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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Bok Choy or Beets, Napa Cabbage Hearts, Lettuce Heads, Braising Greens, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Basil, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Green Beans, Arugula, Melon and a Pomegranate

Coming Soon… Winter Squash, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week brings more greens to the weekly harvest. We will have mixed braising leaves and lettuce heads to add to the arugula and Asian greens. The braising mix can be eaten raw or like its name, braised. It only needs a light cooking with a little olive oil and garlic. For the arugula, I included a vegan salad. We will send out another winter squash and then start to store the remaining harvest to get us through the fall. The summer squash plants are still producing along with the eggplant and peppers. Let us know if you have a special need for hot peppers. We have Thai Chiles and Habaneros available.

Sautéed Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage

1 head bok choy or Napa cabbage

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced or ¼ cup minced red onion

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut the head of bok choy in half and separate the leafy greens from the thicker stems. Keeping the stems and leaves separate, slice the stems thinly across the grain and chop the leaves. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the pan. Add the sliced bok choy stems, ginger, garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes, stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves, soy sauce, and sesame oil, stir for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are cooked.

We Cannot Wait for the Cold Weather

Just as the seedlings we planted last month were starting to grow, we have been hit with a caterpillar infestation. And their favorite foods are brassica vegetables, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. It looks as if we have staved off the attack, picking 4 caterpillars off over 100 plants that will get us through the winter harvests. Fortunately, the changing seasons will also slow down the insects. This time of year, we want the cold weather to come, in order to make a less hospitable environment in the garden.

Spicy Arugula…

Most arugula recipes tame the peppery bite, by combining it with cheese and cured meat. I wanted to keep it lighter this week and used walnuts and avocado to do the same thing. I built the salad and dressing in the same bowl by marinating the vegetables and then tossing it all together at the end with extra-virgin olive oil.

Arugula Salad with Marinated Vegetables

3 radishes, very thinly sliced

1 cup sliced cucumber

1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon salt

4-5 cups arugula

1 avocado, diced

½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the radishes, cucumber, pepper, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Toss and set aside for 5 minutes to marinate. Add the arugula, avocado and walnuts to the marinated vegetables. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss together. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed and serve.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Cindi J. Martin

Do you know what is eating you? This weekend I went for a stroll through our new

planting for Wellspring Charitable Garden subscribers. We are excited about the beautiful brassica plants that were lovingly placed in well cultivated rows of rich, amended soil by our faithful volunteers. My heartbeat raced as I realized that the beautiful and rapid growth of the cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower plant leaves were being riddled with large holes. Our Master Market Gardener, Anna has taught me to carefully look for what is eating our plants as soon as the holes appear. Sadly, I ignored some early warning signs last week. There were beautiful white butterflies in abundance around these plants and a few holes on the leaves last week. Last week’s gentle warning became a weekend crisis. When I turned over the leaves, I found one to three hungry, voracious green caterpillars chowing down on the tender leaves. These were from the eggs of the white cabbage butterfly! Without immediate intervention, there would not be much left of our planting. My nephew, Johannes Kuypers, came to the rescue and we used an organic means of pest control…hand picking and squishing caterpillars on EVERY leaf of EVERY plant followed by a generous spray of Thurocide Bacillus for any caterpillars too small to observe. Thurocide Bacillus is used by organic gardeners to kill caterpillars. It does not harm the plants or humans.

The wisdom of Solomon tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” However, we can’t guard a heart we do not know. This experience reminded me of the many Proverbs in the Bible that tell us to keep a close watch on things (Proverbs 4:23; 27:23). We may think we have plenty of time to respond to early signs of problems in our minds, spirits, or bodies. But some things require immediate attention. Unrelenting feelings of worthlessness can slide into clinical depression; thoughts about the meaninglessness of life may indicate a spiritual struggle or crisis of faith; a small spot on the skin that is raw and won’t heal may indicate a possible skin cancer; symptoms like these needn’t paralyze us. Rather, they are the intricate human alarm system designed by God to alert us of the need to explore possible signs of danger so we can intervene early, see a professional if needed, and hopefully, avert the crisis. Indeed, we may do well to know what is eating us!


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