From Our Garden: Salsa and MORE!

Our garden is so much more than just a garden. It brings us together, as a family, in so many different ways. We plant the seeds together, we all participate in the nurturing and watering, as well as harvesting. We have many amazing fruit trees that provide us with delicious fruits, and our garden, which provides us with fruits, vegetables, flowers, and even an occasional "pet". It also provides us with breathtaking views, beautiful creatures (birds and bugs), learning moments, and pride.

baby lizard

This sweet little thing was spotted by SugarPlum this morning, while she was helping Daddy water the gardens. It had taken refuge near our back door, and hubby was easily able to catch it for her.We took it to the pet store to buy some baby crickets, but they were fresh out, so they gave us a little tip I'd love to share: Cut up a chunk of a banana and allow it to attract fruit flies and gnats! The baby lizard will snack on them if it is hungry! We have not decided if we will keep this little one or let it go. The pet store estimated it to be about a week old, and said it can be kept as a pet and tamed, as long as we handle it gently. I've owned green iguanas in the past, so I have a lot of experience in this area. We just have to see how the weekend goes with our new baby.



This week, we harvested our white nectarines, some cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, as well as some lovely zinnias (pictured above) to grace our table.

We have SO MANY tomatoes that we decided to go ahead and start our picking and whip up a big batch of tasty salsa! There's really not much to it. Here's how we do it:

Without measuring, toss the following ingredients into a blender and blend to the consistency of your choice. Go easy on the lemon juice, unless you prefer to taste it. And for those who don't like it spicy, omit the spicy peppers, or just use a little! You can also take the seeds out of the peppers to take some of the heat out. Add in the sugar and salt...again, to your tastes...we used maybe a cup of sugar and several good shakes of salt.

We ended up using two large recycled jars (from spaghetti sauce and marinara) and 11 Ball Mason Jars (8 oz. each) to contain our homemade salsa. I used a large ladle and a funnel to fill the jars.


That's all there is to it! Now go get creative, don't be shy! I'm planning to try my hand at a mango salsa, as well, once we've cleared some room in our fridge again! Enjoy, and feel free to hunt down a recipe if you require actual measurements!

Now, we love our garden, and we love to feed our garden, so whenever there is a chance to mulch old foods or cuttings, we DO! As you can see here, I cut down lots of flowers today, and what wasn't vase-worthy got chopped into garden mulch, along with all of the parts of veggies left over from our salsa fun. This is all tossed into an area between our peach and granny smith apple trees, where some of it may decide to pop up next year! You never know what will end up in the garden! This year, our entire tomato harvest was a direct result of mulching. The tomatoes that didn't make the salsa cut last year got tossed into the gardens. Our zinnias were from the seeds that fell from our zinnia garden last year, which was edging a wall just above our veggie garden. We also had several HUGE sunflowers pop up in the garden, even though we had been VERY careful about the seeds last year. Turns out, the kids were taking turns sneaking into the garden to plant seeds they pulled from the sunflower heads!

But that's not all! We mulched our pumpkins after Halloween and Thanksgiving last year, and 

We had to cut some back, because it was taking over, but now we have around 5 or 6 gorgeous pumpkins growing! 

It was a very busy day of cutting and picking, washing and blending, but we still managed to leave a little room for fun. We paired up, one adult and one child on each team, and played a couple games of Washers in the backyard. The kids are getting pretty good at it, and are definitely building up their skills for throwing horseshoes in the future!


Kari said...

Great post! I love all that you have growing in your garden including some surprises. I think it is great for kids to grow up seeing how food is grown. And how neat that you even found a potential pet!

Great lessons in the garden.

PS I'm going to have to make your salsa!

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