From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - July 28, 2022


From the Garden this Week… Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Beets, Red Onions, Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, Garlic, Chives, Dill, Lavender, Grapes & Peaches


Coming Soon… Super Hot! Peppers & Sweet Heirloom Melons



Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno


Even though our lavender makes a fragrant addition to flower arrangements it is completely edible and lends a floral aroma to savory foods. You can use it fresh when you pick up your basket or dry it before storing in a sealed container. To dry, keep on a plate on the counter. In a few days the stems will dry and the blossoms will start to fall off. You can strip the remaining blossoms and then let it sit for about a week more. A simple savory recipe would be to use it like rosemary in roasted potatoes. Use 1 tablespoon blossoms combined with 2-3 pounds of potatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast at 400° F for 25-30 minutes. Lavender goes well with lemon and can be added to lemonade. Combine 1 cup of sugar with ¼ cup lavender blossoms and 1 cup boiling water, to make a lavender simple syrup. Let it steep until cool and then strain out the blossoms. Combine with about 1 cup of lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Also, check out the chicken salad recipe below.


Curried Lavender Chicken Salad


2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 medium unpeeled red apple, chopped

¾ cup dried cranberries

½ cup thinly sliced celery

¼ cup chopped pecans

2 Tbs thinly sliced green onions

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 tsp lime juice

½ to ¾ tsp curry powder

½ tsp dried lavender, ground


*In a bowl combine the first six ingredients. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder and lavender. Add to chicken mixture and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on party rye bread, toast, or sliced baguettes.




On Lavender


Lavender, a fragrant herb with a storied history, is used in essential oils, perfumes, soaps, medicines, and culinary specialties. Lavender derives its name from the Latin verb “lavare,” meaning to wash, and belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), which is famous for its aromatic herbs and balms - hyssop, lemon balm, peppermint, rosemary, marjoram, basil, thyme.


- During the Elizabethan Age baths weren't common practice, so lavender was used to perfume clothes and bed linen. Queen Elizabeth required her furniture and clothing be refreshed with a lavender-derived cleanser and drank lavender-infused tea to settle her stomach.


- For some, lavender expresses passion and love, but also distrust. In Shakespeare’s late romance, The Winter’s Tale, we read: "Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun, and with him rise weeping." A Victorian legend suggested that Queen Cleopatra was killed by an asp that was hidden beneath a bouquet of lavender.


- For others, lavender represents purity, devotion, and peace, its purple hue royalty. Lavender is one of the oldest, most fragrant, and most familiar essential oils known. The Greek word for lavender is “Nardus.” Remember this most tender of moments in John’s Gospel: “Mary then took a pound of very expensive perfume of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”




Pesto…

Named for the mortar and pestle that is traditionally used as the method to crush and combine all the ingredients. Pesto can be made with any herbs or leaves like arugula. Basil pesto is just the most famous variation. I’ve made it in both a food processor and a mortar, but usually opt for the easier choice. There might be a slight flavor difference between the two methods, but for most of us, it’s not noticeable.


Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1-2 cloves garlic

juice of one lemon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


*Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with on toasted bread, or use as a topping for beans, rice, seafood, or chicken.




Metaphors of Soil and Soul… by Cindi J. Martin, LCSW


Preparing for the Next Season of Life…


What most surprised me about vegetable gardening is how far in advance farmers prepare for the coming season. I often hear people say that they were unsuccessful at their winter gardening attempts and simply gave up. Their lament reminds me of my first failed attempts at planting broccoli and cauliflower - cool weather crops - in my backyard. I had planted late in the season, so they were overrun by pests, did not grow very large, and flowered before I ever had a chance to enjoy them for dinner. Just recently, our resident Master Gardener, Heidi Aufdermaur, planted out the seed trays in our shade cloth area. Here we are in the heat of summer, enjoying our cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes, and she is already thinking about what we need to plant for the autumn and winter.


Conscious and intentional preparation is the key to successful seasons in the garden. Are you thinking about the season of life you are heading toward? If you are a senior in high school, are you thinking ahead about what will be needed for your career? If you are a mom, have you thought about preparing for the empty nest? For those of us at the end of our employment years, did we start planning for retirement at the beginning of our careers? And for those of us who are aging adults, have we considered long-term care policies in the event we are disabled and want to stay in our homes?


Yes, excessive or obsessive planning for tomorrow can drain us of energy needed for living today, but denial and avoidance of planning today will deprive us of resources needed for tomorrow. We are most productive and fruitful when we find that disciplined balance between living in the present and preparing for the future.


All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;

yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the

peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Romans 12:11 (NASB)



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