From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - September 14, 2023
From the Garden this Week… Italian Eggplant, Delicata Squash, Varieties of Summer Squash & Zucchini, Slicing or Lemon Cucumbers, Large Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry & Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Green Beans, Salad Mix, Radishes, Basil, Apples & Fig
Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno
These late days of summer keep delivering the summer staples of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. Enjoy them while they are here. Unlike the carrots and greens, that we can grow in the summer, we are unable (without a large, heated greenhouse) to grow summer vegetables in the winter. Soon they will be gone. I included a good recipe to use your tasty squash. This uses Parmesan cheese as a coating to make baked Italian squash rounds. It’s adapted from a recipe that used breadcrumbs, so if you were vegan, you could switch it back to use toasted breadcrumbs as a substitute for the cheese. You can serve these as an appetizer with marinara sauce or as a side dish.
Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh or
dried Italian seasoning (basil,
rosemary, thyme, parsley)
3-4 summer squash, sliced
into ½ inch rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
* Preheat oven to 400 °F and line a large rimmed-baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the squash rounds with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Toss to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese and herbs. Lightly toss again. In an even layer place the seasoned squash on the parchment-lined baking sheet, adding cheese-herb mixture to the top of each piece of squash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is deeply golden.
“Hey Friend, can you spare a clamshell?”
Wise Wendy Miller suggested we reach out to you, our subscribers, for any spare clamshell containers cluttering your pantry or crowding your kitchen cabinets. Our supply is depleted, so we thought you might have extras in your expansive stockpile that you would like to unload. You know, declutter and donate to make room for more essential resources – more IN-N-Out straws, more Taco Bell hot sauces, more Round Table red pepper packets, more McDonalds’ ketchup pouches, more Arby’s horse radish spread, more Chick-Fil-A Honey Mustard sauce, more Raley’s grocery bags, more Costco berry boxes, more Chipotle plastic spoons, more Panda Express chop sticks, and more…
Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt sauce that is a great topping for meat, a nice substitute for ranch dressing, or a tasty dip for pita chips and carrot sticks. Try it as a sandwich spread, in a pita wrap, or on a hamburger instead or mayo. It also works as a salad dressing tossed together with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. The traditional herbs used are parsley and mint, but our basil makes a perfect substitute.
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs. chopped fresh herbs
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
½ tsp. salt
* Grate the whole cucumber on a box grater. Place the grated cucumber in a strainer and let the moisture start to drip out. Squeeze the cucumber vigorously to remove more and more water. Squeeze a handful at a time and remove it to a large mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to the bowl, and stir to blend. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and add lemon juice, and/or salt, if necessary. Serve tzatziki immediately or chill for later. Leftover tzatziki keeps well, chilled, for about 4 days.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin
Julie Moreno, our former Garden Coordinator, inspired me to write about No-Till Gardening when I asked about using the tractor to turn the soil. No-Till Gardening, she explained, describes a soil management practice that preserves soil and controls weeds. Soil contains countless dormant weed seeds. When we mechanically till (disc), the tractor compacts the soil and brings buried weed seeds to the surface. There, fertile soil empowers those undesirable seeds to germinate, spread, and compete with our desirable garden plants for vital resources - sun, space, water, and nutrients.
My next thought seemed embarrassingly obvious: “What is a weed?” A weed is “a plant out of place and not intentionally sown; a plant growing where it is not wanted; a plant that is competitive, pernicious, and interferes with human activity.” Yep, a weed is unwanted, intrusive, aggressive, adversarial, ruinous. They are a painful mess; so is weed control. No-Till Gardening requires strength and endurance to hand loosen, but not disturb, hardened soil so that water, nutrients, and roots of desired plants go deep. No-Till is messy. Fields seem worse at first, especially before desirable plants have spread over the soil and supplanted the weeds.
What can we learn from No-Till Gardening about our souls? For humans, weed seeds - envy, jealousy, greed, enmity, selfish desires - are ever-present, as are demands, frustrations, stresses, and crises that disc deeply into the soil of the heart. Once surfaced, harmful seeds of our fallen nature sprout, compete for vital resources, and strangle out desired growth and fruit of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. How can we better manage pernicious seeds and control their “weeds”? First, stop any tilling that disturbs the heart. Resentments, bitterness, grudges, quarrels till the heart and incite ruinous seeds to surface and sprout. Second, we need to extract and effectively dispose of rooted weeds. Removed, some weeds are best mulched and returned to the same soil to feed and fertilize it. Deconstructed and understood, they serve as vital insight for growth of desired fruit. Others are best burned or consigned to a landfill. They are pernicious, like goat’s head and bindweed; they have no restorative properties. Let us eradicate and decisively separate ourselves from malevolent ideologies, prejudices, paradigms, and mindsets that despoil heart and mind.
Weed seeds are inherent to our fallen nature. Disturbed, they surface, sprout, set root, spread over sacred soil, and strangle desirable growth. Effectively managing them is crucial to growth. Now is the time to practice, on matters within our control, No-Till Living and say, “No, not on this sacred ground. No more! I have chosen a better way.”
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:1-3