gardening - deborah & hanna 4-19-15Container gardening is easy, fun, good for the environment… and delicious! That was the message behind Grace’s Creation Care Ministry workshop on Sunday, April 19.

Grace member Deborah Caby led the session, giving us a hands-on lesson to grow the ingredients you need for delicious salsa and bruschetta. From the soil and fertilizer to the herbs and vegetables, Deborah (and her lovely assistant Hannah) explained the techniques and the benefits of container gardening. She also provided delicious samples of what the fresh ingredients can create!

Below are Deborah’s tips for container gardening, followed by recipes for salsa and bruschetta. Our thanks to Deborah Caby for sharing her expertise with us!

Instructions for Container Gardening

Select container

Purchase organic potting mix (not soil) & organic fertilizer

Mix fertilizer & potting mix

Place rocks or broken pottery in bottom of container to allow for drainage & keep soil in pot.

Fill halfway with soil mix.

Plant tomatoes at this time, add more soil and plant next size vegetables(peppers), add more soil and finish with herbs & flowers, pressing down around plants to anchor them.

Add a frame for your climbers (tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, etc.).

Water thoroughly

Place container in small dish and put in place.

Fertilize every few weeks with organic, water-soluble fertilizer.

Harvest lettuce & herbs often to keep plants producing.

Recipe: Garden Salsa

8-10 tomatoes, seeded & chopped (I cut each in half & take out the seeds, using just the red meat of the tomato, or you can chop everything so you have more juice)

6-8 green onions, diced, using half the green top

l jalapeno, deseeded and finely minced (use less if you do not like the heat)

1 or 2 teaspoons of  fresh minced garlic

1 or 2 limes, freshly squeezed

1 bunch freshly chopped cilantro

pepper & kosher salt to taste

Optional: cumin to taste

You may add in either green pepper or red pepper to add additional vegetables.

Combine all ingredients and allow to meld, covered in the refrigerator for two or more hours before serving.

Recipe: Bruschetta

8-10 tomatoes, deseeded & chopped

¼ cup basil leaves, shredded

1 or 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic

1/8 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 or 2 rosemary sprigs, de-stemmed & chopped

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon olive oil

pepper & kosher salt to taste

French Bread

Combine all ingredients, cover, and allow to meld for two or more hours.  Best if eaten on the same day!

To assemble:  Brush thinly sliced french bread on both sides with olive oil and bake in 400 oven until lightly browned. Turn over & bake the other side until lightly brown.  Serve bread on the side and allow guests to spoon tomato mixture on toasted bread.  You may serve with freshly grated or shaved parmesan cheese on top.

NOTE:

To make fresh gazpacho, you may add cucumbers, zucchini, any color bell peppers (all chopped) and one can V-8 vegetable juice to either recipe and chill. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Bruschetta recipe also is a great topping for pasta

Click here to see more pictures from this event.

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