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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - April 13, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Cabbage, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Romaine, Onions, Arugula, Spinach, Turnips, Radishes, Salad Mix, Mesclun Mix, Carrots, Fennel, White Asian Celery, Rosemary, Cilantro, Parsley, Dill, Lemons & Grapefruit

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Lemon balm is a lemon scented herb that is in the mint family. We have a patch at the garden that comes back each spring. When the weather warms, we cut it back and then wait for the next year. Lemon balm has a light fresh scent that is perfect in the spring. For a simple sauce, melt butter (or warm some extra virgin olive oil) and add some chopped dill and chopped lemon balm for a simple sauce for chicken, shrimp, fish, or even sautéed vegetables. I also recommend this simple shortbread cookie recipe using our lemon balm

Lemon Balm Shortbread Cookies

2 tablespoons minced lemon balm leaves

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

* In small dish, combine the lemon balm and lemon juice, press mixture with back of spoon to blend. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in egg & lemon mixture. Gradually beat in flour & salt. Roll the dough into a log and the wrap with parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm about 2-3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove from the oven when slightly golden brown around the edge. Let cool and enjoy.

A Special Thank You to Our Faithful Subscribers

It is hard to believe that it has been six years since the dream of having a community supported agriculture (CSA) project became a reality. Do you know how important your local support is to our community? Hundreds of people in crisis have contacted our ministry. You are the core funding that keeps Wellspring Counseling Ministries (WCM) linking hurting children, couples, and families to qualified therapists in our area. Faith based counseling is not easy to find, so WCM was founded in 2004 to create a network of professional, licensed counselors as well as skilled pastoral counselors and coaches to meet that need. We work hard to honor your support by providing you fresh, high quality, delicious, locally grown produce.

Fennel Bulbs…

Fennel is a strong flavored vegetable that people often love or hate. If you are not a fan of the raw fennel flavor, I recommend cooking it. The longer you cook it, the more its flavor mellows. When using fennel raw, it works better to balance it with other strong flavors. This salad recipe combines fennel with celery and parsley and neutral flavored chickpeas, that will be enhanced with time.

Marinated Chickpea Salad with Fennel and Parsley

2 celery ribs, finely chopped 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored, and finely chopped 3/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion 2 cans chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, cooked until tender 1 teaspoon salt 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

* Drain cooked chickpeas. If using canned, rinse the chickpeas. In a large bowl combine the salt, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, chopped celery, fennel, parsley, and green onion. Let the salad marinate for 30 minutes or overnight if possible.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Letting Go

Cindi J Martin

There are continuous seasons of "letting go" in our garden. Walking the empty rows, I can't help but feel sorrow as I consider the spent vegetation I have pulled and cast onto the compost pile. Weeks ago, these garden rows were teeming with life and delicious heads of heirloom broccoli and cauliflower flaunting their green and purple delights. Those beautiful heads were harvested, now only shriveled stalks and withered leaves remain.

Releasing a season ended is as essential to garden life as embracing one soon to begin. Both releasing and embracing require faith – “the assurance of thing hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Casting those spent plants onto their burial mound heralds my belief in the unseen forces of time, rot, heat, and diverse organisms to transform death into life. In time, the decayed organic matter will be recast as treasured compost, what gardeners call “black gold,” the most valuable amendment for restoring depleted soil and nourishing new garden life.

In attempts to avoid the sorrow and grief of releasing, many have misspent time and untold energies vainly holding on to a season in decay. Denying decline, we prolong our pain and preclude our transformation. Mary Magdalene, at the tomb of Christ, embodies how humans struggle to let go and believe:

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I

don’t know where they have put him.”

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing

there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who

is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if

you have carried him away, tell me where you

have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,

“Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not

yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my

brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to

my Father and your Father, to my God and

your God.'”

There will always be sorrow-filled seasons of letting go, painful times when we must cast the withered remains of our faded hopes, desires, or dreams onto the compost heap. There, God will help us through our grief and restore our broken hearts with new life and everlasting love. Leo Tolstoy is quoted as saying, “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” As we rejoice in the Light and Life from the empty tomb, let us also be emboldened to embrace our God and our Father whole-heartedly and enjoy the promised intimacy realized through Christ ascending.

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