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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - February 9, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Broccoli, Red Cabbage or Romanesco or Cauliflower, Kale, Carrots, Chinese Celery, Parsley, Dill, Lemon Grass, Rosemary, Oregano, Blood & Navel Oranges, Lemons & Grapefruit

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

It’s the time of year when I start looking for new ideas for broccoli. Try adding steamed broccoli to mashed potatoes. Or serve broccoli over a baked potato and melt cheese on top. Sauté with beef or chicken in an Asian stir-fry. Serve with pasta and alfredo sauce in an Italian Primavera. I always lean on my favorite broccoli salad with mayonnaise, bacon, red onion, and sunflower seeds, but sometimes I want a lighter dish. This recipe for an Asian inspired broccoli slaw with ramen noodles gives the salad a crunchy treat. You could use crispy chow mein noodles instead of ramen if you have them. If you have a food processor you can chop the broccoli using the largest slicing blade, but you might find a knife to be just as fast and you don’t need to wash all of the pieces.

Broccoli Slaw with Crunchy Noodles

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey or sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 package of instant ramen noodles,

broken into bite-sized pieces

5-6 cups chopped broccoli stems and florets

2 carrots, shredded

1 cup of coarsely chopped celery leaves

¼ cup almonds, toasted

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

*Combine the oil, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil in a large mixing bowl, blend well. To the dressing, add in the noodles, broccoli, carrots, celery, almonds, green onion, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables. Let the salad sit for 1-2 hours before serving.

This Week’s Chosen Vegetable: Cruciferae Broccoli

Broccoli was once called a cruciferous vegetable. These vegetables, named after the Latin word for cross “crucifrerae,” have four equal-sized petals of flowers that resemble a crucifix. Today, they are called brassicas. The Latin “brassicaceae” simply means cabbage, but I prefer the spiritual allusion made by calling them “cross” vegetables.

This family of nutritious veggies includes broccoli, radishes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, arugula, Bok choy, turnips, rutabagas, and more. Besides flavoring your meals, these vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which may help lower the risk of various ailments like cancer and coronary heart disease. Brassicas are rich in vitamins, such as C, folic acid, and minerals - potassium, iron, and selenium. Three cups of broccoli have 7 grams of protein!

Citrus Season…

I rarely drink juice throughout the year, but with the abundance of citrus that becomes available in the winter, I enjoy the treat for these months. Try creating a non-alcoholic cocktail with sparkling water and simple syrup. Add a sprig of fresh mint or rosemary for an herbal essence.

Citrus Spritzer

3-4 tablespoons of juice from one blood orange,

navel orange, or half of a small grapefruit

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons water

1 sprig of mint or 1-inch piece of rosemary

12 ounces sparkling water

Combine the juice, sugar, water, and fresh herb in a tall glass and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Top with the sparkling water and stir gently to combine. Add ice if desired.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Unless It Falls

by Ronda May Melendez

Garlic has been my tutor this week. Weeks back, we took broken, brittle remains of garlic heads and gave them a proper burial in the garden fields. One might think those withered fragments had no value since they were no longer useful in the kitchen. Once juicy and pungent, the shriveled unsavory cloves are best tossed with the trash…right?

While the evidence before our eyes appears to support this conclusion, faith in the unseen work of a seed’s potential, realized only in its death and burial, empowers the effort that leads to resurrection and renewed life. The dark winter soil provides the empty grave needed for a spring resurrection. Indeed, we must remember that the essence of faith is “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11). We planted those shriveled cloves; we had faith, not concern or doubt, that there would be a harvest of fresh garlic in due season! We were convinced that those shriveled bodies, no longer good for kitchen use, would revive in the moist fertile soil and take root to reproduce after their own kind…in abundance. Life, sprouting from the barren brown soil, now rises green and beautiful in the garden rows.

Consider the condition of your life at the moment? Have you lost your juice or pungency? Do you feel dry, useless, shriveled, spent? If so, do not fret. God knows how to take what is spent and give it life abundant. What is no longer useful in one area, now restored, is of extraordinary value in another. You are of value.

Our broken, withered remains hold the promise of vibrant new life when entrusted to the hands of the Master Gardener: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:24-26).

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Ezekiel 37


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