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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - April 6, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Broccoli, Romaine, Onions, Arugula, Spinach, Beets, Salad Mix, Carrots, White Asian Celery, Oregano, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, Radishes, Lemons, Grapefruit, Blood & Navel Oranges

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Our Swiss chard is looking beautiful right now, with large leaves and colorful stems. Swiss chard is in the same family with beets and spinach. Feel free to combine the beet greens with the chard and spinach leaves. When cooking the chard, you’ll want to separate the stems from the leaves and cook the stems first for a few minutes to soften before adding the leaves, that only need a few minutes to wilt. I found this delicious strata recipe that seemed like a perfect dish for your Easter brunch or a make ahead dinner. You can prep the entire dish ahead of time and then keep it in the refrigerator before baking.

Swiss Chard Strata

(adapted from

½ cup chopped bacon

5-6 Swiss chard, leaves chopped

and stems sliced, separated

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

9-10 cups French bread,

toasted and cubed

3 cups Swiss, Gouda, or Gruyere

cheese, shredded

10 large eggs

3 & ½ cups milk

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne

* In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving one tablespoon of drippings. Cook chard stems and onion in reserved drippings over medium heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chard leaves; cook 2 minutes. Drain. Lightly grease a 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with half the bread cubes, half the vegetable mixture and half the cheeses. Repeat layers one more time. Mix eggs, milk mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne, until well blended. Pour over layers; press down slightly. Sprinkle bacon over top. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 325°. Remove strata from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake until puffy, lightly browned, and set, about 1 hour.

Debbie Wellman - Wellspring Charitable Gardens Volunteer

Debbie sent us this lovely picture of the oregano she grows in her Oakdale garden. You have seen it up close and may have used it your recipe last week. More of Debbie’s oregano comes to you this week!

Debbie has been a part of WCG family for over two years. She expertly gathers and prepares the herbs that arrive weekly in your purple produce bags. She is also the gifted photographer who poses our produce for the newsletter and social media pictures. We are so grateful for the gift of her talents and expertise in support of Wellspring. Thank you, Debbie! You are a blessing and delight!

Dill and Lemon…

The fresh lemon and dill flavors make a great combination. This soup recipe adds both at the end for a fresh burst, you don’t want to cook the herbs for more than a few minutes to heat the soup thoroughly.

Lemony-Dill Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion diced

¼ cup diced celery

1 carrot, diced

Salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

½ cup raw orzo pasta

2-3 cups chopped cabbage leaves 4 cups water, vegetable or chicken stock 1 cup chopped cooked chicken 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1/3 cup chopped dill

* In a large soup pot heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, celery, carrot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the bay leaf, orzo, cabbage leaves and water/stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the orzo is cooked. Add the chicken, lemon zest, juice, and dill. Bring soup to a boil, remove the bay leaf, and serve right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Behold Your King…. Give Us Barabbas

Keith F Martin

Jesus entered Jerusalem during Passover greeted by enthusiastic crowds and joyous acclaim: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” By the week’s end, though, the crowds had turned hostile, clamoring for His death - “Crucify Him…. We have no king but Caesar” - but choosing life for a condemned insurrectionist and murderer, Barabbas. How quickly the crowds and attitudes changed. Jesus’ words to Judas at the Passover meal foreshadow this, “What you do, do quickly.”

Israel had once before publicly rejected God, their King. God had ruled Israel by providing commandments that, when willingly obeyed, ensured an orderly, safe, and prosperous life, a God-blessed life. Whenever Israel went astray from those life-sustaining laws, chaos, violence, tyranny, and suffering ensued. Once their suffering became unbearable, they repented and cried out to God who would appoint a judge to deliver and restore Israel from domestic and foreign oppression. Change, however, came with Samuel, the last judge God appointed. Samuel himself appointed the final two judges, his sons. Unlike Samuel, though, they “turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.” Seeking relief from their abuses, the Israelites urged Samuel to appoint a king to rule over them. Samuel refused their plea, but God intervened: “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day… they have forsaken Me…”

The Passion Week of Christ once again exposed the raw, conflicting attitudes we humans have toward our God, His rule, and our desperate need for authority. Willful, we forsake God and conceal our enmity behind pretense: “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” We reject God as king yet concede our need for law and order to protect ourselves from each other; therefore, we choose rule by kings from a divided house - one king rules me, the other king rules all others. One king’s sword is drawn; mine remains sheathed as I do what is right in my own eyes. I want the blessing, but choose the curse; I want life, but choose death; I want peace, but do violence and seek revenge; I want mercy, but demand justice for all others. Desperate, I need precisely what Jesus passionately prayed and died for: “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.”


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