Last September we invested in a Tower Garden and I’ve been on a learning and experimenting curve ever since. The green lettuce, kale and herbs have been a delightful Winter and early Spring treat.The tomatoes, cucumbers and yellow squash are progressing. And my beloved Datil peppers are growing nicely. This is the first time I’ve tried Datils from seed, and I am happy that they are doing well. Can’t wait to make Datil Pepper Relish and Devil Sauce this summer. (find the sauce recipe at the link). I’ll share the relish recipe soon. Watch for it.
The Tower Garden is great for gardening in Florida where bugs and heat are a constant challenge. Not much we can do about the heat of mid and late Summer, but I find it much easier to control bugs since many of them come up from the ground and this system uses no dirt — just water that is pumped through to the pods that hold the plants. Seedlings are started in rock-wool cubes that can be placed in a small dish of water or right in the garden. Many of my fellow “tower gardeners” in cooler climates garden with the TG right through the winter by using grow lights and keeping their towers inside. It’s a great system if you are “garden-challenged!”
For now the strawberries take center stage. I only put in 5 or 6 of the bare root plants that I purchased on Amazon so the harvest is small, but each day I get enough to provide a lovely garnish to a lettuce/fruit salad. Today I added some orange segments and I think the visual appeal is beautiful.
Top this off with my homemade poppy seed dressing, and you’ve got a delightful lunch to brighten an already beautiful Spring day here in Dunedin, Florida. But enough, here’s the recipe for the dressing so you can enjoy it on your salad!
Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 slice or red or sweet white onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
I chop the onion finely in my mini-blender then add all ingredients except the seeds. Blend well and transfer to a glass jar. Add poppy and sesame seeds. Time to enjoy or chill until ready to use!
Note: I’ve also made this with Splenda, but we do try to stay away from artificial sweeteners for health reasons. Experiment with other sweeteners – especially if you are on a sugar-restrictive diet.