Since it was my first summer of having my own garden, I learned a ton. For one thing, I learned I could actually grow something from the ground. As someone who formerly had a black thumb (or whatever is the opposite of green thumb), no one was more surprised than me to see actual crops in my backyard!
I want to share a few surprising tidbits I learned along the way. Whether you’ve got your own garden or a plentiful farm share, I’m hoping you can benefit from some of the interesting things I found out. I’ve got loads of ideas for what you can do with your fresh summer veggies!
My biggest lesson from my summer garden? Growing my own food is both empowering and delicious. I hope you get the chance to try what I’ve tried! If you’ve been doing it much longer than I have, well done and thank you for paving the way! — Allison Willson Dudas
Substitute squash for zucchini when baking. This may be obvious to most but it wasn’t to me! We had so much yellow summer squash from three plants that I was overwhelmed. I learned halfway through my abundance that I could bake my zucchini bread with squash and it tasted grand!
Freeze whole tomatoes when you blanch them. My garden is about to explode with tomatoes. I may not have time to make sauce and freeze it, but I sure to have time to blanch tomatoes in boiling water for a minute until skins split and then freeze them whole. Then, I can save the sauce-making until later.
Make pickles in the easiest way possible. Pickling something never appealed to me. It just seems like too much work! But slicing some of my excess cucumbers up and putting them in a jar of pickle juice (left over from pickles) for a few weeks? Easy as pie! Try it — easiest pickles ever.
Puree veggies and throw into sauce. Have too much eggplant? Zucchini? Puree them and put them in your tomato sauce! It’s an easy way to make your sauce more nutritious, and your kids won’t be able to taste them.