What’s growing in the garden in July? Perhaps a Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce?

Posted on July 13, 2011

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At least there’s still something growing! I’m definitely learning alot in this my first year of vegetable gardening. I’m also observing my landlord’s garden. Thankfully he is willing to share some of the tomatoes he is growing over there in the sunny part of the yard, and hopefully by the end of this month, I will have some harvest to share with him as well!

So far, we ate up all the arugula already. We also ate up all this lettuce last week. I thought our Romaine lettuce would grow a bit bigger, but this about as big as they got before starting to fall over in the dirt. I would like to do some more lettuce varieties. I can still sow some more even this late in the season, right?

The other plants that are going really well are my herbs, especially the basil, parsley, and sage. The cilantro I planted from seed didn’t do so well probably because I transferred it from my starting pot too early. I waited a little longer with transferring the chives (which kind of look like grass still!), and I nearly jumped out of my skin when a half dozen humonguous earth worms slivered out as well. I think I even screamed. I guess that’s how you can tell I am still a novice gardener…

We are also still waiting on the peppers — green bell, yellow bell, and jalepenos! They seem to be doing really well! They plants have doubled in size, and we’re starting to see some buds!

We’ve also got scallions — planted from the roots of a bunch of scallions bought at the grocery, which is a trick I observed from my landlord’s garden! Next door are the brussels sprouts, but as you see, someone is trying to eat them all up before I get to them. Does anyone (Nicole, that means you!) know if this is a common problem and not something to worry about? Or if I should be concerned, what’s the best way to prevent further damage?

The most exciting part of my garden has been the bean patch. We got eight plants started from seed. I heard I needed to make some bean poles for them to climb up… so I constructed some. Well, once again, it becomes obvious I am garden newbie. My homemade bean poles, which I smartly constructed out of wooden skewers and (drum roll please…) duct tape, have not quite held up to these champion climbers. I finally understand the significance of Jack and the Bean Stalk.

I sent my husband into the woods of the park down the road to find some sturdy tree limbs to supplement my inspired garden-on-a-stick approach. It’s a little chaotic, and I hope I didn’t hurt my growing dear ones as we picked up those that had fallen over, or wound around nearby plants, or through the tinies cracks in the back fence and tried to teach them how to climb their new supports. I’m going to try to be a little more prepared next year…

By the way, is that what I think it is?!

This meal was also enjoyed in the garden recently ! My husband and I are so happy with our new apartment just because it comes with a backyard — fully outfitted with a garden and grill! Now if only I can convince my husband that we should buy a proper outdoor dining set…

As I was making dinner tonight and thinking about this blog post, I wanted to include more and more veggies in my dish…so I just piled them on. Imagine if one day I will be able to find all the ingrients for this spaghetti dinner in my own garden?! Garden fresh tomatoes, corn, zucchini, onion, and garlic…

At least this time around, I did include hand-picked basil from my very own backyard!

And I made the spaghetti sauce from scratch. It was a pretty big hit with my husband — he actually ate the spaghetti accompanying it, so I thought I better record how I made it here so the process can be repeated from fresh tomatoes from the garden one day!

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Chicken stock as needed
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, if desired
Fresh basil, chopped

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute several minutes, until translucent. Stir in tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes begin to break down. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes if desired. Stir to incorporate tomato paste, add enough chicken stock to reach desired thickness.

Simmer another 10-15 minutes, then transfer to blender and pulse until pureed, adding additional chicken stock if desired. Return to sauce pan, and allow to heat through another 5 minutes or so, then stir in fresh chopped basil. Serve over your favorite pasta.

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Posted in: Dinner, Main, Summer