These Garden Fresh Summer Recipes use vegetables (and fruits) that many of us often grow each summer, but the recipes are perfect for your table all year round. From fresh salads to yummy desserts, summer vegetables are the perfect ingredient in so many dishes.
We love taking advantage of fresh local fruits and vegetables that we either grow ourselves or pick up from the local farm stands or the grocery store. We even try and freeze or can as much as possible so we can enjoy them throughout the year!
Gardening versus Farming
Growing a garden is hard work and, honestly, we usually look to our dad to put out the garden at our family’s farm where Barbara and her husband live today. However our dad is a farmer and the garden comes second to getting the rest of our crops – corn and soybeans – in the ground. So this year, our garden is a bit behind…
However, we’ll get a few more seeds or plants in the ground soon once they wrap up the rest of the field work. It’s interesting to consider the similarities and differences between raising a garden in your backyard and raising a crop in a large farm field.
The planning (our friend Stacy over at The Backroad Life shares how she plans her garden) and the worrying are the same, but maintaining them differ quite a bit. For instance, you plant your garden by hand, maybe with the help of a spade and a hoe. For our fields, we have tractors pulling planters to get the seed in the ground.
Another area they differ greatly is in how to manage the weeds and pests that can easily overtake and ruin a crop. In a garden, you can typically hand-weed it and keep the weeds from taking over. Sometimes, people use mulch to fill in the space between rows to suppress weeds.
Our fields are too large to hand weed (though I do have memories of being out in a soybean field pulling weeds as a young teenager). We do use different conservation tillage methods – like no-till (see this post for more) – that do help keep the weeds at bay during the winter when there is no crops in the field.
Right now the soybeans and corn are quite small as are any weeds in the fields. Before the crops grow and and fill in the space between the rows, weeds have a chance to take over the field and rob the corn and soybeans of space, water, nutrients and sunlight that they need. That’s why we use herbicides at the right time to control the weeds.
Watch for Pests!
Once the plants are large enough to fill in the canopy, it makes it harder for weeds to grow with the lack of sunlight but that doesn’t mean the worrying is over! Have you ever had a wonderful looking row of green beans or a zucchini plant that is just blooming and all of a sudden bam…insects take over or a disease causes all of your zucchini blooms to wilt and die.
This can happen in our farm fields too. Just as we have different options to control pests in the garden, we sometimes have to use an insecticide to control bugs or a fungicide to fight a disease in our corn and soybeans. We try really hard not to have to use these unless the damage reaches a point where our crops are threatened to a point of losing enough yield to be really damaging.
Have questions about how we control weeds, insects and disease in our fields? Please leave a comment or send us an email and we’ll be happy to answer your questions (or ask our dad)!
Summer Veggie Recipes
Now, back to what Barbara and I know more about…recipes and food! All of this talk about gardens and farm fields has gotten us in the mood to share some of our favorite summer recipes! We pulled together some of our favorite recipes to make using vegetables from the garden and got a few more from some of our farming friends.
Pin This Post for All of the Recipes
Green Bean Recipes
Old-Fashioned Sausage, Potatoes, and Green Beans in the Instant Pot from Plowing Through Life
Easy Sausage Zucchini Casserole from The Farmwife Feeds
Sweet Corn Recipes
Freezing Sweet Corn from The Farmwife Feeds
Garden Salad Recipes
Zesty Marinated Garden Salad from My Fearless Kitchen
Other Garden Vegetable Recipes
Instant Pot Beef Stew from Chasing Saturdays
Quick Refrigerator Pickles and Onions from The Backroad Life
Garden Fresh Desserts
Peach Batter Cake (not really “garden” but we have some peach trees!)
Easy Cherry Crisp (we also have a cherry tree)
We hope you enjoy all of these wonderful recipes featuring vegetables and fruits we grow in our garden (or at least in our yard)!
This post was sponsored by The Glass Barn presented by Indiana soybean farmers. All opinions are our own.