In previous posts, I have detailed my triumphs and travails with container gardens. Last year’s first attempt was more of a travail as my crop was pretty scant, especially compared with the amount of money I spent to get it up and running. Like all good lifelong learners, I applied the education I acquired in making the mistakes and pitfalls of last year to improving my experience this year. Apparently, it paid off because this weekend, I collected my first harvest consisting of radishes and green beans. Already, I am way ahead of last year’s measly crop.
It has been such a great feeling to see the initial rewards of my gardening skills. I am amazed at the vibrant color and firm texture of my vegetables. You certainly don’t see that in the grocery store. And how fun and tasty it has been to eat from what I nurtured and grew in my own backyard. If a meal I cook calls for cilantro, I just step outside, armed with cooking shears, and clip off a few leaves. My tomato plants are getting huge and are laden with a ton of green fruit. Come mid-July, I will have a bushel of tomatoes to harvest, eat, and preserve. This is great.
What do I attribute my early success to? Consistent watering and proper soil. That is what I lacked last year and it has made all the difference. I am looking forward to continuing to reap more tasty vegetables as the summer goes on. Already, my new crop of radishes have begun to sprout. Yippee.
So, what did I do with the gorgeous green beans I picked? I made my favorite (and easy) green bean side dish.
All you do is wash, trim, and break green beans into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. In a frying pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, stir fry the green beans for a few minutes so that they are crispy. Be careful not to stir for too long or else they will become mushy. Sprinkle a Montreal Steak Seasoning over the beans and they are ready to serve and devour. This is a quick, easy and healthy way to eat fresh green beans. I hope you will give it a try.
How is your summer garden coming along? What do you like to do with your fresh veggies?