From the Garden this Week, August 12, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Tomatoes, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Radishes, Green Beans, Green Onions, Melons, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Mixed Greens, Garlic, Basil, Grapes, Peaches and Pluots
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
These dog days of summer seem to keep bringing the summer staples of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. Enjoy them while they are here. Unlike the carrots and greens, that we can grow in the summer, we are unable (without a large, heated greenhouse) grow summer vegetables in the winter and soon they will be gone. I included a good recipe to use up more squash. This uses Parmesan cheese as a coating to make baked Italian squash rounds. It’s adapted from a recipe that used bread crumbs and if you were vegan, you could switch it back to use toasted bread crumbs as a substitute for the cheese. You can serve these as an appetizer with marinara sauce or as a side dish.
Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh or dried Italian seasoning (basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
3-4 summer squash, sliced into ½ inch rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400 °F and line a large rimmed-baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the squash rounds with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese and herbs and lightly toss again. In an even layer place the seasoned squash on the parchment-lined baking sheet, adding any cheese-herb mixture to the top of each piece of squash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is deeply golden.
Have ya met Heidi?
We introduced her a few months ago, but Heidi, our master gardener, is really doing an incredible job. And in the middle of a summer rush of produce, we wanted to highlight her greatly appreciated commitment to the garden.
She makes it look easy but a Market Garden is a tremendous feat of constant planning and preparation for what is coming next. Thank you, Heidi!
Tomatoes and Cucumbers…
I follow Rancho Gordo, which is an Heirloom Bean company based in Napa. They import dried beans from small growers and distribute them. You can even sign up for a bean subscription, which is almost as good as a vegetable subscription. This past week they included an outline for this tomato cucumber salad with garbanzo beans and tahini dressing that looked amazing and I wanted to share it here. Enjoy!
Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Garbanzos and Tahini Dressing
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 garlic clove minced or crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tomatoes, cherry tomatoes halved or large tomatoes roughly chopped
1 Armenian cucumber, cubed, seeds removed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked beans
¼ cup red or white onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped basil
In a large bowl combine the oil, vinegar, tahini, garlic and salt. Stir well to combine the dressing ingredients. Gently stir in the tomatoes, cucumber, beans, onion and basil. Serve right away.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
Hidden dehydration is a hideous condition. It browns out life, making things brittle, dry, and easily broken. Such has been the state of one of my grapevines this week. The transition to dehydration was gradual. I had failed to notice the changes since they were so slow to take place. I was shocked when I finally noticed the difference. One of the vine’s leaves was green and lively, while the other, all brown, was hanging sadly, the fruit left unprotected in the sun.
It occurs to me that our lives can sometimes take a similar path. One moment it is full of vibrancy, color, life and in a fairly short turn, it is brittle, brown and lifeless. As I reflect on my own life, I don’t always recognize that the lifeforce has been gradually slipping away until the green has been replaced by brown brittleness. Like the grapevines, I too lose color, luster, and flexibility. In these moments, it seems the Lord in His graciousness sends out the help needed to protect the plant. The leaves may not be saved, but the fruit can be, as can the plant itself. He does not leave us without hope. We must stay connected to our source regardless of our condition. In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”