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from Wellspring Charitable Gardens This Week - August 25, 2022

From the Garden this Week… Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Green and Purple Beans, Eggplant, Shallots, Melon, Basil, Cilantro, Dill, & Lavender

Coming Soon… Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Eggplant is a vegetable that can be difficult to cook if you are unfamiliar with it. Eggplant needs to be cooked thoroughly until it is soft. If it is under cooked it will be rubbery and chewy. When cooked completely it should be soft. It is the perfect vegetable to soak up other flavors of the dish. The skin can add texture to the soft flesh, but if you don’t like it just peel the eggplant with a vegetable peeler before cutting into cubes. The flesh of the eggplant with start to turn brown as soon as it is exposed to air, but it will also change with cooking and does not matter that it starts to brown before. This week we just have enough for one per basket, so provided this pasta recipe to mix other vegetables together in a simple stir-fry before making a light sauce with white wine and olive oil. Make sure that the eggplant is soft before adding the other items.

Pasta Fresca (Fresh Pasta)

8 ounces dry linguine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 summer squash, halved and cubed

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup dry white wine

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

*Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain pasta, and set It aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, ½ teaspoon salt, and stir. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the summer squash, garlic, and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, and cook 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, then toss to coat with the vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, basil, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

How You Help Those Who Are Hurting

Your purchases of farm to table produce make a difference in the lives of hurting people in our community. Recently I spoke to a community leader who called Wellspring Counseling Ministries for help finding a therapist for a loved one. He was frustrated by the many calls he had made to counselors who were not seeing new clients or did not return his calls. He called us because he knew he would get a return call. We hear this story again and again. Yes, we are human and do sometimes let a call fall through the cracks, but our mission and deepest desire is to call within 24 hours every single person who calls us. We then contact our network therapists to find out who is available, whether they take the client’s insurance, and whether that therapist has specialized expertise related to the client’s specific needs. We do this so our clients do not experience the discouragement of calling and calling and not receiving a call back from a real person with real compassion who can offer real assistance. It takes great courage for those needing counseling to reach out for help. When we answer a call and provide resources and referrals in a timely manner, we are fulfilling our goal to connect hurting people to healing relationships. Thank you for doing your part to make our mission possible.

Fruit Salad Sweet and Spicy…

Combining a sweet melon and a spicy pepper brings out the flavor in the pepper besides the heat. If you don’t like any heat, feel free to substitute a bell pepper, but if you want to push the limits of your palate, mince the hot pepper well and give this recipe a try. If you have rubber gloves, wear them when you cut the pepper, to keep your

Melon Salad

1 small melon, diced small

1-2 cucumbers, diced

¼ cup finely diced shallot

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy right away. Sweet and spicy!

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Barren Spaces

by Ronda May Melendez

“Though the fig tree does not bud and

There are no grapes on the vines,

Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19

The garden has been abundantly fruitful this summer season, and for that we are incredibly grateful. The Lord has been so gracious to us.

This week, though, my thoughts are drawn toward the empty fields of the garden. The carrot beds and spent bean vines were cleared out this week, leaving barren spaces. For some reason, as I walked through the garden feeling very full and grateful for its abundance, these spots continued to catch my eye. Normally, I would be saddened by their emptiness, maybe even anxious, wondering what the future would bring these forlorn fields. This time my heart felt something different toward those barren spaces… a tangible HOPE embedded in a palpable PROMISE.

On first blush, it may seem that barren spaces of life are desperately vacuous. Really, they aren’t. They are spaces cleared for opportunity, for new growth. It’s opportunity to focus our attention on the Creator, the One who provides faithfully for all things. It’s opportunity to remember those times and ways in the past when He finally filled - had not forsaken - those once barren spaces. It’s opportunity to trust in the One who sees what, where, and when we cannot. HE…HAS…NEVER…FAILED…US, and He never will.

Spaces in life may appear temporarily void of what we think needs to be there, but they are not devoid of LIFE when we invite Him to join us in those spaces. And His promises are never void. In the wait, let us, like Habakkuk, rejoice and be joyful in God our Savior and Provider.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

And do not return there without watering the earth

And making it produce and sprout,

And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

So will My word be which goes out of My mouth.

It will not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I desire,

without succeeding in that for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11


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