This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
It’s been four years since I started my garden, but two since I really started to see the fruits of my labor, so to speak. I was just getting my feet wet the first year, and I had about a 50% success rate. The second year, was about 75% and last year, totally 100%.
Everything grew, thrived and more than provided us with fresh vegetables and fruit all Spring and Summer long. I have high hopes for this summer and everything looks happy and healthy. I think it just took some practice to get it all going and that I have succeeded in.
Every Spring I enjoy getting outside and seeing my garden waking up from its dormant state. I love the feel of the warmth of the sun and the coolness of a Spring breeze while I check on growth, plant, replant and prune down the things that are starting to grow.
You Can Grow Vegetables Too!
If you had asked me five years ago if I ever thought I’d be gardening, I can assure you, I’d have laughed. I killed plants left and right and had the blackest thumb ever. However, I was determined to get a vegetable and fruit garden going in a huge plot we had just sitting in our back yard. I researched what was popular in my area, and learned what I could about growing, pruning, etc.
Then what happened was something I did not expect; I discovered how relaxing it can be, how therapeutic it is and how incredibly exciting it is to take a huge basket outside and come back inside with it overflowing. Big beautiful, fresh eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and more, that tasted far better than anything I’d ever bought at the store!
My persistence continues to pay off as I add new things to the garden each year and try my hand at new herbs as well.
If you think you cannot do this, you can.
It’s not as hard as you think. Research what vegetables grow best in your climate and start with just a few different plants. Once you get those established and feel confident, you can keep growing and growing. Make sure that what you are attempting to grow, can do so in your climate, soil and weather conditions.
For instance, you won’t see lemons or avocados growing in my yard or garden, because our climate won’t work. But you will see an abundance of ALL types of peppers, tomatoes and corn (among many other things).
I will tell you that my herb garden is my favorite and was what I started with at the very beginning. In fact, I basically used everything I had last year so this year when I planted, I made sure to make an extra row of everything. I’m glad I did because we are already using what is cropping up.
This year, due to our earlier Spring weather, everything is already growing and quite well I might add. We’ve already gathered a few pints of Strawberries, about 5 bell peppers and several banana peppers.
The tomatoes are already starting to turn red on some of the vines. I’m just shocked at how great everything looks this year.
Herb Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Sweet Peppers
Herb Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Sweet Peppers
- 4 Skewers
- 12 Large or Extra Large Shrimp, peeled, de-veined, tail on.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced herbs, any mix (or single herb - I used basil in this one)
- 2 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, sugar, basil and cayenne pepper. In your blender or a food processor, process the bacon until it turns into a smooth paste, about 30-60 seconds, scraping down the sides. (it looks very unappealing but the flavor it brings is amazing!). Brush the shrimp with the thick paste. Some areas will get more than others, this is ok, just get as much as you can on there. Next, toss the shrimp into the spice mixture and toss to coat. Thread your shrimp and bell peppers onto skewers. If you use wood skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before using to keep them from burning.
- Fire up the grill.
- Grill the Kabobs over the grill, turning frequently (every 2-3 minutes), until they are well cooked and slightly charred. (5-6 minutes or so)
- If they seem like they are starting to dry out a little, brush some olive oil on them and turn them frequently.
- Continue cooking until browned in spots and cooked through, another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes.
- Serve by themselves or over a bed of rice
Don’t forget to check out all the wonderful recipes from the garden this week:
- 3 Cheese Naan Pizza with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Arugula by Neighborfood
- Asparagus Penne with Bacon Cream Sauce by Country Girl In The Village
- Basil, Honey and Walnut Gelato by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Chimichurri Skirt Steak by Magnolia Days
- Garden Foccacia by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Greek Stuffed Tomato by Yours And Mine Are Ours
- Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Sweet Peppers by Daily Dish Recipes
- Herbed Chicken Kabobs by Momma’s Meals
- Individual Indian Corn Pudding Souffles by Delaware Girl Eats
- Lemon Herb Slow Cooker Roast Chicken by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Quinoa Tabbouleh by Supper for a Steal
- Rosemary and Lemon Chicken Thighs with Asparagus by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Rosemary Cornbread by Alida’s Kitchen
- Salmon Peppers and Onions by Family Foodie
- Spinach Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Strawberry Basil Pasta Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Summer Pasta Puttanesca by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Summer Vegetable Lasagna by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto by The Foodie Army Wife
- White Bean Cilantro Chopped Vegetable Salad by Shockingly Delicious