Spring is here in California and right around the corner for the rest of the country! This is the prime time to start a garden.

Take the next week or two to start thinking about what you want to plant, where to plant, if you want a container garden or plant into the earth. In 2 weeks I will spend a week discussing gardening how to’s and tricks I have learned.

In the meantime you can s tart with a simple concept for the types of plants you purchase. For the past several years we have planted a low-maintenance  “Salsa Garden” and have enjoyed the variety and simplicity of that assortment every time.  Here is what goes in our salsa garden:

  • A variety of tomatoes plants
  • Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions

Several years ago Roger and I decided to plant our own salsa garden in containers on our back patio, (we live in a townhouse, so my visions of sowing seed for crops and my own hen house have to be put on hold for a while.) We kept it simple the first year – just a few tomato plants, a couple of peppers, cilantro, etc. But boy oh boy did we enjoy the benefits of fresh salsa ingredients at our door step. Here is Roger’s famous salsa recipe. Give it a try!

Roger’s Salsa: Roger Lipp


12         tomatoes (or two large cans of crushed tomatoes)
1 (15 oz) can of  tomato sauce
1 bunch cilantro, chopped coarse down to the stemmy part
2 stems green onion, chopped medium
1          red onion, chopped medium (I use two slices from the center portion)
2          jalapenos, chopped fine (leave seeds in) — if you want mild salsa substitute Anaheim peppers; if

you want hot salsa substitute 4 habaneras.
4-5       garlic cloves, chopped fine


Combine these ingredients in large glass bowl.

If tomatoes were room temp to start with, I add two ice cubes and mix in.  The following seasonings are very approximate… I don’t measure.

Add the following seasonings to taste (measurements given are approximately what I use… ish)

2 T       fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 T       cumin powder
1 T       coarse ground black pepper
1 T       fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp     marjoram

I’d love to know, do you garden and what are your must haves each year?