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from Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - November 3, 2022

From the Garden this Week… Endive, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Spinach, Winter Squash, Beets or Radishes, Eggplant, Rutabaga, Salad Turnips, Purple Beans, Basil, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro, Pomegranates, & Fuyu Persimmons

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week I have a recipe to sauté our winter squash. This method reduces the cooking time, but it increases the preparation time. You can peel and cut the squash one to two days ahead. Usually, I will often cook the squash whole, but this is an alternative method, that takes far less time. The sweetness of the squash combines well with the greens. For this recipe you could use pumpkin, acorn squash or butternut. The combination would also work for spaghetti squash, but you would want to cook the spaghetti squash ahead of time and remove the strings, then quickly sauté it just for 1-2 minutes before adding the greens.

Swiss Chard-Winter Squash Sauté

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, stems and leaves chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and basil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

* In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add the butter, butternut squash and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Let the squash lightly brown on the edges and cook fully before you add the chard. Take a taste of the squash to make sure it is cooked through. Add the Swiss chard and the pepper flakes to the pan and cover, cooking for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir over medium low heat until the chard is wilted. Sprinkle the vegetables with the herbs and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve right away.

How Your Produce Purchases Help

Did you know that 100% of your purchases are donated to assist families find counseling in our community? We are a faith-based organization, but we help families regardless of faith orientation. My husband Keith and I were recently at a community event and a woman asked if Wellspring Charitable Gardens was related to Wellspring Counseling Ministries. When I said yes, her eyes lit up and she thanked me for our helping her find a therapist for her foster daughter. Our staff screen calls, identify what kind of therapist is needed, and make the calls to be sure the therapist we refer to is accepting new clients. We help client’s find counselors who take their insurance and / or can provide a reduced fee. It is not unusual for a client to specify a particular specialty need and a gender, ethnic or faith preference. We do all we can to match clients and counselors according to these requests. One need that continues to be greater than available resources is faith-based Medi-Cal providers. We are working hard to develop this resource in our community through our counselor intern program. Thank you for your valued support!

Wellspring Counseling Ministries

Bringing Healing Relationships

to Those Who Hurt

Root Vegetable Mash…

Root vegetables can be cooked and mashed just like potatoes. They are lower in starch and add their unique flavor. Adding in potatoes will help the consistency to be more like regular mashed potatoes, but you can leave them out if desired.

Rutabaga Dill Mash

2 rutabagas, peeled and cubed

1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed


2-4 tablespoons butter

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped dill

Put the rutabagas and potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the vegetables are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander and return rutabagas and potatoes to the pot, add the butter. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in the sour cream and dill. Taste and add salt if desired.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

A Taste for Fresh

by Cindi J Martin

While in college, a dear friend preferred Taster’s Choice instant freeze-dried coffee to fresh-ground, slow-brewed. I did all I could to convince her to taste fresh to see what she was missing. When she finally did, she wrenched her face and announced, “That just tastes wrong!” Produce preferences can be like coffee preferences. Many have become so accustomed to “instant” or “prepared” vegetables, fruits, and herbs – canned, frozen, dehydrated - that fresh literally tastes wrong. Personal preference may be at play here for some, but there are those who have not yet acquired a taste for fresh.

When I first began growing and eating fresh fall and winter produce, I immediately noticed the intense and bold flavors of the “real deal.” You, too, may notice a difference in the taste of the leafy greens and root vegetables now coming your way. Cold weather - night and now day - concentrates and enhances their flavors. Spinach, endive, and chard are more robust in texture and color, and sweeter. Cold intensifies sweetness in root crops like carrots, beets, rutabagas, and turnips and spices up the spring and braising mixes. Only later did I learn more about how cold weather vegetables and fruits complement our physical needs during sun-shortened seasons. Autumn pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and winter citrus with vitamin C - both needed for protection from cold and flu viruses. Fuyu persimmons are rich in vitamin A, which supports your vision, immune system, and growth. Root crops abound in vitamins and minerals that play key roles in brain function, mood regulation, metabolism, and protection from physiological stress. They provide exactly what we need to thrive during the colder, darker days of winter.

As I reflect on the idea of acquiring a taste for fresh produce, I can't help but consider the spiritual parallels. Many of us were exposed to “prepared” religion of one form or another, but have we yet acquired a taste for fresh? Have we settled for what others say about God, or have we been willing to "taste and see" for ourselves that He is good? Preparing and eating fresh produce takes time and practice, but it is well worth the effort. Let us also be willing to make the effort to acquire a personal taste for the One who can enlighten our spiritual eyes and finally satisfy that eternal hunger and thirst in our souls. In time, my dear friend did acquire a taste for fresh-ground, slow-brewed coffee. Today she would declare, “That just tastes right!

"O taste and see that the Lord is good…" Psalm 34:8


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