From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - June 1, 2023
From the Garden this Week… Red Onions, Garlic Scapes, Carrots, Beets, Kale, Chard, Romaine and Salanova and Butter Lettuces, Fennel, Chamomile, Parsley, Oregano, Bay Leaf, Mint, Cilantro, & Lemon
Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno
I hope you have been enjoying our chamomile flowers. I love a cup of tea, and use our lemon verbena and mint often, but never had fresh chamomile until we started growing it at the garden. I just let the flowers dry on the counter for about a week. Then remove the stems and save the yellow flower head petals for your tea. Keep them in a sealed jar and use about 1 teaspoon of dried flowers for a 10 to 12-ounce mug. We also have the first of our onions coming this week. These are fresh from the ground. They will last a little while on the counter but are better stored in the fridge. We will have more, so enjoy them now and try these baked onions rings while the onions are super sweet.
Baked Onion Rings
(adapted from www.justataste.com)
2 large onions
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 egg whites
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup seasoned Italian-style breadcrumbs
* Preheat the oven to 425°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the onions into thick rings then place the raw onion rings in a bowl of water. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites and the mayonnaise. Add the breadcrumbs to a third medium bowl. Remove each onion ring from the water, shaking off any excess and then placing it immediately into the flour, tossing until it’s thoroughly coated, then dip the onion ring into the egg white mixture until it’s thoroughly coated and then into the breadcrumbs, pressing them firmly onto all sides of the onion ring. Place the onion ring on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the coating process with the remaining onion rings. Thoroughly spray the onion rings with cooking spray (this helps them brown more evenly). Bake the onion rings for 12 minutes then flip them once and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until they’re golden brown.
Fresh German Chamomile Tea
Fresh Chamomile Flowers, Separated from stems,
Boiling Water, Optional Mint or Lemon Balm Leaves
Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil.
Place 12 Flowers (with 2-3 leaves of mint or lemon balm)
in a tea strainer.
Pour the boiling water over top.
Allow Chamomile Flowers to steep for 5-7 minutes.
Strain tea into mug, add a teaspoon of honey
to the brew and enjoy.
Each spring, we cut off the flower of the garlic plant. In an act of self-preservation, the plant will send energy into the bulb, making it larger. As with many vegetables, the whole plant is edible, so we are sending these out for you to get the first taste of this year’s garlic. Enjoy in this pesto with our abundant spring parsley.
Garlic Scape Parsley Pesto
1 & ½ cups packed fresh parsley,
curly and flat leaf
3-5 garlic scapes, tips removed
juice of one lemon, about 2 tbs.
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
¼ cup grated cheese
½ cup olive oil
* Blend together in a blender. Enjoy with roasted vegetables, beans, rice, toasted bread, over seafood or chicken.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
by Keith F Martin
Cindi is visiting friends in South Carolina, so I think (decisive leadership) I am expected to take over her garden tasks, which includes writing the weekly volunteer brief (for 5/18/23). It may be ill advised to make me responsible for such weighty duties, but I will do my best to channel my inner Cindi. As I think about it, putting me in charge is like giving a teenager the key to a farm tractor with a front loader and discer attached. I could bury or disc under a lot of finished garden work (Like A & E, probably get kicked out of the garden, Wendy!). I will, for the sake of Cindi, soil, and decorum, restrain my inner Keith to channel the highest standards established by Cindi.
She likes to begin by acknowledging and appreciating those whose talents and hard work make this garden a delight and refuge. My brother Eric has stayed with me the last four days to help in Cindi’s absence and give her much needed rest. He replaced the fascia board around the shed, and it looks wonderful! The task was challenging, since he was working alone under the oversight of his older brother. That is no mean feat! No one needs a backseat contractor making suggestions about how to replace a board. I did my best to restrain myself, but there were times I made my opinions or preferences known. Always the diplomat, I would say, “Eric, you MIGHT want to try this!” or “Eric, shouldn't WE begin here first? Besides ME, Eric's biggest challenge was doing a very demanding task – sliding twelve-foot boards beneath a 4” metal flashing while standing 5’ above solid ground on a ladder – single-handedly. What's more difficult than being a one-armed wallpaper hanger? Being a two-handed fascia board installer! He did a remarkable job (Amazing what deficiencies you can cover with paint, putty, metal bending, and creative wood cutting!); the shed looks wonderful. Like any construction worker, Eric could have used two more hands and one less mouth!
I was good at holding my tongue, most of the time, but that freed my eyes to roam and find other tasks for him to do. Eric probably should have made me stay in the house. While he arm-wrestled fascia board, I noticed the little Weber grill had been left on and the propane tank had been drained. I asked him, when he had a moment between matches, to change the tank and ignite the grill to see if it worked. He did, but it didn't, even with gas and repeated attempts at pressing the electronic igniter. I suggested (diplomatically, of course) the igniter MIGHT need a new battery. After replacing it, he pressed the igniter and the grill lit immediately – wonderful, something easy! Then he lifted the lid and we saw a massive wasp nest and a swarm of wasps, but they were so loopy from the gas they couldn’t fly. They were stumbling around the grill like drunks at an open bar, and they were singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!” Startled, Eric leapt back and dropped the lid, and those buzzing wasps were instantly entombed and incinerated. Never felt a thing! We were not stung, thankfully, but the wasp carnage was horrendous. Eric needed therapy, but the therapist was in South Carolina! He should have made me stay in the house. Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be channeling Cindi and writing the standard garden brief. Thank you, Anna and Veronica and Cliff, for all you do weekly to prep the fields, plant the produce, battle weeds, and nurture the bounty to harvest. You are the brains and backs of this concerted work. Thank you, dear co-laborers and garden friends, for your hard work and faithful support of WCM. You are the heart and soul of this communal work to support those in need. We work as one to glorify one LORD, to know Him more fully, to delight in His Presence, and to make Him known in Oakdale, in Stanislaus County and California, and to the ends of earth.