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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Swiss Chard, Acorn Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts Greens, Spinach, Multi-Colored Carrots, Green Onions, Garlic, and Rutabagas

Coming Soon… Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have two items in our baskets that you can’t get in stores. First, our Brussels sprout plants make large leaves that resemble and cook like collard greens. We need to cut them off the plant, because it helps the Brussels sprouts grow bigger. The second item is the Swiss chard. We direct seeded the chard in the ground. This saves the step of transplanting the chard from a seed tray to the ground and it is easy to do in the falls when the soil temperatures are still warm. When we direct seed, we have to thin the plants so that the ones that we keep will grow big and strong. When you get your vegetables from a large farm, they would usually discard these items, but because all of our labor is by hand, it is easy to save these types of items and send them off to you. This week we have rutabagas ready to pick. The first recipe is for sautéed greens, which you can use for the Brussels sprouts greens, spinach, Swiss chard and the rutabaga greens.

Sautéed Greens

6-8 cups chopped leafy greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach or collard greens

2 garlic cloves minced

sprinkle of red chili flakes

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

salt and pepper

lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

Wash the chopped greens in a bowl of water, let any dirt settle to the bottom and pull the greens out of the water and let drain, they do not need to be dry. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the garlic, chili flakes and butter over medium-high heat, until the garlic becomes fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Add the wet greens, salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. For tougher greens, if the pan dries up, add a few tablespoons of water and cover, to help steam the vegetables. Sprinkle with a squeeze of fresh lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Root Vegetable Info

Root vegetables are a winter staple because the ground helps to store them through the cold weather. Peeling root vegetables is optional when you get your produce straight from the farm. There is more nutrition in the parts of the vegetable that come in contact with the soil. We also don’t add any wax to the skin to help with storage. Remove the greens when you get them home and save them for cooking. Removing the greens helps because the greens will continue to suck moisture form the root as if it was in the ground. The greens are also edible and are an added benefit to each item. Sautéthe greens like kale or spinach.

Mixed Roasted Vegetables

I often roast our fall vegetables together to either use up bits that I have left or just because I only have a small amount of one kind. When you cube the vegetables to approximately the same size they will cook together on the same pan. I like to roast these off ahead of time and make a salad when I am ready to eat them with a little balsamic, walnuts and goat cheese.

Roasted Fall Vegetables

5-6 cups fall vegetables, diced large, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Toss the diced vegetables with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, until tender. In the same oven, while cooking the squash, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes, remove and set aside.  After removing the roasted vegetables from the oven, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss gently and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the goat cheese if desired.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda May Melendez

Over the weekend, here in our own garden, we began to thin our aloe and chicks and hens (the name of a succulent). This activity led to me pondering the thinning of the root vegetables at the Wellspring garden. My questions were, “Why do we automatically throw them away? Can they be re-planted?” Interestingly, I found that if one is in the commercial side of business, seedlings are rarely re-planted due to a higher instance of “forking”. The malformation of the root, which we North Americans are averse to on a commercial level, are discarded as they aren’t considered perfect or unblemished. However, in the home garden, re-planting is not only viable, but a good way of stewarding the growth that is happening and honoring the root’s life-giving nature, despite the potential blemishes.

The parallels between our desires for perfect vegetation, tasteful nourishment without all the distasteful imperfections and our personal relationships are interesting. It seems that, sometimes, in both vegetation and relationships we focus so much on the blemishes that we lose track of the genuine nourishing behavior(s) that may be present. In our hastiness to remove ourselves from the discomfort of looking blemishes in the face, instead of taking a step back to evaluate if there is anything beautiful and lovely present under the blemish, we are prone to dismiss the individual as if they have no value at all. We uproot them, lying them out in full sun, watch them wither, and we wonder why they grouse at us.

Perhaps it would be better to learn to hold space for both beauty and love and the blemishes and the unlovely? After all, the thinning process provides space for growth and development, however, this does not preclude re-planting those who are ‘crowding’. Are we willing to give that extra room to ourselves and others, as well?

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