eggs. In a skillet, heat the bacon over medium-low heat, slowly rendering the bacon until crisp. Add the shallot to the bacon and cook until it’s wilted and translucent and the bacon is crisp, about 2 minutes more. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into individual small bowls or ramekins. Lower the water to a simmer and carefully add the eggs one at a time. Cook gently until the white is completely set but the yolk is still runny, 3-4 minutes. Put the arugula in a salad bowl and spoon the bacon-shallot mixture over the greens. Toss together to evenly coat. Add oil if desired then sprinkle the arugula with the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and divide amongst plates or bowls. Top with poached eggs and serve immediately.
The Chill Is Gone!
Giovanni at Cornucopia is singing that soulful B. B. King lament. Their walk-in fridge is on the fritz. If you leave your WCG Produce Bag there overnight, it won’t be held in cold storage. A new unit will cost around $14,000 so they have no plans to replace it soon. Anybody need a walk-in closet?
A Blessed Break
Thursday, November 23, is Thanksgiving Day – a holy-day to gather with family and friends to give Thanks to God for His goodness, His grace, and His blessings. So that we may celebrate with our family and friends, we will NOT be harvesting or sending out produce Thanksgiving Day. Your familiar purple WCG produce bags will return filled with fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs on November 30!
When the weather cools, the tomatoes left on the vine never fully ripen. These green tomatoes are still edible, and they can hold up to longer cooking times. Try this fried green tomato recipe to continue to enjoy the summer bounty.
Fried Green Tomatoes
(adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
3 medium green tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
½ cup of buttermilk or milk
and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup cornmeal
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup oil for frying
Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch slices, sprinkle with the salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Combine the flour and paprika in a shallow bowl and set aside. Combine the egg and buttermilk in a second shallow bowl. Combine the cornmeal and breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl. Start heating the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, then dip the tomato slices in the flour mix, then the egg/buttermilk mix and then the bread crumb mix pressing until evenly coated with breadcrumbs. Fry in batches until golden brown on each side about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain. Serve with ranch dressing or remoulade.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
Reflection on Perfection
by Keith F Martin
This week, the usual produce in your purple bag will be replaced by more attractive product grown at Perfection Farms, Inc. On second thought, probably not. We have noticed a few of our fruits and vegetables have slight blemishes that give them a rather unsavory look. Their unsightly shape, skin, or shade do not represent the ideal Forms of The Tomato, The Carrot, or The Squash that Plato says exist somewhere in some unseen reality. In his Allegory of the Cave illustrating the “fallen” nature of visible reality, Plato says we see cast onto the cave wall of our dim reality only the distorted shadows of the ideal Forms. (What is the ideal Form of something called “squash,” anyway?)
Aesthetic imperfections, the reality of our imperfect world, glaringly expose the natural, but varied impact of sun, soil, and water on the appearance of our produce. These surface blemishes proudly declare their tree-, soil-, or vine-ripened goodness. At WCG, we prefer to call such slight deviations from perfection “beauty marks.” Confucius said (Or was it Bruce Lee?), “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Yes, industrial farms have perfected countless distasteful practices for providing flawless looking produce – applying toxic pesticides, early picking, culling undesirables, storage ripening. Perfect form, though, comes at the expense of robust flavor and incomparable freshness. “Big Farm” delivers the perfect pebble but discards the diamond in the rough. Have you tasted a store-bought tomato lately? It has the taste of stone. It seduces the eye but disappoints the tongue.
We trust your preferences, like ours, bend more toward superior taste and freshness than pleasing appearance. We hope you will thoroughly enjoy any “imperfect” produce you find in your purple bag. If you do not, please let us know how we may provide you a more satisfying selection of fresh and flavorful fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Thank you for your support and your appreciation of quality that is more than skin deep.
“…God sees not as man sees,
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
X-Files: Alien Produce
Abduction & Mutilation