Welcome to my (hopefully) weekly column, The Salsa Garden Chronicles, here on MomPrepares!
So, why am I introducing myself?
Think of it as a virtual handshake. I want to get to know YOU, so I’m reaching through the screen and asking, How do you do?
To begin, I’ll start sharing with you a peek into our lives; what’s happening in my garden, new recipes I’m trying and the steps we’re taking to become more self-sufficient. And, I’m going to ask for your help and advice now and then, cause I know y’all have great stuff to share!
Hello, my name is Erica Mueller and I grow things.
When I was growing up my family had a huge garden. Acres of vegetables, berries and fruit trees. I had a massive herb garden. Living in the country suited me and growing things brought me much joy.
I grew up. Got married. And moved to town.
Now, I’m a salsa gardener.
What this means, for me anyway, is that I have a couple of small raised garden beds in my backyard and I grow as much as I possibly can in our urban space. Knowing I could never grow enough back there to preserve and feed us year round, I focus on growing enough for us to eat fresh during the spring, summer and fall, and to make salsa. I consider cilantro, jalapenos, onions, garlic and tomatoes the most important plants in my garden.
As much as I love growing things, I have to admit that I also love taking pictures of the things I grow and cooking with my own produce. As The Salsa Gardener I will bring you beautiful images to delight your eyes and garden fresh recipes to fill your Pinterest boards cook for your family.
My husband, Ryan, our two boys and I live in north Texas on a very large, but very shaded lot in town. We have a dog. She is not a good gardener. We enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, gardening and landscaping.
And, without further ado…
Here’s what my garden looks like right now.
Pitiful, isn’t it?
Keep in mind the temperatures are currently in the double digits. This is north Texas and we’ve been gardening for a full 5 months, meaning most of our spring crops are done and harvested. But, it’s still too hot to plant the fall stuff.
What’s left? Tomatoes (romas), two jalapeno plants, basil and rosemary. You can’t really see the fruits in this picture, but those tomatoes and peppers are still going strong. I’ve been putting up tomatoes almost every other day for the past 2 weeks.
Right now we’re readying the soil for the fall crops and working on building a bunch of cedar planters I can put up around the deck and near the gate so I can grow an herb garden come spring. This fall and winter I’ll use it for greens (in addition to the garden!) since herbs don’t handle the cold weather well.
Here are two of the boxes.
We have another one almost completed and wood cut for a few more. Assembling them takes about an hour, so we’re doing about one an evening, just before dark when the weather has cooled down to about 97 degrees…
The boxes are 18 inches wide and 4 foot long. They are 12 inches high. I’m thinking with 5 or 6 of these I can grow a lot of herbs!
My question for you this week is…
What is still hanging on in your garden?