Monday, March 2, 2009

Plan Your Garden

Planting time is just around the corner! Plan now to buy some seeds or plants and enjoy yummy home-grown produce through the summer and fall.

My husband and I have a large garden every year, and always enjoy the delicious, fresh produce we get for almost free!

If you have some land you can plant a garden on, (or even a place on your patio that could house some pots) these are the fruits and vegetables we have gotten the most use out of:

Tomatoes - we like cherry tomatoes the best because they are the easiest for snacking, packed lunches, boiled down into sauce, or made into salsa and guacamole. Plus, they seem to always be tasty, as opposed to the larger tomatoes which can hit-or-miss flavor. You can freeze tomatoes for use throughout the year. They're great to add to a crockpot meal! Also, at the end of the season you can pick them green and let them sit indoors and ripen over a week or two.

Squash - any variety that can be boiled, scraped out, and frozen to use for pumpkin pie or pumpkin ice cream all year round is great! Winter, Acorn, Butternut, and pumpkin are all good varieties.

Melon -There are so many ways that you can enjoy melons in the summer. Popcicles, salads, and just alone as a snack are a few ideas. And what could be more summery??

Sweet Peppers - Sweet peppers are great for boiling down and making sauce with. The sauce is excellent over chicken! Just add a little water, salt and pepper to taste and you have a real winner! You can freeze the sauce in ice cube trays and then pop out into a gallon sized Ziplock bag for easy use. Remove a few cubes when you're making dinner and defrost in the microwave. Pour over chicken or any other meat and you have a delicous main course.

Bell Peppers - They can be de-seeded, cut into small pieces and frozen to use throughout the year. It cuts down on work as you make dinner, and saves a lot of money, too!

Onions - Because onions are so heavy, they can be expensive at the store. But plant them at the beginning of spring, and you will have enough onions for months to come! You can dice them up and freeze them for the coming year, saving both time and money.

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