From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week, 14 April, 2022 - Passover Edition, Shabbat Shalom!
From the Garden this Week… Kale, White Salad Turnips, Swiss Chard, Romaine Lettuce, Snap Peas, Spring Onions, Carrots, Broccoli or Bok Choy, Red Radishes, Spinach, Cilantro, Lemon Balm, Pink & White Grapefruit, and Oranges
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
The changing seasons bring unsettled weather and new vegetables to enjoy. Take advantage of every day below 100 degrees and make sure to eat the vegetables at their peak. This week the snap peas are in full swing. I like to eat them raw, just remove the ends and they make the perfect snack on their own. If you like slice up some radishes and serve with your favorite dressing for dipping. The white salad turnips can be eaten raw, in salad of course, or cook them lightly. Today’s recipe combines both the roots and the greens for added nutrition and flavor.
Braised Turnips with Their Greens
1 bunch salad turnips with greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black
1 tablespoon cold butter
2 teaspoons honey
* Separate the turnips and greens, discard any yellowing leaves. Cut the turnips into wedges. Chop the greens and stems, rinse away any dirt if needed and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add turnip in a single layer, cook 3-4 minutes, without turning. Add thyme and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add water, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until turnips are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and add greens; cook until liquid reduces by three-fourths, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the butter and honey, stirring until the butter is melted. Serve right away.
You Can’t Beat Me in Your Diet!
by Wendy Miller
In just one cup of me you will receive vitamins A, B and C. I also have various minerals, lipids, and all the amino acids. One reason you want me in your diet is my folic acid content; I have 126 mcg per cup! Most of my other vegetable friends don’t come near this amount. You might ask yourself why folic acid? Folic acid is necessary for proper brain function and is essential for mental and emotional health. It aids in the performance of the liver and many other essential processes for growth and reproduction of all body cells. Deficiency of folic acid results in poor growth, irritability, forgetfulness, mental sluggishness, gray hair, gastrointestinal tract disturbances and could lead to anemia because of the red blood cells I nourish.
So remember, for your health, you can’t beat beets!
Dressing and Marinade…
Our fresh spring herbs make perfect inspiration for dressings. And almost any dressing can be used as a marinade. Combine this week’s herbs with lemon juice and olive oil to make a dressing that can be used as an accompaniment for any of our vegetables raw or cooked, or try as a marinade for chicken or seafood.
Lemon Balm-Cilantro Dressing
1 cup lemon balm leaves, chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients except the oil in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake well. Add the olive oil, put the lid on and shake again. Taste and add salt if desired. Best when made at least 1 hour before serving.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . Delosperma by Ronda May Melendez
Covering the lower slope of the hillside surrounding my children’s home lies a veritable blanket of Delosperma, a hardy ice plant. While here, I observed the rhythm of life these beautiful flowers display. By mid-morning, they bathe in the sun, opening fully and allowing their bodies to absorb the warmth flooding over them. Their yellow stamens reach toward heaven in worship, as the light envelopes them. As the sun sets, they close their petals, shutting out a darkening world and the little light that remains. At nightfall, they shut entirely, retiring to what I imagine is a delightful rest and repose after a day full of openness.
As I considered this rhythm, my curiosity inspired a search. Turns out there are a few reasons scientists believe certain flowers are nyctinastic...the term describing their rhythm. These hardy flowers open during daytime to allow bees and other pollinators access to their pollen and then close in the nighttime to safely encapsulate their pollen from critters that would scavenge it and thereby diminish, or even destroy, their reproduction capabilities. Scientists also believe that by closing at nighttime, the flowers open more space between themselves, allowing nocturnal beasts to easily see and come in to feed on predatory insects and other destructive herbivores.
There are times when our lives, too, are flooded with light and warmth, when we can open wide our being and take it all in. There are also moments when we, like the Delosperma, will find it much safer to close for a time during the night. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”