From the Garden this Week - January 13, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Green or Napa Cabbage, Broccoli, Celery, Parsley, Purple Top Turnips, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Brussels Sprouts for Bi-weekly Members, Lemon & Grapefruit
Coming Soon… Carrots
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This time of year, the baskets become very green. This is great for the added nutrition during the cold winter months. If you are feeling overwhelmed with greens, try adding the spinach or Swiss chard leaves to a smoothie. You can even freeze them for soups or smoothies later. Soups and stews are always a good place to add a handful of greens near the end of cooking. In today’s recipe I used Swiss Chard, but any of our greens could be substituted. Remember, you can also use the turnip greens or other root vegetable tops. Separate the greens from the roots when you bring them home. After harvest the greens continue to take up water and nutrition from the root as if they were still in the ground.
Swiss Chard and Pasta
½ pound linguini or
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
¼ cup shredded parmesan
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 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.
Funky Chickens – Fewer Eggs!
Our chickens are in a funk! They have succumbed to PAD – Poultry Affective Disorder – and are laying fewer eggs. Like SAD, PAD is a depression related to changes in seasons. Symptoms typically appear in late fall and persist through the colder and darker winter months, sapping their strength and making them feel moody. Treatment for PAD affected chickens may involve phototherapy, psychotherapy, and medications.
Medicating our chickens is out of the question (we prefer natural treatment), so we have elected to pursue a regimen of phototherapy and psychotherapy. We have installed lights in the coops and have dispatched one of our Wellspring therapists to counsel them, employing mainly behavioral and some limited cognitive (bird brains, you know) therapeutic approaches. We are confident the chickens will recover fully, given the expertise of their therapist. Soon you will again enjoy their fresh produce on a regular basis. So, if you receive no eggs with your order, keep calm. We are preparing your refund while the ESH, Emotional Support Human, is at work.
Pesto is not just for basil…
Parsley, lemon, and garlic come together for a fresh addition to hearty winter meals. Stir a tablespoon or two of this pesto into your favorite bowl of beans or a winter stew for a burst of flavor. Or serve as a topping to roasted vegetables or a grilled chicken or fish.
Parsley Walnut Pesto
2 cups packed parsley leaves
1-2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup grated cheese
¼ cup olive oil
Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with beans, rice,
over seafood or chicken.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… Beauty and Hope of Pruning by Ronda May Melendez
Our cherry tree is queen of the spring garden. Her flowers are beautiful and fragrant. This year her fruit buds are quite prolific, and she is signaling the regal display that is to come a short time from now. Each winter, she evokes within me a hopeful expectation of beauty, fragrance, and delicious, mature fruit. A childlike excitement bubbles to the surface of my heart and mind as I gaze upon her promising branches.
This is also her time of loss - pruning must happen. I confess, I feel quite nervous at the prospect. How much beauty and fruit will be lost? To avoid losing too much fruit, one must really know what they are looking at in the pruning process while also minding the timing. Prune too much or too early and an unexpected late freeze in the darkness may stress her and inhibit her fruit production.
It is interesting to me that when we think the leaves of the last fruitful season of our lives have blown away and the onset of cold, darker, unproductive days have come, the Lord not only permits the setting of new “fruit blossoms”, the potential for fruit to come forth, but also undertakes pruning with care.
I will confess that more times than not, His methodical pruning feels much more like a haphazard hacking away, especially when I feel so little of me is left. However, in due time, surprisingly, abundant fruit comes forth! He knows when and where to cut the terminal buds, so that growth is forced into the lateral buds, giving great form and support to the tree of my life. He is mindful of what is just the right amount of mature fruit my life can bear, so He cuts away any detracting excess. I can remain excited and hopeful...HE is trustworthy. More beauty and fruit are coming.