One of the great joys of summer is planting and harvesting fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to enjoy with delicious meals. When planning your garden this season, think about the dishes you love most and consider growing a themed garden. Whether you want to grow ingredients for taco seasoning/toppings or berries for your famous sangria, a themed garden can cut prep time in half by having all of the necessary produce and herbs on hand for your recipe. It also enhances the quality and taste of your favorite dishes. Here are a couple of our favorite themed garden ideas to get you started:
What to plant: tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, onions, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeños, and mushrooms
Who doesn’t love making your own pizzas, especially using your own ingredients? Easy to plant and grow, a pizza garden is also a fun summer activity for the kids. You can even make your garden physically resemble a pizza with a circular garden bed and wooden “slices” separating the plants. After your garden has reached full bloom, celebrate with the ultimate pizza party. Everyone will be impressed by the freshness of your pies.
What to plant: rosemary, basil, mint, sage, coriander, lemongrass, thyme, tarragon, lavender, lemons, limes, blueberries, and strawberries
Make your own handcrafted cocktails by adding in fresh herbs and citrus from your garden. Whether you use the mint and blueberries for a cool mojito or mix up a lemon and lavender vodka spritzer, you’ll have all the fixings to make yourself the perfect cocktail for lounging in the backyard or a garden party with friends. All of these plants and herbs can also be used to create infused water or teas for when you’re feeling like a nonalcoholic beverage.
What to plant: potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, kale, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, summer squash, parsley, and green beans
You can’t get more Midwestern than a hearty soup or stew. The aromas and tastes of a brewing pot of soup create the cozy and homey environment that we love here. Some of these vegetables grow at different times, so you have a variety of fresh veggies to incorporate into your soups throughout the year. All of these ingredients can also be used to create those quintessential Minnesotan hotdishes/casseroles.