recipes

Preparing Your Harvest Can Be as Simple as Growing It

Preparing Your Harvest Can Be as Simple as Growing It 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Who doesn’t want to eat better? We all have that nagging desire to exercise more and to add healthy choices to our diets. Every once in a while you hear people say it is too expensive to eat healthy. It can be expensive and choices are limited of where to buy fresh produce and not fork out a lot of money for it.  Farmers markets probably have the best choices when it comes to produce straight from the farm, but they can be pricey and in smaller towns can only appear on weekends. Supermarkets offer a wide variety but you have no idea where or how it was grown and now you have money into something that can potentially make you sick. If eating better is what you desire you definitely want to have complete control on what you are consuming. Farmers Market Supermarket One way to do that is to start your own garden. There are many different choices in gardening methods to get you started. One of the easiest is a raised garden bed that you fill with soil and plant. This type of garden will help you start as a beginner without a whole lot of work. Many of the raised garden beds out there come in different sizes that will fit wherever you may live. Self-watering features are a benefit because they can eliminate confusions over watering. One of the biggest mistakes in a garden is too much water or too little. Research your options and decide what works best for you. Considering how much time and effort you want to commit will help you in the long run maintain and keep a garden. Raised Garden Bed Whether you purchase or grow your own vegetables there is still the desire to prepare vegetables in different ways…

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Two Sweet Petunias: Homemade Pesto

Two Sweet Petunias: Homemade Pesto 1170 1170 Eco Garden Systems

If you’ve been following along, you may recall me expressing skepticism as to what I was going to do with all the basil that is growing in our garden. You  then too probably recall the resulting laundry list of ways to use basil I received from my sister, the world traveller, cook and honorary family herbalist (yes it’s a real thing, no I didn’t know the term before I just googled it). I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what has become of said basil. Which is good because this post is about its fate. Answer: We made PESTO and it was delicious! We have three types of basil in the garden this year: regular (sweet) basil, lemon basil and purple basil. I will be the first one to admit that this was somewhat of a mistake as I do not like raw basil off the plant. At all. The purple is more bitter than the others, but to me all just taste bad raw. So the conundrum of what to do with it all plagued me. Pesto was one of the first items on the list. And it seemed simple enough. Here’s what I did: Detach leaves from stems and stuff leaves into a food processor. I used both sweet and purple basil. Process leaves on “chop” until a thick pulp forms Add spices. This batch contained: Minced garlic Coriander Sea salt A pinch of Paprika Process mixture on “puree” until blended You’ll notice two things. First, there are no measurements. Partly because the measurements depend on the amount of basil you have. Partly because I never measure spices. Second, there is no oil in this phase. Read on… The recipe above makes a concentrated pulp. Rather than committing to a single oil, I wanted to see how various oils worked with…

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Two Sweet Petunias: The Many Uses for Basil

Two Sweet Petunias: The Many Uses for Basil 768 1024 Eco Garden Systems

My sister has spent a lot of time working on farms throughout the world, and has developed quite the culinary green-thumb. As such, she was the logical “go to” for my question about what to do with all this basil. I knew there was only so much bruschetta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil I could handle, and figured there had to be more ways to use it. “Assuming you mean fresh basil?” she asked. “Yes.” Well, “fresh” assuming I can figure out something to do with it before it dries up… Ask and you shall be overwhelmed! If you’re like me wondering “what am I going to do with all this basil,” read on. In fact, we might run out of fresh basil at this rate! Basil is a nice addition to any pasta/red sauce combo (tomato based) Basil pairs nicely with feta cheese (eg. greek salads) Make your own pesto! (which is nice as a spread, but also as a marinade on fish, eg salmon) there are endless variations on homemade pestos, and they are suuuuuuper easy to make Strawberry cucumber basil salad (perfect summer salad) Watermelon and basil is a nice combo (think skewers of this as an appetizer) Also nice with peach and peach-like fruit desserts, add a little fresh basil on top before baking Strawberry and basil is also a nice combo for some desserts – depends on the kind of basil you use though..ideally something on the mild side (eg mix it into strawberry shortcake biscuits) I’ve also heard of it in drinks, like lemonade (use honey as the sweetener – lemon honey basil, amazing). basil can add a nice mild peppery note Mix basil (or thyme or rosemary) into homemade bread and/or pizza dough Also fresh sliced basil on top of pizzas / breads…

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