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From the Garden this Week, May 20, 2021...

From the Garden this Week…

Garlic Scapes, Carrots, Fava Beans, Red and Green Head Lettuce, Mixed Baby Lettuce, Snap Peas, Beets, Radishes, Dill, Basil and Chamomile

Coming Soon… Onions and Cucumbers

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

These past weeks with all of the lettuce we have been enjoying I have been making salads for my lunch each day. Now that I am taking lunch to work, this has become a lesson in preparation. My mother makes a great layered salad that is perfect for taking to a pot luck. The peas that we have had recently made me think of the salad, it uses frozen peas, which in the pot-luck model, adds in a layer of food safety by keeping the salad cold. But this salad is even better with our fresh peas. By layering the ingredients, you keep the greens away from the ingredients that would ordinarily wilt the lettuce prematurely. When I take this to work, I use a large bowl with enough room to mix the salad right in my bowl. The bacon, garlic scapes and mayo form a flavorful dressing. I try to chop, wash and dry the lettuce greens as soon as I can after bringing them home, then they are ready to go when you need them. You can double or triple the recipe depending on the number of servings you need. I make this amount for one large lunch salad.

Layered Salad

2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 garlic scape, thinly sliced

1-2 tablespoons chopped cooked bacon

1 ounce cheddar cheese, grated

¼ cup raw snap peas

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

2 radishes sliced

Salt and pepper

1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs

3-4 cups salad greens, chopped and washed

In a large bowl layer the mayonnaise, garlic scapes, bacon, cheese, peas, hard-boiled egg, carrot and radishes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the herbs and salad greens. Cover and store until ready to eat. Mix all of the ingredients well and enjoy.

Tea time anyone? You’ve got chamomile!

If the wind has been rustling up your nerves these past few weeks, might we suggest a pot of chamomile tea? This week, we’ve included a bundle that will make a perfect tea break for two people. With a pair of kitchen shears, chop off the blossoms (don’t worry if there’s still a bit of stem) and immerse them in boiling hot water for 4-12 minutes depending on your taste preference. Then let your anxiety melt away…

Vegetable Spreads…

Turning vegetables into delicious snack food is one of my favorite ways to eat. This recipe is unexpected use of beets. It does use sugar so it’s not exactly healthy, but the combination of beets and lemons is makes for a refreshing snack. By using the whole lemon, the pectin from the rind naturally thickens the jam. I enjoy this spread on crackers with goat cheese. If we don’t have enough beets to have the equivalent of 3 medium-large beets, you can reduce the amounts of sugar and lemon.

Beet Marmalade

3 medium-large beets

1 teaspoon salt

1 small lemon, cut into quarters, seeds removed

3/4 cup sugar

Cut leaves off beets, leaving 1-inch of stems on root ends. Wash beets thoroughly. In a medium sauce pan add the beets, salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beets are easily pierced with a knife, about 35-60 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Drain the beets, and allow them to cool slightly before peeling the beets with your hands or a small paring knife, removing the stem end. Cut the beets into large chunks, then put them in a food processor or blender with the lemon quarters and process until blended. Transfer beet-lemon mixture to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir in the sugar. Set the pan over medium heat, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the marmalade has thickened about 3-5 minutes. The marmalade will thicken further as it cools.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Cindi J. Martin

We have slowly been planting a few more fruit trees on the plot of land where we harvest produce for our Wellspring Charitable Gardens Subscribers. Every year at this time, the limbs begin to bough down, heavy with dense clusters of green, hard fruit that must be thinned or “cleaned” as the New Testament Gospel calls it (John 15:3).

I have to admit that at the beginning of my agricultural experience I had to invite my farmer friend to the property to help relieve my anxiety about knocking off so much fruit. He explained to me the risks of not thinning. Disease, mildew, damaged fruit, broken limbs and ultimately small sized fruit. Intellectually I understood. But I found that a very greedy emotion came up inside of me when I was told to discard enough fruit so they were about a fist apart from one another. I knew I would need my friend’s help to follow through with pruning and to wait to see whether what he said was really true. Doubt and fear crept in but I did the thinning anyway. After a few years of thinning with my farmer friend, I developed a secure faith and trust in the thinning process and the promised results. Faith and trust in God is built in a similar way. People of great faith often speak of coexisting great fear and doubt. But they built confidence one experience of “doubtful trust” at a time. Emily Dickenson wrote, “We both believe, and disbelieve a hundred times an hour, which keeps Believing nimble.” The father who approached Jesus for the healing of his daughter said, “I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”

The thinning of fruit makes room for growing the remaining fruit into maturity. Sometimes, the fruit of the soul is small because we are not thinning out the number of things in our lives. Trying to do too many good things can actually stunt our growth. Sometimes letting several good things drop to the ground so the few things that remain can grow to maturity is an enormous step of faith.


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