From the Garden this Week, December 16, 2021

From the Garden this Week… Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli or Cauliflower, Arugula, Assorted Radishes, Bok Choy, Mixed Greens, Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Celery, Parsley, Bay Leaves, Rosemary, Meyer Lemons, Pink Lady Apples.

Coming Soon… Carrots, Fennel, Rutabagas


Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno…IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER!


This week our first Brussels sprouts make an appearance. Because of the warm weather this year, the aphids have been enjoying the top leaves of our Brussels sprouts. PLEASE TRY NOT TO BE DISCOURAGED BY THE PRESENCE OF APHIDS. Just cut off the top leaves and enjoy the wonderful taste of produce grown without harsh pesticides and herbicides. These large plants take 6 months to grow to maturity and produce a large stalk for the rows of sprouts. We have removed them for the stalk for you. They are good cut in half and roasted in the oven with broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes, or seared on the stove top until they brown and are crispy. In this recipe, I shred the sprouts so that they don’t need to be cooked for a long time and the bacon and vinegar balance the naturally balances the sprout. If you needed to make a bigger salad you could add in our spinach or Swiss chard with sprouts to have more greens for a larger group.


Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


3 strips bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil (if

needed)

½ cup chopped onion

1 pound Brussels sprouts

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground

pepper

1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


Cut up bacon into small pieces and cook over low heat in a large sauté pan (one that’s big enough to hold the Brussels sprouts). When the bacon is about half cooked, add the olive oil (if needed, depends on the amount of fat in the bacon) and onion. Increase heat to medium and slowly cook the onions until translucent. Meanwhile, shred the Brussels sprouts in a food processor, or cut thinly with a knife (cut in half first and then put the flat side down on the cutting board and thinly slice across). When the onion is translucent add the shredded Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper, and stir well for 1-2 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are wilted. Turn the heat off and sprinkle with the vinegar and serve.


Dear Faithful Garden Supporters,


We are so very grateful for your generous support of Wellspring Counseling Ministries through your purchase of fresh vegetables and fruit from Wellspring Charitable Gardens. Know that your support has benefitted many who have sought help in a crisis or healing for a broken heart. Thank you for your caring gifts! In celebration of Christmas, we will be on break from December 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022. Your next delivery will be on January 6 of the new year!


Drying Herbs…

Farming follows a pattern of plenty and then scarcity as each plant has its own growth cycle. Herbs are not an exception and the oils in the plant hold their fragrance long after harvesting. Leave the bay leaves, rosemary and even our parsley out on the counter or on top of the fridge so that they can dry out and then keep them in sealed containers when they are dry.

Broccoli Salad

This salad is a good make ahead side dish that has sweet and salty ingredients that appeal to all tastes.

3 cups chopped raw broccoli, leaves, florets, and stems (peel the thick coarse stem pieces as needed)

¼ cup chopped cooked bacon

¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup finely diced red onion

¼ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar, red or white wine or good apple cider vinegar

1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating.



Metaphors of Soil and Soul… The Beauty of Desolation by Ronda May Melendez


We are coming into Christmas this next week. It is a time for reflecting on those items that we are grateful for. I am grateful for life, seeds, soil, growth, sun, and rain, and I am grateful for darkness.

On Sunday, a dear friend taught me a new concept…the reflection upon our consolations and desolations. I have marveled at the utility of this tool just in these few short days! And as I have rested my heart on the birth of Christ, I have lingered around the fact that Christ’s coming into this world (a consolation to us all), guaranteed and sealed His own momentary desolation.


I have also marveled that His initial physical presence in this world began as a seed, housed in darkness, the darkness of his mother’s womb. And yet, from that darkness came a forming, a knitting together of human identity with the Divine in a way that had not occurred before. It was no longer just humanity receiving life through the breath of the Spirit, but God becoming flesh to be forsaken, deserted, lonely, his body in later years laid waste to take upon Himself sins that were not His own…in short, from a human perspective, He came to be devastated: to be desolate.


Was it the end? Praise God…it was not! It was only the beginning of freedom for us and the redemption from all that holds us captive. Out of desolation came consolation. If you feel desolate these holidays, my friends, rest assured…it is not the end. It may be the end to your bondage, which will feel strange, maybe even frightening, but it is not the end of you. He has gone before us and made a way through the path of desolation, so that we may know in full, the consolation of Him as a Person, as a trustworthy Friend. He is faithful. He does not fail. The Christ child formed in the darkness of a human womb overcame desolation and darkness that we might live and have life to the fullest; and for that, we have much to rejoice over. Our desolation ends in the consolation of Jesus - if we will but draw close to Him. I wish you many joys this holiday season. My heart rejoices over you all.




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