Community Gardening – Summer Maintenance and Harvest of a Square Foot Garden

Hurry up and wait.  That’s what this first month of the garden has been.  After planning and building and filling the raised bed, there was plant purchases and reading and actual planting.   Now we wait.  Planting in late May, we chose to skip seeding for the most part and chose organic plants to transplant into the bed. The good news – almost all of them have taken hold.  We did lose the cilantro almost immediately – this wasn’t much of a surprise as I’ve never had much luck with cilantro even in containers on the back porch.   We built a trellis for the cucumbers and staked the tomatoes. With tomatoes, you ultimately have 2 varieties – determinate and indeterminate.  Basically – those are plants that will either produce one time a set amount (determinate) or continue to produce … [Read more...]

Fresh From Florida!

Memorial Day Weekend. It’s the official kick-off to Summer activities (even though in Florida its felt like summer for weeks!) and to me one of the first things I think of when I think summer is food.   BBQs, picnics at the lake, snacks at the beach; we all love the fresh foods and the being outdoors time that summer brings.   When you are putting together a menu and a shopping list, do you think about where those ingredients are coming from? When you live in the Northeast and you need a watermelon in May, it’s not coming from a local farm. What about if you need corn or tomatoes? To procure those items, you need produce coming from a place with a head start on the growing season – Florida.   Florida's great weather means longer growing season and an … [Read more...]

Grow a Salsa Garden in a Jar

Photo of salsa by Florian (Ed Note:The weather is warm and garden stores are showing off a wide variety of herbs and vegetables to plant in your garden (if you have  a garden). Here's a great way to bring fresh flavors to your table with just a little outside space.) Strawberry jars are urn-shaped containers that have openings or "pockets" on the sides. Originally, they were made for growing strawberries as the jar structure allows the crown of the plant to stay above the soil line, which is important for the plant. The design also keeps the fruit off of the ground. It turns out, these handy jars are excellent for all kinds of planting themes such as growing a salsa garden on your patio or deck. What you'll need: 1 Strawberry jar (Terra Cotta or plastic) -- or a regular planting … [Read more...]

Summer Corn Salad

Summer is for grilling, but grilling doesn't always lend itself to an easy side dish. That's where this side salad comes in handy! With a few simple ingredients from your pantry, you'll have a fresh and colorful side dish to any summer dinner. You could enjoy this along side grilled burgers, chicken, fish or even tacos! Take it one step further and have it on top of scrambled eggs for the morning after breakfast! As a little added bonus, you could get fresh corn, grill it and cut off the kernels to put in this salad for some extra special flavor! [sc:adsense ] Summer Corn Salad Ingredients 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 8 ounces reduced sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 … [Read more...]

9 Recipes for Fresh Homemade Salsa

Today I'm sharing with you 9 recipes for fresh homemade salsa. Its the perfect time of year. Is your garden bursting with ripe tomatoes and other veggies? Does your local farmer's market and the produce aisle of your grocery store have all kinds of tempting vegetables on display? One of the healthiest- and most yummy- things you can do with this bounty is create salsa. Bowls full of delicious, raw (or mostly raw) vegetables just waiting to be scooped up? YAY! Sometimes I skip the chips eat it with a spoon; using sliced bell peppers as a scoop is also a great option, as is using some butter or romaine lettuce as a wrap and eating it like a 100% vegetable burrito. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my personal favorite salsa recipes: Artichoke Salsa by Recipe … [Read more...]

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

This is my favorite cold pasta to make for 4th of July Parties. Enjoy! 1 pound Bow Tie Pasta 1 bunch Cherry Tomatoes 1 Cucumber, Peeled And Sliced 1 jar Pitted Calmata Olives, Whole Or Cut (a Small Jar) 2 Chicken Breasts, Cooked And Cubed. (I Like To Use Store Bought Rotisserie Chicken) 2-½ ounces Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (you May Need More, Depending On Your Taste) 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper To Taste 1 pinch Salt, Or To Taste 1 container Feta Cheese Directions Cook 1 lb. bow tie pasta and run cold water over it to chill. Place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes while you cook chicken. Mix in a large bowl: Chilled Pasta Cherry Tomatoes (sliced in half) Sliced Cucumber Pitted Calamata Olives (whole or cut) Cubed Chicken Feta Cheese Toss … [Read more...]