Spring into your summer garden

We are now a couple of months into the “Grow it Forward” campaign.  Our library doors have re-opened, and we hear now how lots of you are seeing the results for the planting you did, earlier this year.  Lovely! 

And, Well Done.

Now is a great time to think how best to utilise and enjoy your harvest.  As well as raw or cooked veggies, how about making Sauces, Pestos or Chutneys?  The oil or vinegar used will work as a preservative ( instantly allaying those fears of, for example, a tomato glut! ) 

Start to stockpile used jars, and later on you can sterilise them in a batch, in the oven, in time for filling.  Your Preserves will be just the thing for sharing, as per the “Grow it Forward” philosophy!


For an extra special gift, create your own Hamper using a basket or a covered box.  Line with tissue paper.  Scout for keenly-priced jars to use for your Preserves.  Create a lovely homemade centrepiece using a couple of jars, and to fill up your hamper, add cheeses, crackers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes etc.  - whatever the lucky recipient would fancy!

“Use what you’ve got”

Before the most recent lawn-mowing at home, here’s a Pesto I made, employing the motto of a Gardener pal: “Use what you’ve got” !

My Pesto contains Plantain (pictured     to left), Sage, Dandelion, Nettle and Raw Broccolli, mixed with oil plus Flaked Almonds, Grated Parmigiano cheese, Garlic, Basil and Oregano.  I make To Taste, and the consistency I like is thick, rich and nutty. 

I cut everything quite finely, then use a hand-held Blender.  And at the very end, I sprinkle in some roughly-chopped Cashews.

Myself, I was amazed how tasty this “Back Garden Pesto” turned out!  So don’t be afraid to plunge into new foodie adventures.  And we’ll all aspire to keep the sharing going on.  Enjoy it all, folks!

And many thanks to the GIY group for inspiration and continual support.

by Aine from Athlone Library