Ever since we moved into our home four years ago, we’ve been eyeing the garden in our side yard. When we moved into the house, the garden was full of all sorts of overgrown flowers that needed a bit of TLC. So, we kept an eye on the garden while planning our dream raised garden bed. We couldn’t help but think of ways to have homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs. And, we knew that the side garden area was going to be the perfect place for our raised garden bed.
Earlier this year during Mother’s Day weekend, my in-laws visited and it was during that visit that our dream raised garden bed came to life. Thanks to my incredibly handy father-in-law, he took a photo (pictured below) that I found during one of my countless “raised garden bed” searches and turned it into reality. After a weekend of incredibly long hours and hard work, my father-in-law (with the help of my husband), created a raised garden bed that would soon be filled with all sorts of veggies planted by my mother-in-law and me.
We filled the garden with eight tomato plants (yes, you read that correctly … eight as in 8 as in we have picked a ton of tomatoes and there are still a ton that have yet to turn red), onions, habanero peppers, bell peppers (green and red), rosemary, parsley, and oregano. In the back garden (the part that is open), we planted zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, and pumpkins.
Over the past few months, we’ve had so much fun going into the garden to see what happened overnight. Our four-year-old son takes so much pride in his garden (yes, he thinks that the garden is completely his garden which is just awesome). He loves to check on it every evening and pick all sorts of vegetables that are ready.
One of my favorite garden moments was when we planted the pumpkin seeds. He absolutely loves pumpkins and cannot wait for Halloween. He was awfully confused when I showed him the pumpkin seeds. He just couldn’t wrap his head around the fact the the seed was going to turn into a pumpkin … and then it happened. One day, we were checking on the garden when we stumbled upon a tiny little pumpkin that started to grow. He yelled, “PUMPKIN!!!” and made it a point to check on it daily. To see his eyes light up was one of the many highlights of having this garden. Our daughter is even into checking on the garden. Start them young, right?
Another highlight has been the simple fact that we’ve been growing and eating our own vegetables on a daily basis. From cucumbers in our salad to zucchini bread muffins, the dishes that we have created using our produce from our backyard garden have been so special. I still remember slicing into our first zucchini from our garden. I think I screamed from excitement while slicing it.
After enjoying a summer’s worth of vegetables, my husband said that I can now add being a green thumb to my list. Yes, that’s a humble brag, but seriously … after years of people telling me that I kill plants like it’s my job, I can’t tell you how much pride I take in our garden and that statement my husband made.
We’ve recently had an overabundance of tomatoes (remember how we planted eight tomato plants?), habanero peppers, and onions, I decided to create a fresh homemade salsa recipe. We always keep a bowl of this salsa in the refrigerator to snack on throughout the day.
After a bit of reading, I came across an article about salsa gardens. Yes, you read that correctly. A salsa garden. How amazing is that?! If you think about it, the concept is simple—whether you prefer your salsa hot or mild, chunky or smooth, some basic ingredients remain the same: cilantro, garlic, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of cilantro so I leave out that ingredient. But, if you start with the basics, then you can have a great homemade salsa recipe.
After having a garden for only one season, I’m sold on always having a bowl of fresh homemade salsa in our refrigerator which means I’m also sold on growing a salsa garden every year. Within 10 minutes, I can have a bowl of homemade salsa that is full of freshness and flavor. For a girl who is absolutely obsessed with chips and salsa, that’s my kind of garden.
Homemade Salsa Preparation Tip
Simple Tip: When it comes to making salsa, there’s a lot of chopping involved. I love to put clean kitchen scissors to work. I can quickly cut the veggies into small pieces using scissors. I simply hold the veggie in one hand, the scissors in the other hand, and cut the veggies into pieces while allowing the pieces to fall straight into the bowl.
Fresh Homemade Salsa
A simple homemade salsa recipe that is full of freshness and flavor
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 small onions, chopped (amount depends on onion preference)
- 1 small habanero pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Juice from one lime
- 1 small pinch cumin (to taste)
- 1 small pinch garlic salt (to taste)
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
You can enjoy the recipe immediately or have the recipe sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.
Store the salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
What’s your favorite summertime appetizer recipe?