From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - January 26, 2023
From the Garden this Week… Red Cabbage or Romanesco or Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Broccoli Sprouts, Salad Mix, Red Bunching Onions, Carrots, Turnips, Chinese White Celery, Chard, Dill, Rosemary, Cilantro, Watermelon Radish, Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines & Blood Oranges
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Grilling any vegetable brings out the sweetness but the char adds another layer of flavors. When grilling onion, this is accentuated because cooking onions reduces the sulfur compounds which give onions their traditional bite and make you cry. This recipe has green onions as the main ingredient in the dressing. I suggest using it as a dressing for any of the cruciferous vegetables - red cabbage, Romanesco, or broccoli - coming this week. You could mix it raw as a slaw or grill or blanch the vegetables prior to adding the dressing.
Grilled Green Onion Dressing
1 bunch green onions
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
* Prepare the barbecue for high-heat grilling. Clean the green onions and trim the roots off. Lightly oil green onions. Cook the onions on the hottest part of the grill for about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly blackened. Remove and let the green onions cool enough so you can handle them. Cut the grilled green onions into ¼ inch slices against the grain of the onion. Put the green onions in a blender with the garlic, mustard, salt, black pepper, mayonnaise, and vinegar. Blend until well mixed. Drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Taste and adjust the salt, vinegar, and oil by adding additional if desired.
Vicarious Farming with Wellspring Charitable Gardens:
Bounty and Bust Seasons
Did you know that you are a vicarious farmer if you subscribe to Wellspring Charitable Gardens? As a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member, you invest in and experience the changing seasons as your local farmers do. First, you won’t find tomatoes in your January bags even though you will find them at the grocery store. It has surprised some members that they only receive what is in season and can be grown in our central valley climate during winter. Second, you experience the impact of all the variations in weather that each season brings. Most notably is the bounty (sometimes huge bags) in the summer and fall months and the bust (smaller bags) during winter and early spring. If you are a new subscriber, do not fear, a smaller bag in winter will be replaced with huge, bountiful bags (at times two bags) during later spring, summer, and fall. At this time, you will find more herbs, citrus, lemon grass, and even the occasional Aloe Vera Leaf included in your baskets. Thank you for your support over the long-haul through seasonal changes and ever-changing harvest yields.
Raw kale salads take advantage of the hearty leafy green, allowing us to prepare it ahead of time and then enjoy later, similar to coleslaw. The bitter green lends itself to the bold flavors of cheese and fruit. Feel free to mix and match with what you have on hand, feta or goat cheese would work well too.
Massaged Kale Salad with Toasted Nuts, Dried Cherries & Parmesan
1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts or
almonds, coarsely chopped
¼ cup dried cherries, cranberries, raisins
or currants, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
or Romano cheeses
salt and pepper
Place the thinly sliced kale in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, syrup, and salt. Massage the mixture with your fingers until all the kale is well-coated and looks a bit darker in color. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Let it sit 30 minutes, if possible, then serve.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
by Ronda May Melendez
I dinked about Google this week searching for an answer to, “Why does the quince have thorns?” I will admit, dear readers, that I got tickled at David Beaulieu’s description of quince’s nature. He wrote, “The flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is a thorny, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a somewhat messy growth habit but beautiful red, orange, white, or pink flowers to go with shiny, dark green foliage.” “Thorny” and “somewhat messy growth habit'' indeed! Sounds like human beings if you ask me.
I have been reflecting upon quince’s thorns surrounding the beauty of its blossoms. It seems a contradiction to me. Amid bleak winter days, alluring beauty brandishes very painful weapons. Why? Those thorns protect it against destructive animals and pests! I had been taught to look upon thorns and thistles as the curse of sin. It occurred to me, however, that we might also view them as a gift from God arrayed against the ravages of sin. Those thorns curb the aggressive nature of animals and pests that would destroy the quince bush. They provide protection so that it is not consumed outright or, at least, that is made more difficult. Its beautiful blooms invite beneficial creatures – bees and other pollinators - to enjoy and partake in its attractive growth, as messy as its growth pattern may be, while in its thorns signal dire warnings to those that would wantonly consume and destroy.
Maybe we, too, can view the boundaries in our lives as thorns signaling others to approach with care and respect. There is beauty here to enjoy and it is worth protecting, despite our “somewhat messy growth habits.”