Even a “failed” garden can produce a delicious meal

When we bought our place in Bedford, one of the things I was most excited for was having a real vegetable garden. We were lucky, I inherited a space that had raised beds already built into an enclosed space, protected from critters in a sunny patch of lawn. I approached the spring with lots of ambition, planting pea pods that grew taller than my kids, sunflowers higher than I’ve ever seen and more lettuce than my family could ever eat. Along with these early successes, we had plenty of failures. I admittedly underestimated the time, attention and most importantly love a garden requires. Our beautiful squash blossoms produced maybe 3-4 actual squash, our kale was destroyed by beetles and there were a handful of other vegetables that just never seemed to take.

I’m trying to cut myself some slack, we’ve had quite the year settling into a new home, a big move and a new baby! There are only so many hours in the day and as much as I love spending time in the garden I didn’t make it the priority I had hoped for. While it wasn’t a complete failure, I learned some valuable lessons for planting next year and most importantly had fun with it. There were moments of pride along with disappointment. I had high hopes for our tomatoes and as you can see from the pictures our plants are looking a little sad. I was able to salvage a handful of ripe ones. I made a simple and delicious tomato sauce served over fresh pasta last night for dinner and EVERYONE was happy.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2-3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee till lightly brown about 1-2 mins. Add the tomatoes, sugar, thyme, basil and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low simmer and let tomatoes cook about 20 mins, stirring often.
  2. Serve over fresh pasta with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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