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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - June 15, 2023


From the Garden this Week… Potatoes, Red Onions, Carrots, Beets, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Dragon’s Tongue Green Beans, Japanese Eggplant, Salanova Lettuce, Kale, Basil, Chives, Mint, Lemon, Cherries & Apricots


Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno


The first of our stone fruit is finally ready to harvest. The cool spring weather has put these items a few weeks later than normal. I suggest enjoying them in the first few days after receiving them. To store them longer, remove the pits and freeze to enjoy in smoothies. For our onions, keep them in the fridge, storing them in a sealed bag or container, so that they aroma doesn’t fill the refrigerator. This week we have our new potatoes coming. You can keep them in a cool dark location, but like the onions use them within a week or so. They won’t last like potatoes from the grocery store. Enjoy them simply, by boiling served with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or butter and fresh herbs. If you have a bit more time, try this two-step recipe, boiling first and then smashed and skillet fried.


Smashed Potatoes


1-2 pounds new potatoes

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons of oil

½ small onion, chopped

1 sprig rosemary

Salt

Fresh ground black pepper


* Bring a pot of water, about 2 quarts, to a boil, with 1 tablespoon salt. Add the potatoes and turn the heat down to a low boil, cooking for 12-16 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked drain the water and let them cool for about 30 minutes allowing them to dry. In a non-stick or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Smash each potato with a mallet or the bottom of a glass or cup and place it in the hot pan. Let the potatoes brown in the pan, without moving them around, for 5-6 minutes. Flip the potatoes and add the rosemary and chopped onion around the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently stir the potatoes, onions and rosemary until the onions are cooked about 3-4 more minutes. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy right away.



Cliff’s Patio Garden


Fresh from patio to plate, Cliff Harper’s vegetables will soon be ripe for pickin’! Convenient mobile bins planted with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, squash, melons, and blackberries allow Cliff to arrange his produce to take full advantage of the sun and space of his “green acre.” We are grateful to Cliff for sharing his patio garden pictures and his garden expertise here at WCG for so many years. Thank you, Cliff, for generously offering your time, energy, and many talents to make WCG a delight and blessing to others!


Fresh Pickles…


Our fresh root vegetables make a quick pickle, that will be ready in the fridge for a snack, salad garnish, or a side dish. They will change in texture over the first 24-72 hours, so taste them each day to see how you like them. If you don’t like the heat, leave out the jalapeno or substitute with black peppercorns.


Fresh Pickled Carrots


2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup vinegar, apple cider, white wine,

rice or distilled white vinegar

1 cup water

4-5 carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick

1-2 turnips or radishes

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 spring fresh oregano

¼ onion, sliced

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, optional

1 fresh jalapeno, sliced


* In a large glass measuring cup, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, and water, stir to dissolve. Pack the carrots, turnips, garlic, oregano, salt, onion, coriander, and jalapenos into a quart jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables, leaving about a ¼ inch at the top. Refrigerate and enjoy after at least 24 hours.



Metaphors of Soil and Soul…


A Pain in the Thin

by Cindi J Martin


We have been planting more fruit trees – apricot, cherry, peach - on the land where we harvest produce for our Wellspring Charitable Gardens subscribers. Every year at this time, tree limbs bow heavy with dense clusters of green, hard stone fruit that must be thinned or “cleaned,” as the New Testament Gospel calls the practice (John 15:3).


I admit that at the beginning of our gardening venture I had to invite a farmer friend to the property to help relieve my anxiety about knocking down so much good fruit. It seemed a waste, until he explained the risks of not thinning – broken limbs and damaged trees; diseased, mildewed, and undersized fruit. Intellectually I understood, but a familiar pain gripped my heart when he said to discard enough fruit so those remaining were a fist apart. Uncertain and Wavering, I needed his support to release my hold – my control - and his reassurance to wait expectantly for favorable results. Doubt and fear lurked in my mind, but as directed, I thinned anyway. After a few years of practice with my farmer friend, I developed a secure confidence in the thinning practice and the promised results. Faith and trust in God are built in a comparable way. People of great faith often speak of great fear and doubt coexisting with faith. They built confidence one experience of “doubtful trust” at a time. Emily Dickenson wrote, “We both believe, and disbelieve a hundred times an hour, which keeps Believing nimble.” The desperate father who approached Jesus for the healing of his demon possessed son said, “I do believe, help my unbelief.”


Thinning the fruit makes room for the remaining fruit to develop fully and grow to maturity. Sometimes, the fruit of our soul is small because we are not thinning some good things we have crowded onto our limbs. Trying to do too many good things at once can break us or stunt our growth. Letting promising things drop to the ground so the remaining fruit can mature and fully ripen requires an enormous, yet nimble, step of faith – out onto a limb.


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