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Fresh Today from Wellspring Charitable Gardens - January 18, 2024

Fresh Today… Graffiti Purple or Romanesco or Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Carrots of Color, Deadon Red/Green Cabbage, Broccoli, Fennel, Green Onions, Butterhead or Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Meyer Lemons, Blood Oranges, Key Limes & Pink Grapefruit

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.


This week we have Romanesco coming. Romanesco is a close relative of cauliflower and can be used the same way. I included a recipe to use this unique find. Because of the way that this grows we will split the baskets and some people will get Graffiti Purple or Purple of Sicily cauliflower and some Romanesco. Both can be used interchangeably in the same recipes, but I will tell you that I ended up with purple soup a few weeks ago, that tasted great, but was a little strange in appearance. This week I included a recipe for Minestrone. Minestrone is an Italian vegetable stew, usually made with pasta, beans and whatever vegetables you have on hand. I added our fennel, which will make a great addition and make sure to use some greens. This week’s cabbage is a great option, but you can substitute with other greens like kale or Swiss chard on weeks when you have those on hand.

Minestrone Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced

½ cup diced fennel

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 28 ounce can, diced tomatoes

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth or water

1 15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup small pasta, like elbows or rotini

2 cups chopped cabbage

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

* Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and fennel; cook until they begin to soften, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the dried oregano and salt; cook 1 more minute.  Add the tomatoes and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in white beans and pasta and cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cabbage.  Season the soup with salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired.  Ladle into bowls and top with the Parmesan cheese.

“…lift up your eyes and look on the fields;

they are white for harvest.


Hey subscribers, do you have a few hours to spare on Thursdays?  Would you like to pick the very produce that will be placed in your purple bag for the week?  Think about joining us for a visit to our garden!  We would love to meet you face to face.  If you would like to join us in a short devotional, we start at 8:30 am.  Otherwise, just jump into the harvest by arriving at 9:45 am.  You can stay a couple of hours or until we are done - usually between noon and 1:00 pm - depending upon how many volunteers join us that day.


Besides taking applications for new regular volunteers, we are also looking for a paid staff person who can work 16 hours a week on Mondays and Thursdays.  If you know someone who is looking for rewarding part-time work, enjoys gardening, and is willing to work in all weather conditions, please have them call Cindi at 209-607-1887. Hope to see you here!


This week’s Romanesco is a special cauliflower that was selected for the spiralized form that is naturally created in nature. You can roast it whole to keep its unique shape before eating or just cut it into florets and enjoy it roasted in this recipe. You can substitute graffiti or Purple of Sicily.


Roasted Romanesco with Raisins and Pine Nuts


1 medium head Romanesco cauliflower

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon seasoning salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup raisins


* Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the Romanesco into florets and add to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and garlic. Mix well and spread the florets on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook in the oven about 15 minutes. The remove from the oven and sprinkle the florets with raisins and pine nuts. Return to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Serve right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Beauty Unfolds in Failure

by Keith F Martin

Romanesco is a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli. It is an edible “flower” from the family Brassica and so a relative of cabbage, kale, chard, and Brussels sprouts. Also called Roman cauliflower or Broccolo Romanesco, it has a slightly sweeter, nuttier taste than cauliflower and can be enjoyed raw, roasted, steamed, or seared.


Even more appealing than Romanesco’s delightfully nuanced taste is its striking beauty. Its fractal structure - the spiral bud pattern that reaches upward and outward - portrays the Fibonacci Sequence, a recursive series of numbers where each in the sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers (e.g.: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, …). As the sequence develops, the numbers become larger and the distance between them greater. As the sequence continues, the ratio of adjacent numbers persistently approaches, but never reaches, the constant value of 1.618. That ratio - depicted by the Greek letter phi Φ – is called the Golden Mean by Aristotle, the Golden Ratio by Euclid, and the Divine Proportion by Leonardo da Vinci. The ratio is considered the ideal aesthetic for proportion since it creates the most visually pleasing relationship of parts to a whole and to each other. Thus, a proportion found throughout creation (from the spiral galaxy to the double helix structure of DNA) expresses the Divine Design for beauty and provides the ideal form found in Classic Greek and Renaissance art.


Romanesco derives its striking beauty from its persevering buds. It forms a bud that tries, but fails, to unfold and fully flower. These failed flowers then sprout new buds to make new flowers, which also fail to fully form. Upward and outward repeats the process of failure that creates Romanesco’s beautiful spiral floret pattern and displays the Divine Proportion described by the Fibonacci Sequence. Unparalleled beauty develops in its striving, not in its succeeding.


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