Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Garden Plan for 2011



{You're in the right place - I just spruced up my header, added some color and cleaned up the place a little. Spring cleaning my little blog is a lot easier than Spring cleaning my house, so I started here!}

Spring has finally arrived here in Pittsburgh. It has been so dreary up until now -- gray skies and very wet. On Mother's Day, the clouds decided to go elsewhere for a few days and it's been absolutely beautiful. The break from the cold weather gets me itching to start the garden and get things growing again.

Even the cat is enjoying the sun - and the fact that the mower is in the shop. She's channeling a lion in the safari I think.


I asked for one thing for Mother's Day and my husband and kids came through - love you guys! Here's a picture of my present...



No, I didn't ask for dirt - well, maybe I did... I asked for them to prepare a spot in the garden to grow my vegetables. I got some prime real estate next to the house outside the kitchen - sunny and perfect! I know my tomatoes are going to love it there.

On Friday, I took a drive up to Prospect, PA to a family run greenhouse called Jesteadt's. They have at least 6 greenhouses and even more large cold frames full of veggies and herbs, annuals and perennials - and the prices can't be beat. Where else can you find a pack of 12 healthy tomato seedlings for $1.95? Oh, the tomato sauces and pizza sauces and soups I'll be making come September!

I don't grow a large variety of vegetables - I leave that to
Kretschmann Farm which does a great job of growing organic produce. They have delivery drop-off locations all over Pittsburgh. In a few weeks, I'll be going every Thursday to pick up my CSA box and see what surprises it holds.



The vegetables I'll be growing this year are:

Roma Tomatoes
Italian Plum Tomatoes
Beefsteak Tomatoes
One Early Girl Tomato
Jalapeno Peppers
Bell Peppers
Eggplant
Zucchini

To me, there is nothing more gratifying than having a pantry full of home grown canned tomatoes and a freezer full of soups to get through the winter.



My garden herbs in 2011:

Thyme
Lemon Basil
Sweet Basil
Rosemary
Oregano
Sage
Dill
Cilantro
Italian Parsley
Chives
Lavender
Mint

I love to have fresh herbs right outside the kitchen door to harvest whenever I need them. The herbs bring a bright freshness to summer meals and makes it easy to make a great meal with just a few fresh ingredients.

Even if you don't use herbs in cooking, they produce some of the most beautiful flowers in the garden, and the bees and butterflies just love them.


Here are some of my favorite recipes using fresh herbs:

Favorite Marinade for Steak (rosemary, thyme)
Butternut Squash Soup (thyme, chives)
Greek Salad (oregano)
Basil Pesto (basil)
Tomato Salsa (cilantro)

I would love to hear what are you planning to grow in your garden this year. Do you have a favorite recipe using fresh herbs? Please share!

3 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see your garden grow!!! I'm unfortunately really lousy at gardening....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loooooooooove this post!!! Best of luck with your amazing green thumb this summer

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so impressed with your gardening list! We just bought and re-planted rosemary, thyme, mint and, chives. We started some basil from seed on Easter, but it's not too tall yet and I think we might have to buy an already grown basil! The olive thyme bread sounds so good - I think we'll have to try making it.

    ReplyDelete

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