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from Your Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - August 18, 2022

From the Garden this Week… Purple Green Beans, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Shallots, Broccoli Micro Greens (use like sprouts on salads or in smoothies), Basil, Rosemary, Dill, Parsley, Lemon Grass, Lemon Verbena, & Apples

Coming Soon… Bok Choy

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have some green onions that have started to grow a small head. You can still use the green parts like you would scallions and then use the white parts like you would any other onion. I’ve found that when we get small amounts of one item, my air fryer is the perfect way to cook one eggplant or roast a few peppers. In the air fryer, they will cook very fast, so cook them at 375 °F instead of the 425 °F. I would use in the oven and start checking after about 15 minutes. This week we are sending fresh lemon grass and lemon verbena. These are completely unrelated, but in the summer, you can use them both, separately, to make a refreshing tea. Just steep in boiling water, let cool, and serve. This week I included an easy recipe for Tomato-Basil soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender a regular blender will work the same, you just have extra parts to clean.

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion, chopped, about ½ cup

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

5-6 large tomatoes, or 3 cup cherry

tomatoes, cores removed

1 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped basil

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

*In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and salt over medium heat for 4-6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender. Add basil and black pepper. Taste for salt, pepper, adjust the consistency with water if needed, and serve.

Lemon Verbena Tea

Lemon Verbena is an enlivening fragrance. You have received a branch of lemon Verbena this week that can be used very simply to make a hot or cold tea.

Use your hand to slip off all the leaves from the branch. For a cup of tea, you only need a couple of leaves. Just pour hot water over the tea and let it steep for 4 minutes. It will have a light green color and mild taste. If it steeps too long, it becomes darker and stronger. Experiment with what kind of flavor you enjoy best, strain it, and pour over ice.

Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup

Use ¼ cup or whatever amount you have on hand and bring to boil with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white sugar. Boil 1 minute, remove from burner, and steep for30 minutes. Strain and chill for use over peaches, in a spritzer of seltzer water, or as the sugar in a sorbet or ice-cream.

Cucumber Skin and Seeds…

We grow different varieties of cucumbers with thicker or thinner skins. Unlike the wax coated cukes in the store, there is no need to peel unless you prefer them that way, which is a perfectly acceptable reason to peel. When it comes to the seeds, removing them will help to remove some of the moisture in your salad, but if you like them, feel free to leave them in.

Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad

¼ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Pepper to taste

2-3 cucumbers, remove seeds and peel if desired, thinly sliced

¼ cup thinly sliced onion

1-2 tablespoons chopped dill

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar and pepper until blended. Add cucumbers and onion; toss to coat and stir in the dill.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… by Ronda May Melendez

Growing Tall or Just Trying to Breathe?

Lately, I have been pondering a science experiment my children and I did when they were very young. It entailed taking two beans, “planting” each in a very damp paper towel and tucking them into a jar. We placed one jar in an area filled with light and the other in the dark. Complete darkness. We left them for a prescribed time but daily checked their progress. What did we find? The bean flooded with light had unfurled into a vigorous, little green seedling, while the seed surrounded in darkness produced a very tall, gaunt, pallid white seedling. Such marked differences! But why?

The truth was that the seedling housed in darkness was suffocating. Because plants utilize light to convert what they glean from the soil into nutrients, they naturally grow and move toward life-sustaining light. Without a source of light, their cells stretch out any way they can as they attempt to find a source of light for nourishment. If they fail to find light, they will never be able to bear fruit...ever.

Do you ever find yourself gasping for air? I certainly do! Like our seedlings, we are sometimes suffocated by the darkness. Without light we atrophy; our gaunt self cannot be transformed into the flourishing, genuine self that God designed us to be. What if we are not feeling and experiencing the Light? Let’s ask ourselves: Is that present darkness within or beyond our control? Are we prolonging the darkness by resisting the truth about ourselves, others, or situations which maintain the shadow cast by status quo? If we resist the light and truth, we, like the plant in the dark, will reach desperately for something, anything to sustain our being but at the expense of our freedom, joy, and peace, and thus prevent our growth into robust, fruit bearing individuals. We must choose - either a painfully stunted life or a robust, productive life. God offers Light and Life abundant.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind.

And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.

John 1:4-5


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