Summer Garden Harvest & Fresh Basil Pesto

Lifestyle

September is quickly approaching, so I thought it would be fun to share what our garden has produced (so far) this summer. We still have a few good weeks of growing ahead of us, but the plants are beginning to reach maturity and the end of the hot season is near.

Tomatoes & jalapenos

Our tomato plants have been steadily producing the last few weeks. When the dogs aren’t stealing them, we’ve enjoyed mixing different varieties into salads and pasta dishes. We even experimented with a salsa recipe, including our one and only jalapeño, but I got a little trigger happy and ended up blending the ingredients into a sauce instead of a lovely, chunky salsa. I’ll take it easy next time!

Green beans

For a while, I didn’t think our beans were going to produce at all. The vines kept climbing and there were no visible signs of pest or disease. I figured at the very least it made for a beautiful centerpiece! Next thing I knew the trellis was covered in flowers and little beans. Some of the best green beans I’ve ever had were sautéed from a friend’s garden, so I’m excited to try that again with our very own!

Cucumbers

I was surprised to see how happy our cucumber plants were this year. They were some of the earliest producers and continue to grow strong. These cukes are the crispiest I’ve ever tasted and make a great addition to salads, charcuterie boards and mixed drinks.

Matt muddled some cucumber and jalapeño, shook with lime juice and topped with Topo Chico and a splash of simple syrup for a fresh, spicy summer mocktail. I also gave this pickle recipe a try and will report back on how they taste!

Herbs

The chives, oregano, parsley, thyme, mint and basil are absolutely thriving. We’ve only ever grown herbs in small containers, so I didn’t realize how big herbs would get if given the room to grow. I’m going to experiment with drying herbs this year so we can continue to make use of them into the fall and early winter.

Fresh basil pesto

Despite the mid-season beetle extravaganza, we had more than enough basil to make our first ever batch of fresh basil pesto. It is one of the easiest recipes to make, especially when you can run out to the garden and cut all the basil you need!

If you’re a regular home chef, most of the ingredients this recipe calls for are probably already in your fridge and pantry. A friend of mine shared that you can replace pine nuts with walnuts, too!

 

Late arrivals

We’re hoping to harvest some zucchini, onions (albeit tiny), corn, and fingerling potatoes before it’s time to clean up the garden beds for fall planting. I’m really interested to see how the potatoes have done but I’m waiting as long as possible to maximize their growth. To our surprise, a couple of gourd plants survived my lack of watering and will make an appearance in our fall porch decor!

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty great first season. We’ve loved tending to the garden all summer long, watching things grow from seed to mature plant and enjoying freshly picked goodies in our home cooked meals. Gardening is such a wild, wonderful, rewarding journey and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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