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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - September 21, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Delicata or Butternut Squash, Italian Eggplant, Summer Squash: Yellow or Green Zucchini or Patty Pan, Assorted Heirloom & Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing or Lemon or Armenian Cucumbers, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Breakfast Radishes, Green & Purple Beans, Various Greens, Pak Choi (Bok Choy), Basil, Garlic, & Fruit

Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Winter squash is here, and despite the name, it is harvested in the summer. Naturally thick skin protects winter squash, and most varieties will keep for several months. You can keep them on the counter at room temperature. Each type has distinctive characteristics. Butternuts and pumpkins will keep for a few months and become sweeter, while delicata squash and spaghetti squash don’t store as well. The seeds are edible and make a great snack when roasted. I soak them overnight in salt water and then cook them at 350 °F for 15-20 minutes until they pop. Delicata, one of the smallest squashes, has a thin skin that can be eaten. If you don’t want to eat the skin, it’s easier to peel the skin off after cooking.

Roasted Delicata Squash

1-2 delicata squash cut into rings,

seeds removed

1-2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup,

or brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

½ fresh or dried thyme or rosemary

fresh ground black pepper

* Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the squash into rings or half-moons and remove any seeds. Place the rings in a large bowl and toss with the honey, salt, pepper, oil and herbs. Place the vegetables on an oiled baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender.

Oktoberfest 2023: Roll Out the Barrel!

Begins Tomorrow

Oktoberfest, the world’s longest “afterparty,” takes place yearly in Theresa’s Meadow (Theresienwiese) in Munich, Germany, and celebrates the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Theresa over 200 years ago. It starts in late September and continues for 16 to 18 days, depending on how long the beer and hangovers last.

Oktoberfest today celebrates Bavarian culture. Bavaria, like Texas, is a “Freistadt,” an independent republic that condescended to join the German nation as a free state. Bavarian King Ludwig II is the castle builder nonpareil; Bavarian monks perfected the craft of beer brewing, giving us Hefeweizen and Dunkles (darks); Bavarian engineers designed the BMW, “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” and Lederhosen, “The Ultimate Hiking Clothing;” and Bavarian virtuoso Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart composed the world’s most memorable wedding song: 99 Barrels of Beer to Roll Out. You know, “99 Barrels of Beer to roll out, 99 barrels of beer. You roll one out, tap with a spout, 98 Barrels of Beer to roll out…!” Zum Wohl und Fest Weiter! To Your Health and Party On!

Summer Soup…

This quick cooking soup is an easy way to use our Pak choi combined with radishes, pepper, tomatoes and basil. Opposed to European soup recipes that get better with time, enjoy this right away.

Simple Asian Pak Choi Soup

2-3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 head Pak choi, washed,

leaves chopped, thick portion

sliced thin

2 teaspoons ginger, finely diced

1 hot pepper, chopped

¼ cup thinly sliced onion

½ teaspoons salt

3 cups water

1 teaspoon miso paste or

concentrated vegetable

or chicken broth paste

½ cup chopped meat or diced tofu

1 teaspoon soy sauce

½ cup diced tomato

1 tablespoon chopped basil

Lime wedges for serving.

* Combine all the ingredients except the tomatoes, basil and lime wedges in a soup pot. Bring to a boil and mix well. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the Pak choi is cooked. Serve right away and garnish with tomatoes, basil a squeeze for lime juice in each bowl.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Living with Manure

by Cindi J & Keith F Martin

The picture here does no justice to the size of the healthy weed I found growing next to my chicken coop. I first thought it was “volunteer corn” until later I realized it was just a common weed on the garden steroid - chicken manure. I could not help comparing it to another of its kind I pulled from poor soil at the back of the shed (weed on left). They recall to me Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and the various soils.

Good soil is fertile, especially when it’s full of chicken… manure. This is not just any manure, mind you, because fresh manure typically burns the heck out of any plant trying to grow in it (except stinging nettle - but that metaphor must wait for another message). Manure must be well-rotted and mellowed by time. I certainly won’t push this metaphor too far, since all metaphors break down ultimately, but whenever I complain about my stinky, sinful flesh (or that of others), I can’t help but remember that when flesh is crucified with Christ, God does the most wonderful transformation to the soil of the heart.

Why God allows so much time on earth for our sanctification process remains a mystery, but I do know that fresh manure - manure that would burn and destroy - needs time to be transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer that amends soil and makes plants grow a hundred-fold. There must be something powerful and lasting, even beautiful, in a transformation process that gradually takes place over time. Perhaps our enduring His process provides a glimpse into the essential nature of God Himself. He, in His good time, turns the manure of our lives into the good soil of our hearts. Every trial, temptation, affliction, and wound that I faithfully endure in surrender to God - yield to His care over time - transforms a sorrow into joy and produces a bountiful and lasting harvest of fruit – beautiful fruit nurtured by the abiding Presence of His powerful and eternal Holy Spirit.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,

when you encounter various trials, knowing

that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

And let endurance have its perfect result,

so that you may be perfect and complete,

lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4


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