Organic Gardening And Fresh Tomato Salsa

Planting a small container garden is an economical and fun way to have fresh herbs and chili peppers in my fridge. However, I will never be able to hold a candle to my mom's green thumb as the gardener extraordinaire. Mother experimented with growing many fresh vegetables in her garden over the years, but the majority of her crop is usually devoted to tomatoes because these tend to do very well in the alkaline rich soil of the San Bernardino Mountains. One thing she did to enrich the soil was by using fish emulsion as opposed to Miracle-Gro. The one summer my mom was too busy with work I decided to help her with the garden, but my dad stunted the growth of all the plants by pouring Miracle-Gro on their roots every single day. Miracle-Gro works well when a person follows the directions, but in this case we ended up having several hundred lilliputian tomato plants that produced approximately one bowl of tiny tomatoes. Also, I am not big on the use of miracle grow because I prefer the organic approach, and having a compost pile is one way to enrich the soil without resorting to using soil enhancers

Overuse of miracle grow can produce tiny tomatoes, and it completely turned me off the stuff. The tomatoes we grew one summer looked more like the cherry variety and tasted pretty good, but this is was minuscule harvest considering the number of plants in the garden. After that summer my mom decided she would stay up until the wee hours of the night and take care of the garden herself as to prevent future Miracle-Gro sprees. Thankfully my dad is a superb electrician and rigged a lighting system that allows them to garden and water well after sunset. These days my dad sticks to watering, whereas my mom is in charge of gardening and picking the tomato plants. Since I do not have a green thumb I prefer to cut these tomatoes up into lovely salads, make organic salsa, or just eat them as God intended, straight off the vine and into the mouth. Since I am not much of a gardener I decided to make the majority of this hub about how one can create a lovely organic tomato salsa. This is a simple recipe of my own creation and can be tailored to your culinary needs.

Sisters love to garden together.
Sisters love to garden together.

Growing up my mom always used organic methods for gardening because she wanted to ensure the quality and safety of the vegetables we ate. She read every book available in the eighties on the subject of organic gardening, of which there were not as many as there are now. People were skeptical of those who used organic gardening methods and some magazines even wrote about how vegetables grown with pesticides looked better. Ironically, by the 1990s many of the same publications that had wrote articles decrying organic gardening began to advocate these methods are healthy and safer. Organic gardening has become widespread and far more accepted, and even Sylvia Brown recommended a farmer on the Montel Williams Show should consider getting in on this trend. I never thought I would see the day when Sylvia Brown would be giving out gardening/farming advice!

Too busy to plant your own garden? If you are wealthy enough you can even hire someone to plant a garden in your own backyard. However, I must say even though I tend to be a lazy gardener I could not imagine going this route. I really want to get into having a little planter box garden as I did a few years ago. In my planter box garden I grew tomatoes and lettuce, which are both hardy plants that do not require much tending. Tomatoes are high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and many other nutrients, so what is not to love about the tomato? Also, homegrown tomatoes have a much bolder flavor than the store bought variety, even the organic ones tend to taste mass produced. I still cannot put my finger on it, but a homegrown tomato just tastes like love and caring. Also, growing loose leaf lettuce in conjunction with tomatoes is the great way to always have the makings of a salad always on hand.

Another thing I like to make with homegrown tomatoes is fresh salsa. If I do not have homegrown tomatoes on hand I use organic store bought ones, but homemade is the best. Today I am showing you how I make a basic and simple salsa, but unfortunately I did not have homemade tomatoes for this tutorial. However, I can guarantee this recipe would taste much better with the homegrown variety of tomatoes.

 

Sweetiepie's Simply Simple Salsa

The way I make salsa is simple and easy. I love to use organic homegrown vegetables when possible, but today I had to settle for store bought organic. Follow the steps below to make a simple salsa Sweetiepie style. Salsa and salad have taught me that even though I lack a green thumb that learning to become a better gardener is essential.

Step One: Cut Up Three Organic Tomatoes

Chop up three organic tomatoes.
Chop up three organic tomatoes.

Step Two: Chop Up An Onion

Chop up an onion.  Make sure the peal off the skin first!
Chop up an onion. Make sure the peal off the skin first!

Step Three: Chop Up A Glove Of Garlic

Chop a clove or two of garlic.
Chop a clove or two of garlic.

Step Four: Chop Up A Bunch Of Cilantro

Cut up a bunch of cilantro.
Cut up a bunch of cilantro.

Step Five: Chop Up Some Red Peppers

This one ingredient is from my mom's garden as I have a lifetime supply of dried red peppers.  Add lots of peppers to the salsa to make it spicy.
This one ingredient is from my mom's garden as I have a lifetime supply of dried red peppers. Add lots of peppers to the salsa to make it spicy.

Final Step: Mix All The Ingredients Together In A Bowl

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and your salsa is ready for the entire family.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and your salsa is ready for the entire family.

Salsa is one of my garden favorites, but do not forget to check out my suggestions on how to make a simple salad. I hope you enjoy your next meal or snack with homegrown crops, or at least organic crops as the building blocks

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Comments 23 comments

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

I want a whole back yard full of nothing but cilantro! :)


SpotCoolStuff.com profile image

SpotCoolStuff.com 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA USA

This makes me hungry. Too bad HubPages doesn't have a homemade salsa revenue capsule.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Patty Inglish,

My mom love to grow cilantro to, so I should try it when I get around to making those planter boxes. I love cilantro is many dishes, so having it on hand would be really nice. Thanks for commenting :).

SpotCoolStuff,

You could always try making some salsa, it is very easy, I promise :). Thanks for commenting.


mulder profile image

mulder 7 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

We have a big vegie garden and grow yummy tomatos so I will try your tomato salsa recipe so thanks sweetie pie .


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I so envy you right now because I want to get those planter boxes started. The good thing about living here in Southern California is the weahter is pretty warm all year, so I would be able to grow the plants continually. Up in the mountains where my parents live they can only grow vegetables in the summer, but of course they have beautiful scenery up there so it is the trade off. I hope you could write a hub about your garden mulder, I would like to read it :).


mulder profile image

mulder 7 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

yes I heard Southern California is weather is fantastic I watch baywatch lol Nothing beats home grown veggies to eat apart from been fun its healthy to .

Those planter boxes are fantastic to use We used big plastic black tubs the one you can put in cold drinks in we used them to put mixed lettuce and strawwberries in they are a great idea . my next hub I write about my garden Sweetie pie .


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I live in the Inland Empire, which is much better because parts of it are less built up than along the coast. I think the oceans are beautiful down San Diego way and up farther north towards Santa Barbara, but the beaches in LA where Baywatch took place are kind of gross as we always hear news reports about hospital trash and other substances ending up in there. I guess after visiting Hawaii I just will never be wowed by LA beaches, but the show makes for great viewing :). Here in the Inland Empire I think it is better because we have deserts, mountains, urban areas, and suburbs. Hopefully we will keep what is left of our orange fileds and not cut them down. The mountains are an anamoly in Southern California because you get snow up there, but not usually down here. It did snow in the winter of 2007 even down in the valley, so even sunny Southern California has seen snow :). I hear Australia is beautiful so I would like to hear more about where you live.


Qwijebo 7 years ago

I used to live in Hemet, and there it was a splendid garden, sans the smell of pig shit of course. But I always remember the markets and the local veggies, and in Chula Vista. By the way, those pics of those poor murdered veggies looks great. I love a good salsa but not too hot. I've never found a good recipe for guacomole.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Qwijebo,

I live about twenty miles from Hemet, so I am very familiar with the area and the pig sells.  I also remember similar smells out in Corona-Norco with all the lovely cow farms :).  Also, I have been down to San Diego and the Chula Vista area, and one time we got so lost in Chula Vista we had to pull over and ask for directions.  One good thing about the salsa recipe is you do not have to put as many peppers in.  For guacamole I make it similar to salsa, but instead I cut up one tomato and two avocados.  I still put in cilantro, an onion, garlic, and peppers.  My mom has a very elaborate guacamole recipe, but I never mastered that one so I make a more salsa like recipe.


Qwijebo 7 years ago

sounds delish, love cilantro too and from what I remember all those years ago, Hemet sure has changed since I was there, I wonder if the place still has that particular odour?


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

It does, but it is more built up to be sure. So you do not want to live in Southern California anymore?


Qwijebo 7 years ago

France!


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

I agree!! Nothing tastes better than a home grown tomato!! Reminds me of my mom! We always worked together in the garden, whether it was the flowerbeds or the tomatoes, we always worked together, and the tomatoes always tasted so much better!!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Anna,

Thanks for commenting and I am glad someone else feels the same way about home grown tomatoes. Working in the garden is part of the fun because then you get to eat as you pick :).


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Yum, I love salsa. The fresher the better.

I don't have a green thumb...I have a black one. Pity the poor plants that come into my life :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Uninvited Writer,

I love the term black thumb because I tend to have that too :). I still need to get around to making the little planter garden, but this time I need to read more about the subject. I did okay in the past, but my mom is a much better gardener than I. My preference is the cut up the tomatoes into a lovely salsa or salad.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Thank you for your own creation of a lovely organic tomato salsa and step by step demonstration. It really does look sooo simply simple. Ohh and the fresh peppers you added...mmm mmm good. The picture of the sisters in the garden reminded me of me and my sisters in my Dad's garden. A lovely and eye pleasing hub. Thank you.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks Dottie, I appreciate your comments.


GreenGoodsGuide profile image

GreenGoodsGuide 6 years ago from Lehigh Valley PA

mmmm, fresh salsa!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you enjoyed it GreenGoodsGuide!


container vegetable gardening 5 years ago

How cute you all look!


tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

Tasty looking! MmmmmMmm


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you enjoyed it tritrain!

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