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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - September 7, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Sweet Potatoes, Italian Eggplant, Varieties of Summer Squash & Zucchini, Slicing or Lemon Cucumbers, Large Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry & Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Salad Mix, Radishes, Garlic & Basil

Using Your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Fall is almost here, and our sweet potatoes are ready. They are very large. You can roast them whole, but they will take about 45-60 minutes. Instead of most sweet dishes with added sugar, I like to serve them savory, usually cutting them up into cubes and then tossing them with chili powder, salt and olive oil and cooking on a parchment linked baking sheet, for about 30 minutes. This week’s recipe is for a vegetarian chili. In addition to the sweet potatoes, it also uses our seasonal peppers and tomatoes.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1-2 large sweet peppers, diced

1-2 hot peppers, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 cups sweet potatoes, cubed

2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans,

rinsed and drained

2 cups of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 cup water

* In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the oil, add the onion and peppers. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the diced sweet potatoes, chili powder, minced garlic, and cumin. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the, black beans, salt and water (enough to barely cover the vegetables). Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning with additional salt if needed and serve with grated cheese if desired.

“Hey Friend, can you spare a clamshell?”

Wise Wendy Miller suggested we reach out to you, our subscribers, for any spare clamshell containers you might have 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, more…

Summer Squash Quick Breads…

Any of our summer squash can be used for zucchini bread. To match the lemon-yellow color, instead of green zucchini, I like to use yellow squash. It blends in, so you can even fool a picky eater.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

2 cups flour 3 eggs

1 ½ cups sugar 2 cups grated zucchini

½ teaspoon baking soda ¾ cups oil

1 teaspoon baking powder Zest and 2 teaspoons

½ teaspoon salt of juice from one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl beat the eggs and add in the zucchini, oil and lemon juice and zest, mix well. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix gently to moisten. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Seeding Life

by Cindi J & Keith F Martin

Rarely do we see carrot flowers. Today I walked a row of unharvested carrots that we had decided to “let flower” to harvest their seeds. We have never saved carrot seeds, so it has been instructive to watch the foliage progress from lacy greens to lanky stalks, from lanky stalks to lacy lavender blooms, to wispy flowers laden with small green seeds, to withered flowers bearing dried seeds of auburn. Today I harvested those withered flowers and stored those dried seeds for another tomorrow’s planting.

The beauty in their transformation has helped me better understand and accept the process of aging and the purpose of life in the shadow death. Too often we lament or try to disguise tell-tale signs of our aging – greying hair, sagging skin, dimming eyes, and waning strength. We loathe talking about approaching death or intentionally preparing for it, perhaps hoping that by ignoring the topic, we might avoid the matter altogether. In the Gospels, Jesus tried on various occasions to talk openly with His disciples about the manner and purpose of His own immanent death. Uncomfortable, they often ignored or even rebuffed His direct comments. One occasion Jesus used an agricultural metaphor to state His purpose more clearly: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24).” Unexpectedly blunt, this paradoxically hopeful statement expresses how we might envision our last season of life.

We can learn - from our Lord’s Word and our garden plants - to clearly see the beauty and purpose in each season of life, but especially the last. Are we aware that in our “withering” and “drying” we are poised to seed others with precious stores of insight, talent, and treasure? Rather than giving up and withdrawing – no, withholding - because our physical losses and limitations are unflattering or discouraging, we can choose to keep giving out, despite them. Let us think of direct ways to seed the next generation – those who will grow on after our flower has faded, those who are grateful for the good seed we provide to plant, grow, and harvest blessings from, both today and for many tomorrows. It is never too late, nor is the gift too small, when giving hope-filled seeds that bear the promise of life and new fruit.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-10


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