Pennington Vertical Gardening System & Marinara Recipe {Giveaway Ended} #GrowWithUs

This post is brought to you by Pennington Vertical Gardening Systems. All opinions are my own.

I’ve got some fantastic news! I’m working with Pennington Vertical Gardening Systems to bring you an awesome giveaway for a $50 American Express gift card! Details are at the bottom of this post— but first I want to share more about Pennington Vertical Gardens AND give you the recipe for my famous (seriously, it’s pretty good…) Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Basil.

First things first— I know I might have mentioned it before, but we live in a condo versus a traditional house. This arrangement works really well for my family and there haven’t been many downsides … with the exception of not being able to have my own garden. Well, that’s about to change! Soon I will have my very own vertical garden and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll have an update in a week or two with with my experience setting up my Pennington Vertical Gardening System as well as photos of my new plants! …Can you tell I’m just a little excited about growing fresh baby tomatoes, hot peppers and basil!?

About the Pennington Vertical Gardening System

The Pennington Vertical Gardening System allows any gardener – novice or experienced – living in the sprawling suburbs or crowded city to turn even the most lackluster of spaces in to a colorful, blooming garden. Each system is completely customizable with each component sold separately to adapt to any style.

pennington vertical garden

Structural pieces have been tested for weather and weight durability. The core foundational pieces work together and stay consistent from year to year.

pennington vertical garden

As you can see, the Pennington System can be customized in a variety of ways and can be used indoors or outdoors on drywall, wood or masonry facades, including brick, stone or stucco. The Pennington Vertical Garden System and accessories can be purchased at The Home Depot in select stores across Arizona, California, Georgia and Florida. To get updates on Pennington Vertical Gardening products, promotions and offers, visit their website:

Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Basil

A few years ago I set out to make my own marinara sauce for homemade pizza and pasta dishes. I didn’t like all of the ingredients, including added sugar, that jarred sauces had and I thought it would be easy enough to make my own. I was right. Making marinara sauce from scratch is super easy. Plus, once you taste homemade you won’t want to go back to the jar!

homemade marinara sauce


  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)
  • 1/3 Cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 Handful Fresh Basil (Chopped)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Oregano, Salt & Pepper (to taste)

homemade pasta sauce


  • In a large skillet set at medium-high, saute 1/3 cup diced onion and 2 Tablespoons minced garlic in 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add in a handful chopped fresh basil leaves, stir and let cook for a few minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and add 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste.
  • Stir in another 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil and let simmer on low for a minimum of 20 minutes.

I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, both with and without the fresh basil, and it’s the basil that truly makes the sauce. I hope to grow and endless supply of basil, and maybe even some baby tomatoes, in my new Pennington Vertical Gardening System.

$50 Gift Card Giveaway!

One lucky Mommy Musings reader will win a $50 American Express Card from Pennington Vertical Gardening System. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter — Giveaway ends 10/4/13 at 11:59pm:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pennington Vertical Gardens partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington Vertical Gardening System products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Pennington Vertical Gardens believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Pennington Vertical Garden’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.


  1. Wild Orchid says

    I love making homemade salsa with homegrown jalepenos and tomatoes! Entered the rafflecopter as “Wild orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  2. April Yedinak says

    My favorite garden recipe is stuffed peppers. I always seem to be able to grow a ton of peppers, tomatoes and zucchini.

  3. Nancy says

    I like to slow roast a turkey breast rubbed with rosemary, thyme and tarragon and I tuck a couple of onions inside the turkey body cavity.

  4. Rosie says

    I made homemade crackers with chopped herbs from the garden. I made different varieties of crackers, and tried different herbs. They were fantastic! It was a great way to use the herbs. I used basil, thyme, tarragon, lemon thyme. For the crackers, I used whole grain flours mixed with some unbleached flour, sea salt, pepper, and black and white sesame seeds, quality oil and/or butter. You can roll it right onto a lightly oiled or buttered cookie sheet, then use a cutter (I like the wavy edge cutters), to separate them into squares. I have baked them at different temperatures, too. It is amazingly easy to make crackers, and herb crackers with herbs from the garden are a big hit. I like to have bunches of herbs tied and drying in the kitchen, it all adds to the ambiance! (I’ve also made homemade pasta with semolina using fresh herbs rolled into the dough – great esp for ravioli!)

  5. Suzanne K says

    I make a veggie stir fry a lot! Whatever happens to be ripe can pretty much be thrown in, especially cut up zucchini, squash, etc.

  6. Tracy Robertson says

    I don’t have a garden since I live in an apartment, but I would love to try and grow some herbs in the kitchen.

  7. Monique Rizzo says

  8. Deb C says

    My favorite is simply my own Heirloom Tomatoes sliced onto white bread with crispy bacon strips and Duke’s Mayonnaise.

  9. Becky says

    I wish I could grow something fresh in my garden (other than weeds — because they grow really grow well)…..but I love to put fresh herbs in my marinara sauce. :)

  10. Jill Myrick says

    I love making homemade salsa using tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro that I have grown in my garden over the summer.


  11. Terry Cross says

    I don’t have a garden but I love using the tomato juice my other-in-law makes from hers in vegetable soup

  12. Sharon says

    I can never get enough home grown yellow squash, slow cooked with onion and garlic, or fresh tomatoes for salsa and tomato sandwiches!

  13. Bryan E. says

    Thanks for the giveaway…we use cilantro, tomatoes, green bell & jalapeno peppers from our garden to make homemade pico de gallo for our tex-mex dishes.

  14. Beverly Metcalf says

    I like to make my own spaghetti sauce from vine ripened tomatoes and fresh herbs from the garden. Thanks for this contest.


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