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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - September 28, 2023

This Week's Bounty… Sweet Potatoes; Purple or Red or Yellow Potatoes; Delicata or Butternut Squash; Eggplant; Yellow, Green Zucchini; Patty Pan; Heirloom & Cherry Tomatoes; Slicing, Lemon, or Armenian Cucumbers; Sweet & Hot Peppers; Arugula; Lettuce; Tender Wax & Green Beans; Long Cook Purple Beans; Baby Bok Choy; Basil; Garlic & Melon

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.

Oktoberfest runs over the last 2 weeks of September and into October. At this time of the year in California, though we don’t have the same variety of vegetables available that they would have in Germany. Our warmer climate is providing, tomatoes, squash and peppers native to the Americas. Potatoes are not native to Europe either, but Germany’s cooler climate gives them potatoes later into the summer and for storage into the winter. Instead, I wanted to try making a German style potato salad with our sweet potatoes. This isn’t very authentic, but I think that the combination of bacon and sweet potatoes goes together just as well as the original.

“Not-so German” Potato Salad

2 pounds sweet, purple, red or yellow potatoes

6 slices bacon, finely diced

½ cup finely chopped onion

¾ cup beef stock

6 Tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp mustard, Dijon or mild German

2 tsp oil

1 teaspoon sugar

½ tsp salt, or more to taste

¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2 Tbsp chopped parsley or chives

* Boil the potatoes in a large pot covered with an inch of water over high heat until tender, about 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Take rendered fat in the pan. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until translucent but not browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add vinegar, mustard, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper to the onions. Let the potatoes cool slightly to handle them. Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch slices or cubes and put them in a large bowl. Pour the onions and liquid over the potatoes. Mix the salad gently then fold in the bacon pieces and parsley. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving so that the potatoes can absorb the flavor of the dressing.

Oktoberfest Trivia 2023: Roll Out the 52,282 Barrels!

🍺Beer Brewed Only in Munich allowed! The Best of Bavarian Brew Craft

🍺The locals call it “Wiesn” (Meadow), after the local where 6M liters (1.6 M gal) of beer are merrily downed in 14 LARGE beer hall tents.

🍷A “Wine Tent” is GRUDGINGLY tolerated. (Really, it’s a TINY yurt!)

🍺In 1896 electrician Albert Einstein worked the Fest wiring the beer tents.

🍷Paris Hilton is permanently VERBOTEN! Scandalous - draped in a tawdry gold Dirndl, she pedaled canned wine in the “Wine Yurt”!

🍺Oktoberfest brew is particularly strong. The typical 1-liter mug (34 fluid oz) equals 8 shots of 80 proof Schnapps! Roll out the beer drinker!

Cucumber Salad…

This cucumber salad makes a refreshing compliment to grilled meats and sausages. For the cucumbers feel free to peel and/or remove the seeds if desired. Salting the cucumbers ahead of time allows for removal of the water, so the salad has more flavor.

German Cucumber Salad

1 teaspoon salt

2 large cucumbers, peeled, sliced

thin, and seeded, if desired

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons white sugar

½ cup sliced onion

2-3 tablespoons chopped dill

* In a large bowl stir salt and cucumbers together, let sit for 30 minutes, and then drain off the liquid from the cucumbers. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and onions until blended. Add the cucumbers, toss to coat, and stir in the dill. Let the salad sit for at least 1-2 hours before serving.

Metaphors of Soil & Soul…

His Workmanship

by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10

Before time and the beginning, God foreknew and prepared all that we need to enjoy purposeful and abundant lives. He loves and delights in His creation and His creative work, and He keeps in motion the plan that He will see through to completion. He is not a god who operates by halves, not a god of “close enough” or even “almost.” He is the God whose individual works are good, and altogether, very good. He prepares, foretells, and fulfills all that He intends. We are made in His image, Imago Dei, yet I am astounded at how easily I lose sight of that divine truth.

Consider our work here in the garden. We have a plan; there must be one. To fulfill what we intend with the resources we have, we must reflect on the seasons and the type of plants which thrive in each. Fall has now arrived and soon steadily cooler weather. In the fall vegetables with greater cold and dark tolerance – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, leafy greens, and root vegetables – supplant heat- and light-loving summer vegetables – tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, peppers, squash – whose water laden, thin-skinned fruit makes them vulnerable to freezing. Long before the fall arrived, we set out our intentions; we prepared soil and rows to provide the proper nourishment and amount of space each plant needs for healthy growth; we determined the type of weeding and thinning each requires; we decided when and how each will be harvested and stored. We then communicate these plans to the crew, and we work in concert to bring forth the best from the soil, the plants, and each other. In these times of collaboration and unity, we become living works of art – God’s masterwork, Opus Dei - to accomplish the good works that He prepared beforehand that we should walk in. We embody the divine beauty expressed in the sacred “Let us make….”

We are privileged and grateful to work with you in this cooperative venture of ministry and gardening! We delight to our depths to see you share what God has equipped you to do. You are important, valued, unique, and irreplaceable. You offer what no other can - the works God created for you as He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Thank you for graciously offering your precious time and talent to this work. Individually, your work here at Wellspring Charitable Gardens is good, and altogether, very good!


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