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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - May 18, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Swiss Chard, Carrots, Green Onions, Broccoli, White Salad Turnips, Beets, Kohlrabi, Green Romaine Lettuce, Rosemary, Parsley, Cilantro, & Lemon

Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno

With spinach, Swiss chard and beets all related, I thought that I different twist would be to make a wilted green salad with our chard instead of spinach. I found this combination of cumin, lemon, dates, and olives on the internet, but completely rewrote the recipe to make it easier to prepare. Make sure to separate the stems from the ribs. Slice the ribs and cook them first, this way the greens just need a light toss with the warm vegetables at the end.

Wilted Swiss Chard Salad

¼ cup almonds, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems

sliced and leaves torn, keep separate

¼ cup onion, thinly sliced

½ tsp. cumin seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cups chopped dried fruit, dates,

raisins or craisins

¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted,

coarsely chopped

* In a large sauté pan toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, watch to keep them from burning, about 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and let cool. Add the oil to the pan heat over medium heat with the Swiss chard stems, onion, cumin, and lemon zest. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the Swiss chard leaves, salt, lemon juice, fruit and olives, stir gently and turn the heat off. Continue stirring until the chard leaves are wilted. Add the almonds and enjoy right away.

Mission Possible: Helping Those Who Are Hurting

Your purchase of WCG farm to table produce makes a difference in the lives of hurting people in our community. I spoke to a community leader who called Wellspring Counseling Ministries for help finding a therapist for a loved one. He was frustrated by calls he made to counselors only to learn they were not seeing new clients. Others did not return his calls. We hear this story often. Yes, we are human and do sometimes let a call fall through the cracks, but our mission and deepest desire is to call within 24 hours every single person who calls us. We then contact our network therapists to find out who is available, if they take the client’s insurance, and if that therapist has expertise related to the client’s specific needs. We do this so our clients do not experience the discouragement of not receiving a call back from a real person with real compassion who can offer real assistance. It takes great courage for those who are hurting to reach out for help. When we answer a call and provide resources and referrals in a timely manner, we are fulfilling our mission to connect hurting people to healing relationships. Your generous support through WCG makes our mission possible.

Make Your Own…

I spent a year in restaurants making Caesar salad with Romaine hearts. After leaving the restaurant biz, I realized that using mayonnaise as a base instead of emulsifying eggs, is easy and tastes the same. You can leave out the anchovy and Worcestershire to keep it vegetarian, I would add in 1-2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast for an extra flavor boost. A vegan mayo and leaving out the Parmesan, would make it vegan, but it really isn’t Caesar salad anymore. Toss this with our chopped Romaine and freshly made croutons.

Caesar Salad Dressing

2-3 cloves garlic 2 tsps. fresh ground

1 tbsp. lemon juice black pepper

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. Dijon mustard ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 anchovies or 1 tsp. 1 cup mayonnaise

anchovy paste ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, anchovy, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, blend well to chop the garlic. Add the cheese and mayonnaise, pulse, until it becomes fluid then add the olive oil while blending at the end. Refrigerate or use right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Spanish Moss

by Ronda May Melendez

Today, I find myself nestled in the hills of San Marcos. My residence for the week is hidden in a veritable sub-tropical cove hedged in by golden-green bamboo and magenta bougainvillea. Loquats hang low, offering their tangy tropical taste to the interested, and succulents abound, potted and earthed alike. Jade plants reach tree-size here, unlike my tiny jade confined to its cramped pot at home! This verdant, tranquil, and remote refuge will be good for me.

With steaming cup of coffee in hand one morning, I explored the property and noticed Spanish Moss hanging from bamboo stalks, just as I have often found in Colombia. I had never witnessed it here, until now. I find the companionship of trees and the moss inspiring. Spanish Moss is an epiphytic plant, which means it gleans its nutrients from the surrounding air but finds its structural stability in another obliging plant or support whose creases and wrinkles, filled with biological matter, provide fertile ground for roots to settle in and take hold. Though it nestles close to its neighbor, it is not parasitic; it saps no life from its supportive companion. In fact, some epiphytes provide their hosts protection by maintaining moisture essential to life. Eventually, the companions may have to be divided or moved, as the weight of their growth could damage the other.

It seems, at times, human relationships follow a similar pattern. Companionships are formed as one seeks support and stability in the fertile ground of another. And then, for both parties to continue growing and be protected, distancing or even separation must happen. The weight of each other’s needs demands it. Companionship is not lost but transformed, even enriched, by this discernment and expression of maturity. Change is not the end, but the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship where respect for the need for space shows regard for the weight and well-being of the other.

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7


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