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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - July 6, 2023



From the Garden this Week… Green Beans & Purple "Green" Beans, Potatoes, Squash, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Carrots, Chard, Salanova Lettuce, Green Onions, Red Onions, Shallots, Garlic, Cilantro, Dill Weed & Dill Seed, Italian Parsley, & Calendula Flowers


Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno


I had a squash recipe in my mind last week, and the Cindi mentioned making a squash gratin. I love the idea, but I didn’t want a heavy rich dish that would hide the squash flavors, so I made several changes to what I found online and then combined it with my mom’s recipe which has southwestern flavor. I cut the squash by hand and salted it for 30 minutes to drain off excess moisture, then I made a thick roux (flour-butter) with milk and mixed it with the squash and herbs, layered the mix in a casserole dish with a little cheese. Its texture is soft and creamy from cooking the squash, but this is a vegetable dish first and cream-based goodness second. Use basil and oregano with Parmesan or you can take it southwest and use a hot chili like I did.


Summer Squash Gratin


5 pieces summer squash

1 & ½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

¼ cup diced onion

1-2 tablespoons chopped, jalapeno,

fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs

¼ cup grated cheese


* Slice the summer squash into thin slices. You can use a mandolin, but I like a slightly thicker slice for the squash and use my knife. You can slice them lengthwise or cut coins. Put the squash into a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the squash is sitting, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour, mix well for 1 minute. Add the milk to the flour-butter mixture and stir over medium heat until thickened, set aside. Drain the squash in a colander and rinse with water, then let the squash drain completely. Put the squash back in the bowl and combine with the thickened milk, onion, herbs, and cheese, stir well. In a buttered 9-inch casserole dish layer the squash slices, scraping the bowl and covering the squash with any remaining gooey cheese mix. Bake for 50-60 minutes until bubbly, remove from oven, and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Slice into portions and serve. You can alternatively let the gratin cool completely, slice when cold, and reheat to 140 degrees.



Anise Hyssop


This year we planted Anise Hyssop, which is also called blue giant hyssop or licorice mint. It has a mild licorice taste and can be used as a tea or to naturally sweeten other mint teas. Put the whole bunch into boiling water, steep for 4-5 minutes; then remove the herb, chill, and use it for iced tea. If you have a summer cold, the tea can help with a cough, diarrhea, and upset stomach. This herb also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, according to The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies by Nicole Apelian, Ph.D. You can take fresh leaves and flowers, bruise them by crushing in your hand, and then apply them directly onto skin infections, wounds, or burned skin. Cover with a clean cloth.



Sour Cream Dill


I love it when the week’s produce harvest can all be served together. It is like a big road sign telling us that we should be eating seasonally, and not just for better food, but that it is better together. This is one of those weeks. You can use this sour cream dill dressing to accompany potatoes, beets, carrots, and cucumbers. The creamy dill complements these vegetables. You can double the dressing and save it for another day and another vegetable from our garden.


Sour Cream Dill Cucumber Salad


½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup minced onion

2 tablespoons minced dill

1-2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced, peeled if desired


In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, onion, and dill until blended. Add cucumbers; toss to coat. Refrigerate covered at least 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.



Metaphors of Soil and Soul…


Hope That Does Not Disappoint

by Cindi J & Keith F Martin


Have you seen lettuce, celery, or cilantro that has gone to seed? Suddenly the plant loses its compact appearance and forms wild shoots that stretch unrestrained toward the sky. The growth spurt resembles that of the tall, lanky adolescent who seems to have grown overnight from a cherubic child into a teen tornado, stretching herself skyward and ever so full of sound and fury, spit and vinegar. Like adolescents, bolting vegetable plants are wild, stubborn, and a lot of work to tame!


It is easy to look at the rows of tall, unruly plants and feel overwhelmed by their strength and the time and effort it will take to pull them out to again reclaim the fertile rows so something new can be sown. Although there is great cost in removing spent vegetation, there are also great benefits that remain: beautiful flowers, gloriously arranged on the dining table, and seeds bearing hope for another generation of sowing and reaping and new ventures in cooking.

Are you starting a new season of life but feeling pretty spent? Are you feeling overwhelmed, out of control, stretched out of shape, as if your life is an unending game of Whack-a-Mole? Without realizing it, you may be in the midst of producing beautiful flowers and power packed seeds that will multiply your influence and restore your sanity in ways you cannot now imagine. Remember, teens do eventually become adults! EVENTUALLY…

". . .we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:2b-5).





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