I wanted to share the joys of gardening with all my readers but know that I am woefully unqualified. So I asked my friend Ann to share some of her gardening joys with y’all as well as telling us all how to create our own salsa garden. I plant everything in containers (as I only have a back patio,) but the results are fab. We will be spending the whole week on this little process, and, for everyone who comments during the week, you will be entered into our drawing for a $25 gift card from Home Depot to get your own salsa garden started.
What’s More Locavore Than Your Own Container Salsa Garden?
By Ann Stea
The easiest vegetable garden in the world is the one your favorite kindergartener colors for you using paper and crayons and tapes to your refrigerator. The second easiest might just be a Container Salsa Garden.
This is the legal disclaimer part my lawyer says I must write (not really but you should know) I’m not a professional gardener, nor am I an expert or Master Gardener so you may take what I have to offer with a grain of salt. Or you can try this out and add a grain of salt to your end result. It’s your choice. I highly recommend you try because there is nothing better than salsa from your garden, or eating a tomato that is truly ripe and delicious. In fact I challenge you to give this a try if you’ve never planted a garden, are afraid to try or don’t think you have the time or space. Gardening is a very satisfying way to have organic, local foods. What’s more local than your patio or yard?
My friend Kathi has started a container salsa garden. I thought about the hours and sweat and tears and sometimes blood that has gone into my little family’s garden over the past 13 years and realized, Kathi may have the right approach to this whole green thumb thing. After all you really only need four plants and a shaker of salt and some red wine vinegar, or a lemon borrowed form the neighbor’s tree. Why my husband and I feel the need to grow four tomato (which is a major reduction from our previous seasons), 15 pepper (Italian, Jalapeno, Habanero, and Cayenne), two zucchini, three butternut, a few pole bean and two Big Max pumpkin plants is always a wonder to me.
Then I realize it’s in my husband’s blood. It has to be. His parents live on a ¾ acre parcel which has never seen a lawn. Fruit trees, vegetables, fava beans and almond and olive trees some old time flowers and roses are all over the land. There have been years when they have planted nearly 20 to 30 tomato plants and over a hundreds of fava bean plants. We canned the tomatoes, fried the peppers and shelled the favas. We even shelled them the weekend before my wedding but that’s another story.
The same principles apply in the yard, a planter box, or small containers. Plant in good soil, water, protect from pests, and eventually pick. Okay that’s my dream garden. I live in San Jose, California, it was called The Valley of Hearts Delight long before it was ever Silicon Valley. We are blessed to live in an area where it is easy to grow things. I still have trouble with many plants that just don’t work in our summer heat or suffer for lack of a freezing dormant period. My best advice is to find the kinds of vegetables that work well in your area for your best success. I have found the local Master Gardeners and the folks at the local Farmers Markets to be an excellent source of information about which varieties of peppers and tomatoes grow best in your area. In fact I enjoy purchasing my vegetable plants from the Master Gardeners’ sales in my area. I know the plants started here and will do well here. Additionally I am helping to support my local growers. I guess that makes me a locavore of sorts.
Tomorrow – I will be talking about containers for your salsa garden.
Kathi here – So here is my question for you – what area of the country do you live in and what do you love to grow? Ann and I live in the Silicon Valley where things love to grow, but I would be interested to hear what the rest of you have success with. Leave your answer in the comments and I will enter you in the drawing for the $25 Home Depot gift card!
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.