From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - April 28, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Kale, Swiss Chard, Romaine Lettuce, Butter Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, Parsnip, Oregano, Chives, Cilantro, Lemon Balm, Grapefruit, Oranges, and Lemons
Coming Soon… Beets
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Parsnips are a spring vegetable here in California. They take a long time to grow over the winter and are a sweet root vegetable related to carrots and celery. They are usually peeled, but most important, you will need to remove the center core of the parsnip. The core will become woody in the largest section of the parsnip. Remove the core first and then grate the outside portions on the box grater. This recipe takes advantage of all our spring herbs in a savory yogurt sauce. Alternatively, you could use sour cream. If you don’t eat dairy products, substitute ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil and you will have a perfect vinaigrette dressing.
Parsnip Fritters with Yogurt Herb Sauce (from dishingupthedirt.com)
1-2 parsnips, peeled
1 russet potato, peeled
¼ cups minced spring onion
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup oil, for frying
Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain Greek style yogurt
2 Tablespoons minced fresh herbs,
(Any combination of chives, lemon
balm, oregano, and cilantro)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Prepare the yogurt sauce by combining all the ingredients and whisking until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Prepare the parsnips and potato by grating them on the large holes of a box grater OR use the largest shredder attachment on a food processor. Transfer the grated vegetables to a dishtowel and wring out any moister. Let veggies sit for 1-2 minutes and then wring them out once more. Transfer the grated veggies to a bowl. Add the minced onion, salt, and flour. Toss until well combined. Stir in the egg and mix until everything is well incorporated. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon scoops of the mixture into the skillet, flattening gently with a spatula. Cook until golden brown and crisp. About 3-4 minutes per side. Serve fritters with garlic yogurt dip.
The artichoke, part of the sunflower family, is an unbloomed flower
native to the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. Artichokes are one of
the oldest foods known to humans.
Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium. They are also good source of vitamin B complex, vitamin K, vitamin E, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Artichokes also contain some of the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants among fresh vegetables.
To make a great salad, you need to have dry leaves of lettuce or greens, otherwise you end up with a watery salad. I have found a salad spinner to be indispensable. I am not a fan of gadgets, but this one is worth it. The greens will last the longest if you wash and dry the greens as soon as you bring them home. Then store them in a dry plastic bag with a dry paper towel to help absorb any residual water.
Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced onion
¼ teaspoon salt
3-4 cups spinach, washed and chopped
2-4 radishes and shredded
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine lemon juice, minced onion, salt, and olive oil, whisking together in a large bowl. Add in the spinach and radishes and toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the leaves in a serving bowl or platter and top with the oranges, cheese, and nuts. Eat right away.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul … Fenway Victory Garden
by Ronda May Melendez
As I ran down Boylston Avenue, the misting rain on my hair and the cold wind on my face made me glad that I brought winter running clothes to Boston. Already ecstatic to run in one of the most exquisite cities I have ever visited in North America, I rejoiced as my feet pounded the pavement. I breathed in the moist air, faced the cold winds, and determined to absorb the New England beauty.
Reaching a point where walking appealed to me more, I slowed my pace, dragged in deep breaths, and found myself meandering through streets lined with stunning centuries-old homes. I rounded a corner and realized I was viewing a garden, a community garden, the oldest U.S. victory garden, continuously operating since WWII.
This garden isn’t just old; it’s unique. Built on a fen, a wetland fed by groundwater and drainage from surrounding soils, it supports a variety of plant and animal life. It also supports human relationships. Over 495 members of various Boston neighborhoods gather on the 7.5-acre plot through the year to grow produce and flowers, relax, commune, and enjoy family together. The elderly mingle with the young. Blustery winds meet spring blooms. Lovely things happen in this beautiful place that was once filled with brackish sewage water. It took renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead to come in and design a way for the sea tides to flow through the land and wash out the sewage preventing native plants, which love a touch of salt, from rooting and thriving.
The Architect of the universe does the same to the landscape of our lives. Neither salt nor sewage are invincible impediments to our growth. He redesigns our terrain so His cleansing tides may reclaim lands for victory gardens that grow beautiful and promised things.