Quality of life, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in! Living well while living with challenges. Finding strength and resources; feeding body and soul. Thinking 'outside the box'.
Walk beside me as I learn how to live a better, more abundant life in a world that is constantly challenging and changing me! Journey with me as
I explore ways to transform and heal my life and reconnect with my bottomless heart.
It’s Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, and while my
blended and extended family will be celebrating with a gathering and plenty of
delicious, homemade Mexican food, I thought I’d post about plants (and a
recipe!) instead of the typical celebratory things. Not just any plants, but the garden bounty
that’s used in salsa!
A salsa garden is perfect for small spaces
and for container gardening too. Tomato,
peppers, and cilantro are typical salsa ingredients and all do well in
containers and small, sunny spaces. Making
salsa at home isn’t difficult either. It’s
inexpensive and using home grown, chemical free produce adds the bonuses of extra taste AND helping to keep
your body free of toxins.
If gardening in containers, you’ll need a
larger container for the tomato plants, but peppers and cilantro can both be
grown in smaller containers. ’m using
a 20“ container for tomatoes and chives and, for peppers and herbs, large coffee
cans with holes punched into the bottom for drainage.
A few years ago, I recycled two large, round plastic
tubs that had stored toys and used them for planting tomatoes and herbs. I simply drilled holes in the bottom for
drainage and put empty aluminum cans (turned upside down) in the bottom to
lessen the weight from the soil and to economize on the amount of soil I needed
If money is an issue, then growing plants
from seed is definitely a frugal move.
It’s late in the season for starting seeds indoors, but you can also do
the planting outdoors at the beginning of the growing season. To find
out when that is for your area, check here
For healthy tomato plants, it’s important to
water regularly, without over watering. Tomatoes don’t like waterlogged roots
but, when growing in containers, it’s also important not to let the soil dry
out beyond the first inch at the top.
Mulching will help with that, as well as discourage some garden pests. I use dry grass cuttings or leaves, along
with dried coffee grounds, making sure that the mulch doesn’t touch the plant
You can save money on fertilizers as well,
and keep your plants chemical free. Crushed
eggshells added to the soil or placed on top of the soil around your plants
will give them much needed calcium, while coffee grounds will provide
nitrogen. I use this combination most
often for tomato and pepper plants. Used
coffee grounds can also be used as a mulch, or diluted in water as a gentle
If you're not a coffee drinker, or have a larger garden, try stopping by the local Starbucks or other coffee shop and ask if they will let you have used coffee grounds. Starbucks will let you have the grounds for free and local shops may do the same.
I love to garden, but finances necessitated a
move from a house to an apartment a year ago.
Although my patio is really small, I’ve been determined to have a
container garden of some kind. I’ve
gotten a good start this year, planting seeds indoors for tomatoes, chives,
three different types of lettuce, parsley, basil and one type of squash. The last frost date here is in mid-May and we
have a short growing season in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, so an early
start indoors is a must!
I was hoping to include some photos of my
patio, but we’re having a huge thunder, lightning and hail storm today so I haven't put the plants outdoors. I do have a simple salsa recipe for you though!
2 lg. ripe tomatoes, cut in half
4 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 medium white onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
18 cilantro sprigs, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Preheat a pan on a stove with 1 tbs
olive oil. Add tomato, jalapenos, onion
and garlic then roast the mixture well. Pour
the mix into a blender with a very small amount of water and mix on the lowest
setting until you have a thick, pulpy (not liquid) salsa.
Add the cilantro and salt to taste,
then the lime juice and stir by hand.
You can serve as soon as it’s cooled a bit or store in the refrigerator
until needed. An extra day or two even
improves the salsa, giving the flavors time to blend.
I don’t like cilantro so I’ll typically leave it out and add chopped
chives for taste and color instead. You
can also control the ‘heat’ by leaving out some of the jalapeno – or adding