Tag Archives: veggies

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How To Change Your Garden Layout In 8 Easy Steps

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How To Change Your Garden Layout In 8 Easy Steps

Your garden is your own little piece of paradise. It’s a place where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. But after a while, you may start to feel like your garden is a bit lackluster. If you’re looking for a change, there’s no need to wait until springtime to do it. With a little planning, you can easily change up your garden layout in just a few easy steps:

1. Decide what you want to change:

The first step in changing your garden layout is deciding what exactly you want to change. Do you want to add more color? Or are you looking for a more functional space? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start planning your new layout. Consider Dumpster Rental to get rid of any debris you may accumulate.

2. Sketch out your ideas:

Once you have a general idea of what you want to do, it’s time to start sketching out your ideas. Get a piece of paper and a pencil and start drawing. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect – this is just for planning purposes. Once you have a basic idea of your new layout, you can start refining it.

3. Choose your plants:

One of the most important aspects of any garden is the plants. Carefully choose the types of plants that you want to include in your garden. Consider things like sunlight and water needs, as well as their growth habits. You’ll also want to think about how the plants will look when they’re in bloom.

4. Place your plants:

After you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to start placing them in your new garden layout. Again, sketching things out first can be helpful. Once you have a general idea of where you want to put each plant, you can start digging holes and planting them. If you have pets, remember to keep in mind that they may want to rearrange your plants after you’ve placed them!

5. Add some mulch:

Mulch is a great way to add nutrients to your soil and help your plants retain moisture. It can also give your garden a polished look. When you’re adding mulch, be sure to use a layer that’s two or three inches thick.

6. Water regularly:

One of the most important things you can do for your garden is to water it regularly. Depending on the type of plants you have, you may need to water daily or just a few times a week. Be sure to check the soil before watering to make sure it’s not already moist.

7. Fertilize as needed:

Fertilizing your garden is important to help your plants stay healthy and thrive. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Apply fertilizer according to the package directions and be sure not to use more than recommended.

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8. Enjoy your new garden:

After you’ve finished all of these steps, sit back and enjoy your new garden layout. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can easily transform your space into something you’re proud of.

Changing your garden layout is a great way to give your space a fresh look. By following these eight easy steps, you can achieve the results you want in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your new garden today!

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

Hello! My dad’s magnificent garden has been providing an endless supply of tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, and herbs. I tried to ease the burden of putting a dent in his harvest by making some spaghetti sauce. It turned out a bit lackluster but at least I used eight tomatoes with it lol! This past week, my dad and I made salsa together and came up with our own recipe. It turned out great! Check it out:

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Our Recipe:

  • 22 small to medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 of a green pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves pressed garlic
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, finely chopped
  • Very small pieces of serrano pepper – *Warning* they are very hot
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Several sprigs of cilantro
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

I had an absolute blast making this salsa with my dad! I couldn’t tell you the last time we collaborated in the kitchen and it was so much fun to make salsa magic together. The day before we made our concoction, my dad scoured different recipes but we decided to just wing it and see what happens. We delegated different tasks to each other, taste tested along the way, and ended up being really happy with what we came up with.

Salsa is a cool thing to make because you can adjust it as you go to your liking. Whether you want more heat, extra onions, or super garlicky is your prerogative. My dad and I agreed on something more mild after tasting the extreme heat of the serrano peppers from his garden. This was an excellent call because not only was my mouth on fire but my hands burned until the evening just from chopping them. Not to mention the suffering I experienced when I had to take my contacts out. Ouch!!

Minus the serrano incident, I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon with my dad. We definitely plan on making our salsa again and I hope that all of you enjoy the recipe too!

Do you like to follow recipes or wing it? What do you have growing in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Not So Successful Spaghetti Sauce

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Not So Successful Spaghetti Sauce

Hello! My dad has the most bountiful, wonderful garden that is jam packed with flowers and veggies. His tomato harvest is coming in hot and I promised him that I would help to make spaghetti sauce. Unfortunately, it turned out SO salty and I genuinely have no idea why because I followed the recipe to the T minus adding some tomato paste. Check it out:

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^^^ This recipe was found in The Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook by Julie Jordan.

It has been a long while since I made homemade spaghetti sauce and I was in the zone while doing prep work. While my sister is a formidable baker, I love to cook and there is nothing better to me than whipping up tasty meals for people to enjoy. I also had the luxury of cooking in my mom and dad’s beautiful kitchen, which was a nice change of pace from my apartment!

For this recipe, I used fresh tomatoes, of course, and altered nothing but the tomato paste and way more garlic than needed. However, I’m thinking that the tomato paste on top of the 1/2 teaspoon of salt that I added might have been too much. This is the only thing that would make sense as to why the saltiness was through the roof.

Maybe I’m making this up but isn’t it a thing that a good cook tastes their sauces while they’re making it? Lol, it’s definitely a thing, right? I probably should have been more proactive about this too but I just didn’t feel like it after making a huge dinner of baked ziti the night before! On the bright side, I did use up a decent amount of the tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill so I guess that was a somewhat victory haha.

Even though my spaghetti sauce didn’t turn out great, now you all know what not to do if you choose to make the recipe. Also, be careful if you use squeeze tomato paste because I ended up getting it all over my shirt SMH!!!!

What have you been cooking recently? What do you like to make with fresh veggies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Does Your Diet Lead To Better Health?

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How Does Your Diet Lead To Better Health?

The human body is a fantastic machine with the ability to heal itself when given the correct type of nourishment. Unfortunately, as a society and individuals, we’re increasingly eating foods that aren’t in line with our body’s natural needs. We’re not getting the nourishment we need, which results in a weakened immune system, digestive problems, fatigue, and stress.

Here’s what you need to know to start working on improving your health right now:

What is a healthy diet?

We’re not talking about restrictive diets or eating like a rabbit. A healthy diet is all about eating foods in line with your body’s natural needs, which will help you feel more energized and happier. To get started on that journey, the best thing you can do is remove the bad stuff from your diet. What are the “bad” foods? Foods with high amounts of sugars, animal products, and processed foods.

Understanding Nutrients:

First and foremost, your diet needs to provide you with essential nutrients. These nutrients include protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and magnesium, to name a few. If you’re not getting enough of these vitamins and minerals, it can lead to several problems in your body. Also, it’s essential to understand that every nutrient is necessary for your health in different ways. For example, while vitamin C is vital for immunity, magnesium helps with muscle function and tiredness.

Understanding Macros:

Macrobiotics is all about balance, which can often be defined as a state of harmony between opposing forces, such as yin and yang. It also promotes the consumption of whole grains and other plant based foods while limiting or eliminating meat, dairy, processed food, sugar, and salt.

It’s a great way to start understanding how your diet impacts your health because it’s based on the idea that everything in life is interconnected – plants, animals, and humans. For example, eating an animal product or processed food (which is low on the totem pole) might take away from what you can eat higher up on the totem pole, like plants. That could harm your health because it affects the balance in your body, which could leave you with more inflammation or disease.

Understanding macrobiotics will help you better understand balanced eating and help you work towards a healthier life. Talk to a consultant such as Denny Waxman to make sure you eat the right foods to improve your diet.

How to start improving your diet:

Before you can start improving your diet, you need to know what your diet currently looks like. The easiest way to do this is by keeping a food journal. A food journal is a notebook where you write down everything you eat and drink for at least two weeks. Once you’ve finished that, it’s time to make some changes.

1) Start by eliminating the worst offenders from your diet:

First, identify the most harmful foods in your diet: these are the ones that are high in sugar and processed ingredients.

2) Add more vegetables into your everyday meals:

The next step is to add more fresh vegetables to your daily meal plan. These vegetables should be colorful and rich in vitamins and minerals – so green leafy veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and zucchini are excellent options.

3) Drink enough water:

Finally, make sure you’re drinking enough water every day (aim for eight glasses). This will help flush out toxins from your system and keep things running smoothly inside of you.

After a couple of weeks of a more balanced diet, you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Use the tips above to help you get started today!

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10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

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10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

It’s not always easy to find the motivation to eat healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones. Who doesn’t love a salty bag of potato chips?! However, making small changes to your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. By replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives, you can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. You’ll also have more energy and be less likely to gain weight.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, start by making some small changes to your diet. Here are ten healthier alternatives when you are feeling peckish:

1. Fresh Fruit:

A great way to satisfy your sweet tooth is with fresh fruit. Fruit is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and it’s a natural source of sugar. So go ahead and indulge in a piece of juicy fruit instead of a candy bar. Cut up your fruit as soon as you buy it to have it handy in the fridge. This way, when you want to grab a snack, it’s already ready to go.

2. Trail Mix:

Trail mix is a healthy and convenient snack that can be enjoyed on the go. It’s made up of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, which are all packed with fiber and protein. You could make your own trail mix and include your favorite dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and seeds. Keep a pack of trail mix in your bag or car for whenever you feel hungry when out and about.

3. Veggies with Hummus:

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that will fill you up, try veggies with hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, a good source of protein and fiber. Dip some fresh veggies in hummus for a satisfying low-calorie snack. To save some money, you can even make your own hummus at home.

4. Fruit Juices:

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sodas and colas, fruit juices are a great choice. Many fruit juices have added sugar so, instead, go for 100% fruit juice. You could find juice brands like Fit n’ Right, which have natural ingredients and less sugar. Plus, these can help quench your thirst without the sugary aftertaste or empty calories!

5. Popcorn:

Skip the microwave popcorn and opt for plain air-popped popcorn, instead. This tasty snack is low in calories and fat but high in fiber so that it will keep you full longer! Make sure to avoid flavored popcorn, which is packed with sugar and salt. If you don’t like bland popcorn, you could add turmeric or paprika to give it some zest.

6. Smoothies:

Smoothies are a healthy alternative to sugary drinks because you control what goes into them. You can add fruit, vegetables, and nutritional protein powder if you want an extra boost of nutrients. Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners since they’ll just add empty calories.

7. Apples and Peanut Butter:

This classic combination is a great snack that you can take anywhere with you. It’s easy to eat on the go, and it’s high in fiber and healthy fats from the peanut butter. Make sure to avoid sugary peanut butter or applesauce since they’ll have the same effect as candy.

8. Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast food that you can also enjoy as a snack. It’s high in fiber and has slow-digesting carbs, which will keep you full longer. Plus, it’s a good source of protein and healthy fats. If you don’t like eating hot oatmeal, you can always turn to overnight oat recipes. A perfect snack because you can eat them cold!

9. Yogurt:

Swap out your favorite full-fat ice cream with low-fat yogurt for dessert or a snack. This healthy swap will save you calories, fat, and sugar. Be sure to read your labels carefully if you want yogurt with live cultures and opt out of the ones with a lot of added sugar.

10. Protein Bars:

Protein bars pack a lot of nutrients and protein into a convenient bar form. They can replace traditional candy bars as a healthy snack when you’re on the go. Just read your labels carefully to avoid eating too many calories or unhealthy ingredients!

Try out some healthy snack ideas on this list – you may just find that you enjoy them more than the norm of chips, crackers, and candy!

6 Tips For Staying On Top Of Your Health

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6 Tips For Staying On Top Of Your Health

Everyone recognizes the value of good health, but figuring out how to achieve it can be difficult. Let’s have a look at some of the options available to you in the next section so you can be your healthiest self in 2022:

Consume A Variety Of Foods:

For a healthy body, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single diet can offer them all. It’s not about a single meal; it’s about making long term, well balanced dietary choices that will make a difference. A low fat dinner could be offered after a high fat lunch. After a hearty beef dinner, perhaps fish should be the next day’s meal?

Eat A Wide Range Of Fruits And Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are some of the most important foods for getting enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Our goal should be to consume at least 5 servings every day. A glass of fresh fruit juice for breakfast, an apple and a piece of watermelon for snacks, and a variety of vegetables at each meal, for example.

Drink Plenty Of Water:

Every day, adults must drink at least 1.5 liters of water! Especially if it’s hot outside or they’re doing anything active. The best source, of course, is water. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk, and other beverages are all okay if used in moderation.

Maintain An Appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI):

Our optimal weight is determined by factors such as gender, height, age, and heredity. Obese and overweight people are at a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, among other disorders.

Excess body fat is caused by consuming more than we need. Extra calories can come from any caloric meal, including protein, fat, carbohydrate, and alcohol, however, fat is the most concentrated source. Physical activity allows us to burn calories and feel good at the same time. The message is simple: if we want to lose weight, we need to eat less and exercise more! You should also bear in mind that BMI could be considered as outdated. It fails to take into account things such as muscle weight, so someone who trains heavily may appear on the BMI scale as overweight.

Make It A Habit To Get Moving:

Physical activity is good for people of all shapes and sizes, as well as those with various health problems. It helps to burn calories, is good for the heart and circulatory system, keeps or builds muscle mass, improves focus, and improves overall health and well being.

To get moving, we don’t have to be Olympic athletes! It is recommended that we engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week, which may easily be included in our daily routine. These pointers should make it easier for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle without making it too difficult.

Concentrate On All Aspects Of Your Health:

In addition to the aforementioned, you should also pay attention to other aspects of your health, such as going to the optometrist or the dentist. Whether it’s cosmetic dental procedures or just a monthly check up, it all contributes to your overall health.

These six tips should help when it comes to taking care of yourself and staying healthy. We only have this body and it deserves our respect by practicing a healthy lifestyle!

Featured Image By: Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

4 Foods That Clean Your Teeth

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4 Foods That Clean Your Teeth

Did you know that there are foods that clean your teeth when you eat them? While many foods get a bad rap for sticking to your teeth and causing cavities, there are others that are nutritious and actually help your teeth. If you find the concept of getting healthy nutrients for your body while preserving your teeth appealing then take a look at these foods:

Apples:

Apples not only clean your teeth but will also help to ward off bad breath. Apples contain a lot of fiber and when you eat them, they act the same way that your toothbrush would. This means that they scrub away plaque and remove other food particles.

The acids that are present in apples will help you remove bacteria that cause bad breath. The best way to get the most benefit out of apples is to leave the skin on them. The skin of the apple is actually the part that has the most fiber to help clean your teeth.

Munch On Carrots:

Carrots work in much the same way that apples do to clean your teeth. Since apples are loaded with fiber, they scrub off plaque and other substances that are sticking to your teeth. When you eat carrots, it stimulates the production of the saliva in your mouth and this also helps to clean your teeth.

Green Vegetables:

Green vegetables are excellent for cleaning your teeth. While you are crunching on the leafy vegetables, they go to work to remove food particles. There are also some vegetables, such as kale, that have calcium that will help to strengthen your enamel.

Cucumbers:

Cucumbers are good for your teeth because they are also high in fiber. Cucumbers also have a lot of water, which helps to ensure that your mouth doesn’t dry out. When you chew on cucumber a lot of saliva is produced and it helps to wash away bacteria from your mouth. You can eat cucumbers by themselves or you can put them in a sandwich or salad to make them easier to consume.

Whatever foods you consume to clean away plaque, always remember to visit a dentist such as those at tri-state dental care to keep your teeth looking their best.

Now that you know some foods that clean your teeth while you eat them, you should try to incorporate them into your diet more often. Adding them into your diet will assist you with keeping your teeth looking as healthy as they possibly can. This means that there is a greater chance that you will protect your enamel and prevent cavities. An apple a day, right?!

Featured Image By: Tom Swinnen from Pexels

Eating For The Season

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Eating For The Season

As summer is starting to come to an end, so is the harvesting of all our summer vegetables. Finding joy in eating seasonally is something that your family can experience – all it takes is a little creativity at dinner time! As fall begins, explore the following in your meals:

Root vegetables:

Root vegetables are coming into the season, which means an abundance of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. All the good stodgy veggies that are best stewed or cooked into wholesome foods. There are so many lovely recipes out there for the autumn and winter months that allow you to just sink into and enjoy.

We all live a busy life and finding the time to cook those proper homely meals can seem like an inconvenience after a full day at work. So, what’s a better time than to dust off the old slow cooker and put it to good use.

Pumpkins:

Lots of cuisines use pumpkin because of the sweetness so to add a kick of it to your curries why not add pumpkin? A tasty Japanese alternative is pumpkin Kuroki, which is a pumpkin patty covered in panko breadcrumbs and fried. It’s delicious. However, you can just put pumpkin in your stews, it’s a healthy colorful vegetable that can’t be forgotten about. You can pick pumpkins up everywhere in the autumn and for extremely low prices… so when you are pumpkin picking don’t forget to eat the inside before you carve the outside!

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Butternut Squash:

Butternut squash is such an underrated vegetable. It is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and is a great source of nutrients. This funny-looking vegetable is so versatile. It can be used in the same way as a pumpkin but has become much more popular in soups and curries.

Butternut squash and apple soup is one to try this season, the contrasting flavors of the savory and sweet makes the perfect warming meal. Butternut squash can also be used as a lower carb option for spaghetti in pasta dishes as its form stays solid when spiraling it. It can also be added to stews but is equally as good as the main star of a meal.

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Potatoes:

The king of root vegetables, the potato is one of the worlds’ favorite foods due to its versatility. There are hundreds of ways to cook potatoes that are warming and hearty and just make you feel good. Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese or cold fillings are a quick meal. You can cook a jacket potato in the oven or microwave and you can add whatever toppings you like. This is a staple food for the whole family in the autumn.

Have you ever thought about widening your repertoire of cooking potatoes? What about crispy roast potatoes, where you parboil them and then shake the pan to fluff them up before roasting. Or creating dauphinoise potatoes, which can be achieved very quickly. Hasselback potatoes, with lots of cuts on one side with spices and fillings melted into the slots? There are so many ways to use potatoes through the autumn and winter months to create gorgeous additions to your recipes.

Carrots:

The only real way to eat carrots at this time of year is roasted with honey. They are divine and, of course, that is not the only way to eat carrots, but they certainly should become a household staple. Honey glazed carrots with any meal is a sweet addition to offset any savory flavors. The color adds a pop to what can be an otherwise muted plate of food. During the autumn and winter months, if you are eating seasonally, there isn’t usually a lot of colors to foods so carrots are a great way to brighten your plate.

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There are far too many recipes to list in one simple blog post so it is great to research and find some different recipes to spice up your autumn/winter menus for the family. Bon Appetit!

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Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❤

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah