Welcome to the fourth and final instalment in our grow your own blog series.
With any luck, the few nerves you may have had about growing your own will be a distant memory now that you’ve had a go yourself and have seen how easy it is. As we’ve discussed throughout this series; as long as you provide your seeds and plants with the basics; water, light and warmth, you can’t go too far wrong.
By now you should be standing back admiring your lush, well established plants which are hopefully ready to be put to good use in a few delicious family dinners. There really is no better feeling than sitting down to a meal which contains ingredients you’ve grown yourself from seed. Knowing exactly where the produce you’re eating comes from not only gives you peace of mind, it also fills you with a real sense of pride and achievement.
(Please don’t worry if you were a little late sowing your seeds and your plants aren’t quite ready to use; just save this blog and come back when you’re ready).
So now we’ve grown some fresh basil, mint and delicious peas, what are we going to do with them?
Well, there’s actually a very good reason I chose these particular plants for us to grow together because we are going to turn them into some really yummy pea and mint pesto which is extremely easy to make.
The recipe details are as follows:
Ingredients200g fresh peas
1 garlic clove
50g toasted pine nuts
A large handful of chopped basil leaves
A small handful of chopped mint leaves
50g freshly grated parmesan (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
125ml olive oil
Put all of your ingredients with a little seasoning in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a little water if the pesto seems too thick.
Transfer to a bowl and cover with a thin layer of oil to prevent discolouring. Stir your homemade pesto into the cooked pasta of your choice, garnishing with fresh basil leaves and parmesan shavings if you’re feeling a little fancy. The pesto will thicken in the fridge so, when using, toss 1-2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water in with the pesto and pasta to loosen it.
So there we have it; your own fresh, home grown meal, all sustainably grown and sourced, it really doesn’t get much better than that!
Now you're acquiring those much sought after green fingers, there is nothing stopping you from spreading your wings and having a go at growing other exciting fruits and vegetables. Gardening is all about learning from your mistakes sprinkled with a little trial and error, so be brave and just have a go.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this sow along blog series and that it’s shown you that growing your own shouldn’t be a daunting task.
Remember not to get too disheartened if something doesn’t germinate or fails to grow because it’s all part of it, these things happen to the most experienced gardener. You now have the knowledge and the tools to thrive as a gardener so don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous.
This may be the end of our time together but it’s just the beginning of your exciting journey on the road to lots of happy times sowing and growing your own produce. Good luck!