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Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens Today - May 23, 2024

Fresh Today… Snap Peas, Butterhead Lettuce, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Kale, Spinach, Fennel, Carrots, Beets, Onions, Edible Flower (Chamomile), Dill, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, & Lavender

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.


I had a squash recipe in mind, and then Cindi mentioned making a squash gratin. I love the idea, but I didn’t want a heavy rich dish that would hide the squash flavors, so I made several changes to what I found online and combined it with my mom’s recipe which has southwestern flavor.  I cut the squash by hand and salted it for 30 minutes to drain off excess moisture, then I made a thick roux (flour-butter) with milk and mixed it with the squash and herbs, layered the mix in a casserole dish with a little cheese.  Its texture is soft and creamy from cooking the squash, but this is a vegetable dish first with cream-based goodness second. Use basil and oregano with Parmesan or you can take it southwest and use a hot chili like I did.

Summer Squash Gratin


5 summer squash

1 & ½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

¼ cup diced onion

1-2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno,

   fresh herbs, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs

¼ cup grated cheese


* Slice the summer squash thin. You can use a mandolin, but I like a slightly thicker slice for the squash and use my knife.  You can slice them lengthwise or cut coins.  Put the squash into a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the squash is sitting, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour, mix well for 1 minute. Add the milk to the flour-butter mixture and stir over medium heat until thickened, set aside. Drain the squash in a colander and rinse with water, then let the squash drain completely.  Put the squash back in the bowl and combine with the thickened milk, onion, herbs, and cheese, stir well. In a buttered 9-inch casserole dish layer the squash slices, scraping the bowl and covering the squash with any remaining gooey cheese mix.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until bubbly, remove from oven, and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Slice into portions and serve. You can alternatively let the gratin cool completely, slice when cold, and reheat to 140 degrees.

“Be Still…” Day Retreat


The noise, clamor, or static of life can interfere with our ability to discern the still small voice of God, which often come to us as a question: “Adam, where are you?”; To Cain, “Why are you angry?”; To Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”; “What are you doing here, Elijah?”; To Ezekiel, “Son of Man, can these bones live?” Jesus, “Who do you say I am?” Responding to God’s probing questions requires us to examine and reveal the condition of our heart. This is best done in those rare moments we set aside for quiet, unhurried reflection.


Join us, won’t you, in the garden this Saturday, May 25, 9 AM – 4 PM, for a day of quiet retreat from the distracting noise that prevents us from hearing the voice of the LORD. RSVP to Pastor Jon Byron of Press Pause Ministries at

Fennel Bulbs…


Fennel is a strong flavored vegetable that people often love or hate. I think that I just need to help people learn to cook it. If you are not a fan of raw fennel, I recommend cooking it. The longer you cook it, `the more the flavor mellows. You may enjoy this recipe with fennel sautéed in olive oil and white wine.


Sautéed Carrots, Fennel, & Kale

2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)           

1 fennel bulb                         

4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced       

¼ cup fresh sliced onion              

1 clove chopped garlic               

½ tsp salt

4-5 cups Kale, chopped

2 tbsp white wine (or lemon juice)

¼ cup fresh chopped herbs

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper


* Cut the fennel bulb in half and then chop across the grain. In a large sauté pan, pour the olive oil (or melt the butter) and add the onion, garlic, carrots, fennel, and salt. Stir over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes then reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan, stirring occasionally until the carrots are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the lid, add the spinach and turn the heat up to high, add the white wine (or lemon) and stir until it has evaporated. Add the herbs and pepper, taste if it needs more salt and serve.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Grateful Awareness

by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin


Wandering the garden rows this morning filled my heart with joy and gratitude - two emotions sorely absent from this battered soul. The garden is a refuge, a sacred place where my senses are quickened, and I am invited outside of myself to engage. Chittering magpies flitter nearby and dart between poplar limb and olive branch. Cool dew gathers between my toes and grass blades tickle my feet. A Jasmine scented warm west wind breezes lazily over the fence rails to caress my nose. Flame callas unfold red spathes to reveal yellow and orange petals that enliven an otherwise drab, shaded stretch of east facing fence. Plump cherries, nestled just beyond hand’s reach in the upper boughs, tempt in their glossy red attire and bid me “Taste!”


Today’s garden delights are balm for my soul. So often, though, I hurry past these remarkably tangible blessings, unaware of their presence or of what the Father bestows through their beautiful being. Heart and mind pressed and numbed by cares and doing, I easily overlook or indifferently decline their sensual offering. I have become overly familiar with them, taking for granted their simple beauty and seasonal presence. Plants and creatures offer freely what they are, give what they are created to be – Delight! Through them, the LORD declares His Glory, displays his handiwork, and reveals His design for creation.  The Psalmist bids me, “Taste, and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”


Could it be that when we find ourselves discontent in earthly relationships, we are overlooking the Life and Being in Whose image humans are created? Perhaps, we cannot appreciate or understand the supreme value of such a divine gift because it seems so incredible or has become so ordinary to us. Let us ask the Lord of Life to open our eyes and hearts to His sacred Presence revealed in all created life. Revived, we can joyfully offer Him our gratitude and others our respect. 


“…what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

   Romans 1:20


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