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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Winter Squash, Dill, Carrots, Lettuce Heads, Cabbage or Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Sage and Garlic

Coming Soon…Napa Cabbage, Purple Top Turnips, and Kale

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have available parsley and sage. To keep these herbs fresh in the fridge, keep them dry, and wrap them with a damp paper towel, then store in a plastic bag or container. Too much moisture on the leaves will cause them to spoil quickly. We planted all of our garlic last week, the remaining heads will go out in baskets until we run out. You might notice sprouts forming in the center of the clove. I will just chop it and use it. You can cut out the sprout. Or if you want you could always plant the cloves if you want extra garlic next summer. We are running low on winter squash, so not everyone will get the same kind. We will have sweet potatoes for a few more weeks. I included a recipe that is on the sweet side, but by using cinnamon, the aroma makes it seem sweeter than it really is. I have been anticipating a harvest of green beans this fall, but last week’s cold snap killed the plants, despite our efforts to protect them with row cover. We will get to try again next year.

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

4-5 cups sweet potatoes in 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl toss the sweet potato cubes with the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Lay the seasoned sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes in oven or until tender. Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer to a serving platter.

The Celery Life Cycle…

A year and a half ago, we had a huge celery crop. I even put together a cream of celery soup recipe to help everyone use the bounty. I saved one plant, because I wanted to use the seeds for eating more than for planting. And, I have been curious about the life cycle of this biennial plant. Well, the seeds of celery are so small that trying to separate the seeds from the chaff wasn’t worth the effort. I left the plant in the ground and it died off this summer. About the same time that we pulled out the dead plant, I noticed that there were a few tiny celery plants growing nearby. The plant has seeded itself in the ground and the seeds germinated in the summer. These celery plants are now full size and ready for harvest. We will just have a few stalks for each member, and you won’t want to use them on a crudité platter. They are dry and flavorful and will work in your favorite stuffing or dressing recipe or any cooked dish. Use the celery like you would parsley for a burst of fresh flavor.

Giant Green Leaf Lettuce

I wanted to share a picture of our giant heads of green leaf lettuce that went out today. I had to take a picture for perspective.

Sage and the Bugs

Sometime in the last three weeks, our sage went from luxurious and plush to thinning and bug eaten. I decided to send it out anyway, it is the perfect match for our fall cooking.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul by Ronda May Melendez

This last week, our Garden Coordinator Julie Moreno, was chatting with me about transplanting onions from the hothouse. She discussed it being best to wait until the seedlings have formed a bulb before transplanting them. Interestingly, a great deal of the energy is housed in the bulb which allows transplants to take more easily. Since our discussion, the idea of needing to have a sufficient energy source built up before we are uprooted and transplanted has intrigued me.

According to Texas A&M AG Extension, “onion seedlings which are small and rapidly growing often don’t survive when the cold temperatures occur. This means that most onions will HAVE to be grown from transplants.” What does this signify? More onions are started as seedlings in the hothouse and tended to with care, rather than seeds that go straight into the ground having to try to grow and weather cold environs without sufficient growth having occurred. Texas A&M goes on to strongly encourage consistent, specific fertilization to strengthen transplants and to develop strong, healthy bulbs in the cold months ahead. It seems to me, that like the onion, we do far better when we are tenderly cared for in the hothouse of our Father, protected for a time from the bitter environs of this world. This allows us to develop roots and a bulb, a little storehouse of energy, permitting us to be transplanted to grow larger and stronger surrounded by far more hostile elements when the time comes.

The hothouse is a place offering stillness, reliable nurturing, constant care, protection, development and growth. It is a place where energy is stored up. Yet, many of us struggle with the stillness. We struggle with what we perceive to be a place that is too still. And yet, the dynamics at work in the stillness are undeniable once the fruit comes forward. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Another translation says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” In both cases, the tiny onion seedling gives us an example of the benefits of allowing God to be God. It is hard work to rest but worth the effort! Do we trust the Father knows what He is doing?


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