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From Your Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - February 17, 2022

From the Garden this Week… Romanesco or Cauliflower or Broccoli, Kale, Celery, Carrots, French Breakfast or Watermelon Radishes, Purple Top Turnips, Parsnips, Mixed Greens, Borage Flower, Lemons, Blood & Navel Oranges, and Grapefruit

Coming Soon… Butter Lettuce, Sugar Snap Peas

Using Your Produce… By Julie Moreno

This week we have broccoli or cauliflower or their genetic cousin Romanesco. Romanesco cooks just like cauliflower and can be used the same way. Unfortunately, once you cut it into florets it’s hard to see the beauty, so we can just enjoy the flavor. It would be nice to send one to everyone each week but these plants take up a lot of space in the garden, about 4 square feet, and when we cut the head off the cauliflower or Romanesco, the plant is finished and won’t produce another head. Enjoy them when we have them. The recipe this week was adapted from Rancho Gordo Beans. The strong flavored dressing of lemon and capers enhances the mild beans. If you don’t have the anchovies, don’t worry, but one mashed anchovy will add lots of savory umami flavor to the salad.

Romanesco-Bean Salad with Lemon Caper Sauce

1 Romanesco, cauliflower, or

broccoli head, broken up into

bite-sized florets, about 3-4 cups

1 anchovy filet, chopped and

smashed (optional)

½ to 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

1-2 teaspoons lemon zest

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pepper Salt to taste

1 can white beans or chickpeas,

drained and rinsed or 2 cups

home cooked beans, drained

Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Add the florets and simmer gently for about 3-6 minutes or until just done, watching carefully not to overcook. Add the mashed anchovy to a large mixing bowl along with the parsley, garlic, chopped capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper, blend well. Taste and add salt if desired. Remove the florets from the water and drain well. Add the florets and the drained beans to the lemon-caper sauce and mix well. Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to eat.

(Adapted from Rancho Gordo)

Romanesco, Purple, & White

Cauliflower from WCG

Dear Loyal Wellspring Supporters,

Thank you for contributing to Wellspring Counseling Ministries though your garden purchases these last 5 Years. It’s been our joy to provide you with the finest, freshest, naturally grown produce. Beginning March 1, we are revising the pricing for our fresh vegetables and fruit. The weekly basket will be $40 ($160 for a subscription of 4) and a one-time basket will be $50. Fresh eggs will be $7 per dozen. Thank you for your continued support and concern for those needing counseling care in our community. You have encouraged many. The LORD bless you through your generosity!

WCG Fresh Harvest Basket

Using Parsnips…

Parsnips are a sweet and starchy root vegetable related to carrots and celery. They can have a woody core, especially when they get big. You will want to remove this and discard before cooking. Enjoy the parsnips roasted. I like to cut them into French fry size sticks.

Roasted Parsnips with Cumin and Cilantro

1 large or 2-3 small parsnips, peel and chop (If large, remove its woody center.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the parsnips with the oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Place on a rimmed baking sheets and cook until lightly browned and tender, about 30-35 minutes. While the parsnips are cooking, chop the cilantro. Remove parsnips from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

WCG Parsnips

Borage: A Purple Star

Borage is an edible plant with star-shaped purple blossoms. Its leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked in sweet and savory dishes. Its leaves add a delightful cucumber-like flavor to soups, stocks, and salads. The sweet flowers taste of honey, so use in salads, yoghurt, desserts, and drinks. The flowers can also be crystallized into candies or used simply as a garnish. Separate Borage’s flowers and leaves from its “hairy” stems, remove the back stems from the blossoms, and then feature these delicate star-shaped delights in your favorite sides, entrees, desserts, even drinks.

WCG Borage Flower

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… PH Balance by Ronda May Melendez

Soil and pH fluctuations are on my mind today. Healthy soil is the foundation of a productive garden. Soil pH (potential of hydrogen, a measure of soil’s acidity or alkalinity) fluctuates naturally during the year. No matter the reason, pH levels require our attention. They tell the story of nutrient availability and the potential uptake or depletion of essential plant nutrients.

PH levels fall in more arid seasons and rise in wetter seasons. Flood or parch the soil and toxicity occurs. Dry soil tends to reduce pH levels, leading to nutrient deficient plants and stunted growth, as alkaline soil is less soluble. Wet soil tends to increase pH levels. If pH levels are too high, the acidic soil depletes essential potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium and allows aluminum, which naturally occurs in soil, to create a toxic environment where plants cannot thrive. Gardens like the soil pH level to sit between 6-6.5. Neither too high, nor too low. It is recommended that soil testing be done every three years unless there have been problems in the garden or abundant nutrient amendments added. Some gardeners test every fall to prepare for the next spring.

I love that evaluating the soil requires attention to detail. It makes me think that is why the Lord wants us to pay so much attention to the environment we place ourselves in and the proverbial condition of the soil there. We will absorb the toxicity if our environment is too acidic; our growth will be stunted if it is too alkaline. Much like Goldie Locks, we need it ‘just right’. Thank God, He gave us the ability to assess and make changes in our environment, just like a gardener.

* from BBC Gardeners World Magazine


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