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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - March 2, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Broccoli, Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Onions, Salad Mix, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsley, Radishes, Grapefruit, Blood & Navel Oranges

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This time of year, the herbs start to grow in full force. One of my favorite online chefs, Alison Roman, posted this recipe for slow roasted salmon last week that used all the herbs and citrus available, I thought she might have written it just for us. She slow cooks the fish with hearty oregano, rosemary, and sliced citrus, then finishes the dish with a fresh herb salad. Enjoy the herb salad with bites of salmon to balance the tangy flavor with the rich fish. She completely recommends saving the oil to use for cooking or for salad dressing.

Slow Roasted Salmon

with Fresh Herbs and Citrus

(by Alison Roman)

¾ pound salmon filet

salt and freshly ground

black pepper

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 blood orange, mandarin, or

regular orange, thinly sliced

2-3 tablespoons coarsely chopped

rosemary and oregano

½-1 cup olive oil

¾ cup fresh herb leaves, such as

parsley, cilantro, and dill

1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


*Preheat the oven to 300°F. Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides and place it in a baking dish that just fits the filets. Place the sliced lemon and orange on top and sprinkle with the rosemary and oregano. Pour the olive oil over the salmon until it is just submerged. Cook the salmon until it is just turning opaque around the edges and is nearly cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oil and let drain. Save the oil and let cool. Toss the fresh herbs with the lemon juice and salt and serve with the salmon. Store the oil in the fridge and use over the next few days for salad dressing or roasting broccoli.

Dear WCG Supporters,

We have moved, not our gardens which are still located between Oakdale and Riverbank off Hwy 108, but our mailing address. After 19 years in central Oakdale, we are now receiving our mail at a P O Box in the main Oakdale post office. Our new mailing address is

Wellspring Charitable Garden

PO Box 96

Oakdale, CA 95361

We thank you all for your ongoing and generous support! WCG Staff

Roasted Broccoli…

My family loves roasted broccoli when I get the edges crispy. The sprouting florets allow for extra browning as the floret separates. I also add a few broccoli leaves; they are always extra crispy and brown. The nuts add texture along with fat and flavor to balance out any bitterness.

Crispy Crunchy Sprouting Broccoli

1-2 pounds sprouting broccoli, stems, leaves, and florets

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon walnut or hazelnut oil

¼ cup toasted walnuts or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

*Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice the stems and cut large florets in half or quarters. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, salt, black pepper and oil. Mix well and then spread the broccoli into a single layer on the pan. Cook in the oven 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and top with the nut oil and nuts. Serve right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul …

Redeemed on Purpose

by Ronda May Melendez

Mallow and goat’s-head, weeds found throughout our fertile valley, are banes of the garden. Intruders, both are aggressive and invasive. Mallow spreads rapidly following spring rains, roots deeply, and is strong and stubborn as the day is long. Goat’s-head puncture vine is devious, deserving its other fitting nicknames - devil’s-thorn and earth’s-terror. It thrives in summer despite the parched ground. The vines barbed seed casings, hardened like steel by the heat, pierce me while I work, poking through my leather gloves to puncture my skin. Should you think this is just another garden weed rant, I want you to be encouraged. With all intruders in my life, I try to determine how they emerge, why they are here, where their roots run, and whether they can be used for good. Should I do something about them or just let them be? Mallow and devil’s-thorn are no different, so as I pull, I ponder. Then, I research.

My initial ponderings are based on observation, experience, and a simple objective: How do I remove these vile weeds! Pulling mallow free demands strenuous effort and extreme care. I gather its unruly green stems together into a firm grip and pull hard – no, extremely hard - while stabilizing myself. When it releases its hold of the soil, the force will knock me over if I am not settled securely! To avoid devil’s-thorn pain, I keep clear of its tangled outer vines covered in seductive yellow blooms hiding sun-tempered barbs. Instead, I grasp its barbless center stem tap root and pull there. The techniques are simple and effective but tedious. Weeding is never easy. Exhausted, I need rest.

Then I research. Like so many irritating and painful things in life, these vile weeds may serve a greater purpose, I learn. Mallow is edible and provides one of the highest sources of Vitamin A found in vegetation! Mallow grows well in marshes, its root sap first used by Egyptians in 2000 BC to make marshmallows. Sweet! Chinese herbalists use devil’s-thorn to support heart health, promote healthy skin, improve athletic performance, and increase libido. Go figure! Healing nutrients are found within its thorny seed pods, tangled vines, and center tap root. Ironically, these “weeds” flourish in what one writer calls “disturbed and waste places.”

Where is the landscape in your life that you consider “disturbed and waste”? Have intruders settled into the mental or emotional terrain in your sacred garden? Do they encroach on or overrun your thoughts, poke or tear at your heart? Then I encourage your resolve: Enter your sacred garden and engage those weeds in battle. Quiet your mind and settle your heart before the LORD; then swing open to Him your garden gate. Our Creator Gardener is Master at pulling weeds. Never tiring, He has the power to pull, knows where to grab, and how to repurpose those vile weeds. No effort or growth is wasted in His garden. He redeems the landscape and repurposes those weeds for our good. There you will find rest.


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