Watermelon Salsa

It’s watermelon season, folks! We love this sweet and spicy salsa made with fresh watermelon. Make some and serve it up at your next summer barbeque.

What you’ll need:

  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 cups watermelon, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • tortilla chips

To make:

Add zest, juice, sugar, and pepper to a bowl and stir. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss. Chill in the fridge. Serve with chips and enjoy!

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Firefly Friendly Garden

Summer is here and with it comes the magnificent light show of the glowing firefly. Many of us enjoy sitting on the back porch at dusk, watching in awe as the little critters light up the lawn. However, due to habitat destruction and pollution, the firefly populations have shrunk. Here are a few tips to draw these glimmering glow worms to your backyard!

Go Sans Chemicals
We tend to go spray happy in the warm months in order to get rid of mosquitos and other pesky bugs. However, most chemicals don’t discriminate and will likely kill the fireflies as well. Firefly larvae are born underground so any chemicals used for your grass would also be fatal.

Let The Snails Be
Fireflies love munching on slugs, snails, worms, and other slimy things. These brilliant beauties feast on grubs by immobilizing their food-to-be with toxic enzymes before sucking out the liquified body contents. Yummy! As most critters stay where there’s food, leave their viscous victims alone.

Cover Up
Fireflies are nocturnal and hide in tall grass and low-profile plants during the day. Give these guys a place to sleep with a variety of tall grasses, low-growing plants, and a few shrubs.

Go Dark
Fireflies get confused by artificial light. Turn off all interior and exterior lights to allow these luminous lampyridae do their thing!

Pick up a few firefly-friendly goodies at the Greenhouse today!

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is abundant this time of year so why not make the most out of this delicious fruit! This recipe is perfect for a light supper or as a side dish at a cookout. It’s super easy and oh so good!

What you’ll need:

  • ½ lb baby arugula
  • 2 lbs seedless watermelon, cut in ¾ diced cubes
  • ⅓ cup olive (use a quality oil here)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup of shaved Parmesan cheese (you can use a potato peeler to do this)

To make:

Add the arugula and watermelon chunks to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk it up. Add enough dressing to soften moisten the greens. We aren’t going for soggy salad. Top with Parmesan cheese, sprinkle with a little bit of salt, and serve!

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Serrano – The serrano pepper originates in the mountainous regions of Mexico. Though it’s quite a bit hotter, it’s smaller than a jalapeño. If left to ripen on the plant, its color is a deep red. As one of the few peppers that don’t do well with drying, Serrano peppers are used in salsas. Altiplano is a large fruited serrano and is high yielding.

Jalapeno – The most widely known, the jalapeño is a medium size pepper that has a mild heat to it. It’s commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Much of the pepper’s spice is contained in the seeds, which are frequently removed for those not wanting too much kick. Jalapeños are picked while still green, though when ripe, they are red when fully ripen on the plant. Jalapeños are used in salsas, pickled, stuffed, baked, fried, and included in recipes as well as muddled into cocktails to add a soft warmth to a margarita. The Jedi jalapeno is the largest Jalapeno variety offered at 4-4.5” in length. High yields, slow to check.

Chipotle – Chipotle peppers are smoked ripe jalapeños that offer dishes a rich, smoky flavor. When they are rehydrated and made into a salsa or a meat marinade, they are referenced as adobo. Chipotle peppers can be found whole, ground or canned and have a moderate amount of heat.

Chiles de Arbol – Small and vibrant, this pepper is also known as bird’s beak chile or rat’s tail chile. These chiles are typically found fresh, dried or powdered and are of medium-high heat level.

Habanero – These peppers have a bite and are among the hottest peppers used in Mexican cuisine. In fact, when people work with these gloves, they need to wear gloves. Depending on when they’re picked and how old they are, Habaneros range in color. Habaneros are often used to make hot sauces as they have both citrusy and floral flavor.

Poblano Pepper – Also known as an Ancho Chile, this pepper is frequently roasted and stuffed with beans and cheese. They generally have a milder heat; however, fully ripened red ones can be quite hot. The dried poblano is known as ancho chile, a common ingredient in mole sauce. Baron is one of our favorite varieties. 

Guajillo Peppers – Dried mirasol peppers are made from Guajillos. They have a thin skin, a mild flavor, and deep red color. Once rehydrated with hot water, to make a marinade for meat, they commonly used to make a sauce for tamales or finely ground into a paste.

Amazing Hot pepper – This is an authentic Korena drying pepper. Traditionally used in Korea to make bright red kimchi. Imparts a bright, citrusy flavor that is warm but not hot.

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Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers are lovely for stuffing, grilling and making delicious salsas. Here are a few of our favorite varieties (HPS) offered here at the Greenhouse.

  • Big Bertha 70 days. Extra large, elongated 7”x4” across. Mature from deep green to red. Great for grilling.
  • California Wonder 75 days. One of the most popular and best for stuffing. Sweet flavor 4×4” blocky fruit.
  • Early Summer Hybrid 68-73 days. Extra large 4-5” fruits mature from dark green to yellow. Strong plants with impressive yield potential. Excellent disease resistance.
  • Goliath Goldrush Hybrid 72-75 days. Sweet, flavorful and crispy. Compact plants and high disease resistance.
  • Keystone Giant Resistant III 80 days. Large 3-4 lobed fruit with heavy yields. Excellent for home gardens.
  • King Arthur 65-70 days. Formerly known as Fat n Sassy. Heavy yields, highly resistant to bacterial leaf spot. One of the earliest to turn bright red.
  • Purple Beauty 70 days. Sweet bell that matures to a beautiful purple color. Flesh is tender, crisp and sweet.
  • Orange Blaze 65-70 days. 2011 AAS Winner. Early and easy. Gourmet, 2-3 lobed intense orange fruit that is crunch and sweet.  Flavor and color peak at the same time. 
  • Giant Marconi 72 days. Large sweet, yet smoky floored fruits can be eaten green, red, fresh or grilled. Heavy yielder.
  • Sweet Banana 66 days. One of our most popular open pollinated varieties. Looks like hot bananas except that these thick walled fruits are sweet. Fruit is  green 6” long x 1.5-2” in diameter.

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