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From the Garden this Week, June 10, 2021...

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash, Onions, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Radishes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Green Head Lettuce, Beets, Garlic, Lemon Verbena, Wheat and Apricots

Coming Soon… Tomatoes and Peppers

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are sending out a new specialty item, winter wheat. Anna suggested planting wheat as a cover crop last fall and given the chance to grow something new, I planted this last December and it has been growing through the winter and spring. We turned the water off several weeks ago, it has been drying in the field and is ready to harvest. Sending this out is your exercise in patience and letting things go. Separating the wheat berries from the chaff by hand is an imperfect process, but it turned out easier than I imagined. Here is my procedure. I used a cloth bag and put the wheat in the bag, then closed it and crumpled up the wheat for about 10-15 minutes until the chaff comes off of the berries. Instead of the bag you could use an old sheet or a large towel. Once you have crumpled the wheat berries pour them out onto a cookie sheet. Take the cookie sheet outside and blow on it like you’re blowing out your birthday candles. Once you get most of the chaff off, it should look like the picture, put the wheat and the remaining chaff in a bowl and wash it, the chaff will float to the surface and the berries will sink. I rinsed mine 3-4 times and it was ready to go.

Wheat Berry Salad

½ cup wheat berries

1 cup water

½ teaspoon salt

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 green onion, white and green parts sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 carrot, finely diced

1 large summer squash, finely diced

3-4 radishes, finely diced

2 cups lettuce leaves, chopped

1 cup chopped arugula

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Place the wheat berries, water and ½ teaspoon salt in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and let simmer for 60 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. Drain the water and add the cooked wheat berries to a large mixing bowl. Toss the wheatberries with the garlic, green onion, and lemon juice. Then add the carrot, squash, radishes, lettuce, arugula, and olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if desired. Eat right away.

The Angel’s Share of your Apricots

At the Jameson factory in Dublin many moons ago, I learned that in the natural process of maturation, each whiskey barrel loses a noticeable amount of liquid through evaporation called the “angel’s share.”

Though we aren’t in the whiskey business, we thought this a useful metaphor for the occasional friendly bug you might find in your apricot. We don’t use any sprays or pesticides and we harvest as full maturity. So, every once in a while, you may spot a tiny friend inside your fruit, it too enjoying the sweetness. Consider it the angel’s share! Lop it off and enjoy your (much larger) share!

Carrot Soup…

The weather is cooling, just slightly, to remind us that it is still spring. And we have a lot of small carrots that need to be pulled before the real summer heat. This leads us to carrot ginger soup. This soup, even though warm, is cool and refreshing with the ginger and cayenne pepper. Skip peeling the carrots, just give them a quick scrub before coarsely chopping.

Carrot Ginger Soup

2 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped ½ teaspoon ground coriander

dash ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt 8-10 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3-4 cups water

In a large pot, sauté the onions in the oil over medium heat, cook for about 4-5 minutes until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir for a minute and add the carrots and 3 cups water. Heat the soup until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft. Blend with an immersion blender and taste. Add additional water if desired to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with chopped fresh herbs if available.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez

Our cherry harvest this year has truly been unbelievable. It is the best we have gleaned from our trees to date. I became curious recently as to the reason. As usual, God’s creation did not fail to amaze.

What I found is that the sheer volume of cherries has been due to the lack of rain. The blossoms were not damaged prematurely due to rain. Nor were the cherries that did make it split because of a shower out of season. So, the volume of the crop was increased due to a lack of precipitation.

In addition to volume, the harvest has been sweeter. To that end, the heat this last week was a scorcher. It seemed unseasonably hot to me. To the point, I was uncomfortable and a few times, tempted to become persnickety due to the “conditions”. A rarity, as generally, I enjoy the heat. These two conditions…a lack of rain and early high temperatures...have made for an abundant, sweet crop.

This provoked in me the following questions: “How often are things blossoming or fruiting in my life and the rain comes in and damages the progress?” “Do I think that that will be the end of my future harvests, as well?’ And finally, “How often do I become ‘persnickety’ at the heat God allows to come my way with the intent of sweetening my disposition in Him and my life on the whole?”

Truly, as I pondered these questions, I can say that in this case, my cherries are teaching me a lesson. We can rest in the seeming contradiction that God, Himself, can bring about abundance in the middle of drought and sweetness through a drastic increase of heat. We don’t have to rest, of course. God gives us that option. However, I sense that if He will make cherries abundant and sweet through methods that seem contradictory to me...I am certain that He can accomplish the same in us in those areas of life that seem completely unlikely to produce abundant, sweet fruit.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9


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