Aida’s Garden

(El Jardín de Aida)

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I received many requests from individuals wanting me to videotape my garden.  Therefore, this summer (2020), I decided to videotape Aida’s Garden several weeks after planting all the vegetables.  I really have two separate gardens – the large garden on the left side of the backyard and the smaller garden on the right side next to our shed.  In addition, I have many plants in individual pots and flower boxes placed on my back deck.

Even though I live in Northwest Indiana, I am able to plant and harvest both tropical and non-tropical vegetables and gourds.  Once I harvest my crops, I make our famous “sofrito” and share my produce with my friends and family.  Furthermore, I package the fresh vegetables in vacuum seal bags and place them in the freezer for future use.  In addition, last year we canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and bread and butter pickles!  There is nothing like fresh produce when preparing a meal!

Let’s Check Out Aida’s Garden!

Starting with the left side of the garden, the plants are as follows:  Tomato plants, Green Peppers and Sweet Peppers (Ajíes Dulces).

On the right side of the garden, the onions are planted in the back and several rows of cilantro are planted in front.   We also planted some cucumbers below the trellis that is located in front of the fence to the right.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Each Individual Plants!

The tomato plants.  We plant a variety of tomatoes:  Plum, Steakhouse, Cherry and SuperSauce!   The SuperSauce tomatoes are great for canning.

The green pepper plant.  Great for making our puréed condiment known as “sofrito” among other things.

Our precious sweet pepper plant known as ajíes dulces.  An essential ingredient for preparing our “sofrito.”   Click on the links to learn on How to Grow Sweet Peppers Indoors and How to Plant Sweet Peppers Outdoors.

Click on the link for more information about our Sweet Peppers (Ajíes Dulces).

In addition, here are two links if you are interested in learning on How to prepare Sofrito and How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal.

The rows of onions.  How I enjoy fresh onions from our garden to prepare many of our tropical dishes. 

The cilantro leaves are an herb that have a distinct aroma.  It is the cousin of our famous herb in Puerto Rico known as Culantro/Recao.

Our cucumbers are planted near a trellis.  The vines of the cucumber plant will start sprawling on the ground.  When this occurs, you take a twine and tie the vine onto the trellis to allow the cucumbers to grow vertically.   This is the method how we grow delicious and healthy cucumbers.  There is nothing like homemade bread and butter pickles!

Let’s Look at Another Small Garden Next to the Shed!

This is our backyard shed.  Next to the shed, you can see a small garden!

This is the small garden next to the shed.  On the right hand side, we planted more onions and on the left hand side, we decided to plant some garlic.

You Can Even Grow West Indian Pumpkins in Northwest Indiana!

Yes, we have been growing West Indian Pumpkins (Puerto Rican Pumpkins) in our backyard for many years.   Click on this link to Learn How to Grow West Indian Pumpkins .

Always make sure the you have ample space when you plant the pumpkin seeds.  The vines of the pumpkin plant will start sprawling approximately 10 to 15 feet on top of your grass.

More Plants on My Back Deck!

We have three (3) flower boxes of culantro placed on a shady area on my back deck.  The culantro seeds were planted about two weeks ago.  The culantro (also known as recao) and sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) are the two main ingredients for making our authentic sofrito.    Click on the link to learn How to Grow Culantro.

Click on the link for more information about our Culantro.

In addition, here are two links if you are interested in learning on How to prepare Sofrito and How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal.

If you are unable to have a garden due to limited space, you can grow tomatoes (front row) and cilantro (back row) in individual pots and placed them on your balcony, porch or back deck. 

On the other side of the deck, I have sweet pepper (ajíes dulces) plants also growing on individual pots if you are unable to have a garden due to limited space.

Last Year’s Produce!


A variety of Tomatoes, Cilantro, Sweet Peppers (ajíes dulces) and Green Peppers.

Fresh Cucumbers and Bread and Butter Pickles made with Fresh Cucumbers.

Culantro also known as Recao

West Indian Pumpkins (Caribbean Pumpkins)

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video displaying the various plants on Aida’s Garden. 


Category: Gardening, Recipes

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