From the Garden this Week, October 14, 2021...

From the Garden this Week…


Mixed Greens and Lettuce, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Okra, Green Onions, Basil, Thyme, Lemon Grass, Bearss Limes, Cilantro and Edible Decorative Pumpkins


Coming Soon…Carrots



Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno


This week we are sending some decorative pumpkins that are also edible. Use them for decoration for the next few weeks and then you can cook them and eat them. I recommend roasting them at 375° F for about 30-45 minutes until soft. You can then cut them open and serve the inside flesh mashed with a dab of butter and a sprinkling of chopped thyme leaves or sage, or make a sweet dish with cinnamon and brown sugar. This week we have lemon grass and limes coming your way. I like to make a simple chicken soup adding the herbs at the end. For a super-quick meal I make this with Ramen noodles and the flavor packet. It’s probably not the healthiest, but the addition of herbs and greens make for a sophisticated finish to what was one of the first things I ever “cooked”.


Thai Style Chicken Soup


1 quart chicken stock

1 small stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch lengths

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated

2 Thai peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)

3 green onions, sliced, white and green pieces separated

1 cup diced cooked chicken or shrimp

2-3 cups chopped greens

1 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1 lime, cut into wedges


Bring the chicken stock to a boil with the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, peppers and white parts of the green onions. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken or shrimp, carrots and greens, fish or soy sauce. Return to a boil, then remove from the heat and serve right away with the green parts of the green onions, cilantro and lime wedges. (Don’t eat the lemongrass, it just flavors the soup.)


Love Modesto loved on Wellspring!


Before and after of the fabulous work that 10 volunteers did with us last Saturday as part of Love Modesto. Greenhouse re-painted and looking great – thank you!




Utilizing the Air-fryer


I’m not a proponent of gadgets, but we got an air fryer this past year. Mostly, I use it like a toaster oven, but recently our regular oven broke and I’ve been using the air-fryer for the past two months to cook vegetables and I’m in love, mostly with the even cooking and the fact it is twice as fast.


Asian Eggplant Rice Bowl


1 cup raw rice

2 medium eggplants

1 block of tofu

2 tablespoons oil, divided

Salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Siracha, Soy sauce or tamari for serving


Cook the rice according to the package directions. While it is cooking, cut the eggplant and tofu into bite sized cubes. In a small bowl, marinate the tofu with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt. In a separate bowl season the eggplant with salt and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and mix well. Place the eggplant in the air fryer basket and cook at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. When the eggplant is done, remove from the basket and set aside. Add the tofu and cook air fry for 7 minutes at 425 degrees. Serve each bowl with rice, eggplant, tofu and top with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve with Siracha and additional soy sauce if desired.


Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez


I have noticed, upon my return from the East, that some of my house plants have been having quite a tizzy!! Honestly, I cannot blame them. They are cared for almost daily when I am here. They “know” it and they are not happy when I have flown the coup! We have a beautiful reciprocal relationship. When we are both in healthy places, I care for them by providing, after investigating and not just guessing, what they need. In return, they give me beauty to appreciate. When I am healthy and present, I can more accurately tend to their needs and they are free to grow beautiful, healthy, and lush.


Alas, as I saw upon my return here, I missed the mark, and our relationship suffers. I forgot to arrange for their care. This is what I have observed in their communication: my cordyline has brutally “whacked” off all the older leaves, leaving them to whither. They cling to the trunk but receive no nourishment. They are dead, but still clinging! In stark contrast, my beloved anthurium is “throwing” off abundant blooms! Many, many blooms in comparison to its normal pace. What a difference! One seems to say, “Hellooo, I quit. Can’t you see how pathetic I am?” The other goes into over performance mode, screaming, “HEYYYY!!! Am I not just the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?!! Please pay attention to me.”


Can we not, in some way, identify with these behaviors when we are in distress? Plants are incapable of verbalizing their needs, but they do demonstrate them. Humans can verbalize needs, but so often we merely demonstrate them, just hoping someone catches on before we wither or overwhelm! And all too frequently, our attempts to demonstrate these needs are misunderstood or misconstrued by the observer. Plants use all the resources in their tool belts. We can learn from this. God gave us intelligence and a voice. We can take a moment to become more self-aware and then also use our voices to help others understand how we are and what we need.



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