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From the garden this week...

From the Garden this Week…

Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Kale, Cauliflower or Cabbage, Watermelon Radishes, Spinach, Blood oranges, Meyer lemon, Lemon and Grapefruit

Coming Soon…Lettuce Heads and Bok Choy

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have Swiss chard coming. We have red and white varieties growing right now and will send a bunch with both colors. I have to admit that chard is not my favorite vegetable, but I continue to eat it and try new recipes looking for one that I like. I usually add it in with other components. In this recipe I cook it with onion and white wine and then combine the cooked chard with pasta and parmesan cheese. Using the red chard that is coming this week it will give the dish a pink hue, that is very appropriate for Valentine’s day. When cooking chard the leaves are very delicate and just need to be sautéed for a few minutes, but the stems need a few minutes more cooking. I separate the stems and leaves when chopping and then cook the stems with the onions so they have time to soften before the leaves are added.

Swiss Chard and Pasta

½ pound linguini or spaghetti pasta

2 tablespoons butter

½ onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch Swiss chard leaves and stems, cut into thin strips

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white wine or water

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Fresh ground pepper

In a large pot, bring about 8 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water and then add the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan, heat the butter, onion and Swiss chard stem slices. Cook the for about 2-3 minutes and add the Swiss chard and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss the chard and onion together and add 2 tablespoons of white wine or water. Place a lid on the pan and allow the chard to steam for 1-2 more minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the chard. Toss together with half of the parmesan cheese and then portion out into serving bowls, topping with the remaining cheese and fresh ground pepper.

It is with deep gratitude and a sense of loss that we celebrate Julie Moreno as she leaves her part time position with Wellspring as Garden Coordinator to work full time with Gallo. Julie has been outstanding in her culinary expertise and newsletter writing, creativity in learning all aspects of market gardening from seed to harvest and delivery, and communication with you as subscribers. Julie has trained our volunteers well and is passing the torch to another wonderful gardener, Heidi Aufdermaur. Julie will continue to mentor us and be in our hearts as we send her out with love and prayers. Thank you Julie!

Watermelon Radishes…

The watermelon radishes are a variety of radish that are green on the outside and usually red on the inside (although there is some natural variation). These are milder than red radishes and make for a beautiful display in this salad including our oranges, green onion and spinach. Add toasted nuts and crumbled cheese for more crunch and richness.

Spinach Salad with Oranges and Radishes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced green onion

¼ teaspoon salt

4-6 cups spinach leaves, washed and chopped

1 watermelon radish, sliced very thin

1 orange, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds or pistachios

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine lemon juice, minced onion, salt and olive oil, whisking together in a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and toss to coat everything with the dressing. Taste and add salt and fresh ground pepper if desired. Eat right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul … by Ronda May Melendez

Standing bare in the dark a beautiful tree stands on the edge of the park in front of my home. Driving home this evening, I noticed its majesty bathed in a band of light that fell from the park lamp down the way. It was glorious! I was genuinely struck by its beauty. Not because it was full of blossoms and this tree will, indeed, be magnificent in the Spring; not because there were surrounding wonders offering themselves up as backdrops…No, it was the simple, astounding beauty of a tree standing bare, illuminated in gold lighting, in the dark. It stood, as it was created to be, whether it could be readily seen or not. It did not bend, twist and become gnarled in the darkness. In fact, as I pondered this extraordinary gifting, it occurred to me that I would find leaf buds on it, even now. And as sure as the snow falls in Antarctica, they are there! It was standing and growing in the dark. Preparing itself to bear fruit and in no way flailing about due to its environment.

Jesus said in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” The tree was abiding. Standing calm and collected in the midst of darkness, bathed in just a bit of light. It was enough to reveal the glory of the tree.

Darkness will come. It is part of the cycle of day and night and life, itself. If we are rooted in our own understanding and ability to comprehend, we will wither. However, if we remain rooted in the One in whom there is no darkness at all and to whom darkness is nothing, we will grow and thrive. He is trustworthy and is a safe refuge in whom we can be ourselves in peace.


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