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From the Garden this Week, September 30, 2021...

From the Garden this Week…

Spaghetti Squash, Okra, Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, Hot Peppers, Basil, Sage, Cilantro and Apples

Coming Soon…Winter Squash and Napa Cabbage

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Fall is finally here and with it our spaghetti squash. This squash has been bred to be stringy on purpose. The stringy flesh grows perpendicular to the stem of the squash. If you want the longest strings cut the squash crosswise, not through the stem and blossom ends. Once the squash is fully cooked let it cool for a few minutes and use a fork to scrape the strings from the shell. I like to do this ahead of time and store it in the fridge, then you can quickly sauté the seasonings and heat the squash back up in the pan. The spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor, which is why it works as a good substitute for pasta. You could also toss the cooked squash with pesto or sautéed cherry tomatoes, or marinara sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter Sage and Walnuts

1 medium spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

7-8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Transfer the squash to a parchment lined baking sheet, cut-sides down. Bake the squash until the flesh is tender, about 1 hour. Let the squash cool until you can handle it. Using a fork, pull the strings out of the squash and reserve in a separate bowl. In a large sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the walnuts, garlic and sage leaves, cook until they are toasted and the butter has started to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. When the butter is slightly brown turn off the heat, combine with the spaghetti squash and toss together. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the Parmesan and serve.

A fresh coat of paint on October 9th!

We have partnered up with Love Modesto again this fall to repaint our 2-year-old greenhouse. If you’re interested in joining us from 9 AM to 12 PM on Saturday, October 9th, sign up on the Love Modesto website! We still have a few slots left.

Air Fried Okra…

One of our tireless volunteers offered a recipe for air-fried okra and I was grateful for a new idea. The air-fryer is perfect for the small quantity and it cooks in just 10 minutes. One tip I recently learned, was to eat the okra soon after cooking it. The first time I cooked the okra this way, I added it to a salad that I ate later in the day and I found that it became slimy as it sat.

Air Fried Okra

6-8 pieces okra

2 teaspoons oil

¼ teaspoon salt

Cut off the tops of the okra and cut into ¼ inch slices. Place the okra in a bowl and drizzle with oil and season with salt. Place in the air-fryer pan and cook at 400 °F for 10 minutes. Enjoy right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez

I am in my home state of Arkansas, I find myself assisting my Aunties with some clearing of their backlands. It is a break from the real reason I am here (family health concerns) and a welcome time to get outside and enjoy sunlight, green expanses, and woodlands.

As I ride through the greens, coming closer to the tree line, I note a giant spider web built from the bottom layer of a pine. As my mower rolled forward, closer to the web, the spider, spooked and stood in mid web on its back legs, demonstrating its distress and fear.

Anyone who knows me well knows very well my enormous disdain for arachnids and their kin. To say I am afraid of them is an extreme understatement. So, to see his or her fear triggered my own. I swerved away giving the eight-legged beast a wider berth.

It occurred to me in that moment that we as humans so often mimic the interchange between me and the spider of the wood. This spider had no idea of my extreme fear of it and in its own fear raised the only defense it had to protect itself. There is no doubt in my mind that had either of us insisted on continuing our presence in defensive modes, we would have found ourselves either bitten or squished...both terrified of the other.

How often do we defer to our defensive natures in the face of the defensive natures of others? How often do we use awareness of our own fear and evaluate the healthy choices available to us to purposely steer clear of another’s reactivity? I think when we can practice this awareness and engage the use of healthy choices, we can cease to be quite so fearful and defensive. Then, we can carry on enjoying the green pasture, as I did today with the arachnid.


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