From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Tomatoes, Sweet Corn, Summer Squash, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Basil, Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers, Nectarines, Peaches, Sun Flowers, Plums and Apricots
Coming Soon… Melons and Eggplant
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
We will have more of all our summer vegetables coming. If you are already feeling like there are too many tomatoes, here is my trick for storing them. Cut out the stem and then freeze the tomato whole. I keep a bag in the freezer and fill it a few as a time, as the tomatoes get too ripe to sit on the counter for any longer. Then when you are ready you can pull out and thaw the tomatoes, drain the water that comes out and then cook and blend then into tomato sauce. For fresh tomatoes, I recommend salsa, tomato salads and BLT’s, below is a quick sauté that combines the tomatoes with summer squash and our fragrant basil.
Italian Sautéed Summer Squash and Tomatoes
1-2 medium pieces of summer squash, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup chopped basil leaves
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large sauté pan cook the cubed squash, garlic, salt and oil over medium heat, for about 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic starts to brown. Add the white wine and continue cooking uncovered until the wine has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and basil, cook about 2 minutes more until the tomatoes are hot. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Eat right away.
We planted an heirloom variety of sweet corn this year from that we got from Baker Creek Seed Company. Most of the sweet corn that we get at the grocery store comes from hybrid seeds that have been optimized for sweetness, so this corn, will probably not be as sweet as we are used to. Also, we will probably just have 1-2 ears per basket this week. I provided this Tomato Corn Salad recipe where you cut the corn kernels off the ears to add texture to the salad.
2-3 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 large tomatoes, diced
2-3 green onions, sliced
2-3 sweet and/or hot peppers, finely diced
3-4 tablespoons basil, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine/apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving, if possible.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Anna Hazen
Who is my neighbor? This timeless question leads us right into
the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke. It generally encourages us to give consideration to the people we have often ignored or neglected. It also shows us how diverse the lives of people are and the unexpected ways they become intertwined. But what if neighborliness were extended not only to fellow humans, but to all of creation - the lilies of the field, birds of the air, ants on the eggplant… all of which are part of God’s good creation?
It is easy to dismiss much of soil and animal life as unimportant, or even as if they were our enemies. Yet we are actually fed and cared for by the earth’s creatures in multitudes of ways we often don’t see or understand. A healthy plant, which produces a healthy harvest, depends on millions of other organisms in the soil, not to mention healthy air and a stable climate. If we approach farming with the intent to kill everything which might want to share the bounty of the earth with us, we can all too easily end up destroying the whole neighborhood of living things which keep a piece of land productive over generations.
Asking “who is my neighbor” in a farming context invites us to stop and take a good look at the beings we would find it easy to pass by on the side of the road and instead recognize them as valued neighbors. Maintaining a balance between productivity for humans and the health of the ecological neighborhood can be very tricky. It is just as difficult to recognize how much we rely on our human neighbors and how much we need to care for them. In this case however, I think soil health and spiritual health are not all that far apart. It might not be easy, but it’s worth the effort.