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From the Garden this Week, May 13, 2021...

From the Garden this Week…

Garlic Scapes, Fava Beans, Head of Lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Arugula, Kale, Snap Peas, Spinach, Beets, Radishes*, Cilantro, Lemon Balm and Lemon

Coming Soon… Carrots and Onions

*Radishes replaced bok choi in a last-minute switcharoo!

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are harvesting the first batch of garlic scapes. The scapes are the beginnings of the flower that each head of garlic will produce. By cutting the scape the plant sends energy to the bulb to store it for the next year. Fortunately, the garlic plant, doesn’t realize that we are going to pull up the bulb and eat it this summer. The scape, along with the rest of the plant is edible. I do find that the top of the scape, where the flower is starting to form can have a tough skin. I usually discard the flower portion and tip of the scape. I also think that the scapes work best when used just like you would the clove. I chop them up and then cook them in a tablespoon of oil or butter, before adding our spinach or kale, for a quick sauté. Here I included them in a soup recipe with our fava beans. The beans are getting starchier and they will hold up to the longer cooking time.

Spring Fava Bean Soup with Garlic Scapes

1 tablespoon olive oil

4-5 garlic scapes, sliced thin

2 carrots, diced

Salt and pepper

1-2 pounds whole fava beans, shelled and skins removed

1 cup raw small cut pasta, like macaroni or bow ties

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

Fresh herbs, coarsely chopped

Shaved Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot heat the oil over medium heat, add the oil, garlic scapes and carrots season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the fava beans, pasta, water and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh herbs and shaved Parmesan cheese.

April Showers of Volunteers at Wellspring

We were blessed by two separate Saturday morning volunteer teams in April. Our gardens and chickens (and tents!) are thriving thanks to the labor and love from Covenant Grove Church and our Love Modesto team!


Radish and Pea Salad…

Our snap peas are getting larger, but are still sweet. You might want to remove the pods and just use the peas inside, or for the smaller ones, slice the whole pods into 2-3 pieces with the peas inside and use them in this recipe for a warm salad with our radishes. By lightly cooking everything, you will take off the raw edge of the peas and the harsh bite of the radishes. You will want to have all of the ingredients ready ahead of time so that you can just toss them in the pan for a few minutes without over cooking. The eggs compliment the radishes by mellowing the strong flavor.

Sugar Snap Pea and Radish Salad with Hard Cooked Eggs

1 cup sugar snap peas, washed, stem removed, sliced as desired

1 bunch of radishes, washed and sliced into wedges

Juice and zest from one lemon, about 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2 eggs, hard cooked, peeled and sliced

For this recipe, make sure to have all the ingredients ready prior to starting to cook. In a very large sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it starts to shimmer. Add the radishes and cook over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and continue cooking 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, zest, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fresh herbs. Pour out onto a serving platter or bowl, add the eggs to the top and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez

I returned home last weekend, and upon opening my backyard gate, a gust of breeze delivered the fragrant oils of profuse jasmine plants lining my fence. The warmth of the California sun, the golden hues of light and that beautiful smell of jasmine. Honestly, I could have cried out of joy, right there on the spot, at the deep comfort this “small” gift was to me. What a deep joy it is to know that God knows us so profoundly that He knows even when to send these sweet little packages.

As I went to look at the wall of jasmine, I noted that it is happily there on the wall, being its beautiful self. Its flower is beautiful. Its essence fragrant and its presence peaceful. It is a joyful little plant, just being what it is in the context of God’s creation.

The invitation came quietly, “Ronda, will you do the same? I have empowered you to.” I will confess to you, readers, that I feel more like the bare wispy willow branch being blown about in the thunderstorms that rumble loudly and brashly in the East. And yet, the invitation remains the same despite how I feel. Yes, the feeling is there. And yes, part of it is true. However, that is not all of the story. HE has given me Himself to draw from. The truth is, I can be like the jasmine, taking in the energy and encouragement from the sun that is provided. Or, I can choose to embrace a lie in the framework of my heart and mind that says I am nothing but a wispy willow branch blown about by the storm. I have a choice. So do you, my friends. My hopes are for all of us to grow to be like the jasmine…peaceful, beautifully fragrant beings full of joy because of the Lord.


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