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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - August 17, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Italian Eggplant, Varieties of Summer Squash & Zucchinis, Armenian or Slicing or Lemon Cucumbers, Large Heirloom & Cherry Tomatoes, Jimmy Nardello & Lunchbox & Hot Peppers, Green Beans, Swiss Chard, Red Onion, Garlic, Basil, Grapes & Peaches

Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Our fresh tomatoes should not be refrigerated. You’ll want to store them on the counter until ready to eat. They will fully ripen and keep for several days at room temperature. If you don’t need them when they are ready, remove the stem end and freeze the whole tomato, to use later. When the weather cools, I will thaw, cook, and blend them into sauce, then strain out the seeds and skins by passing the sauce through a sieve (you’ll want to make sure to use one with holes that aren’t too big or two small. This week I included a recipe for a middle eastern eggplant dip. This is similar to hummus but uses the eggplant as the base. It’s a delicious way to eat them up.

Baba Ghanoush

2-3 eggplant

¼ cup tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil, more to serve

2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

* Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the eggplants in half and cook them, cut side down, on the baking sheet, in the oven, until soft, about 35-45 minutes. When you press your finger on the eggplant skin it should collapse. Let cool and then scoop out the flesh. Chop the eggplant coarsely with a knife and place the flesh in a large bowl. Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne, mixing well. Serve with pita chips or toasted bread.

Baba Ghanoush, Eggplant, Names,

and Confusion

I remember the first time I faced perplexing uncertainty in my world. I was 5. I asked my mom about dinner, and she announced, “We are having eggplant.” “Eggplant?” I replied, “Eggs grow on plants?” Confused, I thought a chicken was involved in the process somehow? Curious, I ate with a somewhat open mind, to my regret. I did not enjoy that slimy, tasteless blight. I had to grow up a generation or two to enjoy that delicacy cooked as Baba Ghanoush. But I am still perplexed by its name “eggplant.” It still makes me wonder. Which came first, the chickenplant or the eggplant? Life still perplexes me, though I am more at peace with mystery and complexity and paradox the older I get.


Tahini is made from toasted sesame seeds. The fat and flavor make it a great substitute for oil in a dressing. Since, you might not have this in your pantry I used it in both recipes, to encourage you to buy some. If you want to experiment, try making your own. Buy the seeds from the bulk bin and toast them and blend in the blender with a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for 1 cup of seeds.

Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Garbanzos and Tahini Dressing

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon tahini paste

1 garlic clove minced or crushed

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups tomatoes, cherry tomatoes halved or

large tomatoes roughly chopped

1 Armenian cucumber, cubed, seeds removed

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed or

2 cups cooked beans

¼ cup red or white onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped basil

In a large bowl combine the oil, vinegar, tahini, garlic and salt. Stir well to combine the dressing ingredients. Gently stir in the tomatoes, cucumber, beans, onion and basil. Serve right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Grasping Light

by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin

Lately, I have been pondering a science experiment my children and I did when they were quite young. We took two beans, “planted” them in a damp paper towel, and stored them in separate jars. One jar we placed in a space filled with light, and the other we consigned to complete darkness. We left them otherwise alone, except for their prescribed clinical check-up to document daily growth. What did we find? The bean flooded with light had unfurled into a well-shaped, vigorous green seedling, while the bean surrounded by darkness grew into a “leggy,” gaunt, pallid seedling. Such marked differences! But why?

Truth is the seedling dwelling in darkness was suffocating and starving, deprived of vital nutrients absorbed from its surroundings. Plants require light to live; light enables them to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) into nourishment. They convert water to oxygen which, like breath, is expelled, and carbon dioxide to glucose, a sugar stored and consumed as food. As seedlings seek sustenance for growth, they naturally stretch toward life-shaping and life-sustaining light. Without light, plants stretch out every which way, desperately seeking what they need. If they fail to find light, they will not long survive nor ever bear fruit.

Do you ever find yourself hungry or gasping for air? I certainly do! Like seedlings, we suffocate and starve when surrounded by darkness. We atrophy without light; a gaunt self cannot grow into the robust being God designed us to be. Let’s ask the obvious question: Are we living in the light? If not, is our present darkness within or beyond our control? Are we choosing darkness by resisting truth about our nature, about the influence of others, or about any desperate situation that throws a shadow or eclipses the light?

When we avoid light or resist truth, we, like the bean in darkness, will grope desperately for something – at times, anything - to sustain our being, but any momentary or artificial relief we substitute for light comes at the expense of lasting freedom, health, joy, and peace. Deprived of light, we cannot grow into robust, fruit bearing beings. We must choose - either a stunted, pain-etched, limited existence or a robust, fruitful, sustainable life. God is Everlasting Light; He gives abundant life now, and He will sustain that life through all eternity.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind.

And the Light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not grasp it. John 1:4-5


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