Irma, my first & last…

It’s been a LONG Summer…. I was last here in the middle of monsoon season. So much water coming from the sky, the gardens didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, handle it. Growing season came to a screeching halt, even the flowers (except the zinnias, of course) had had enough by the middle of August. I tried transplanting to save a few. Almost all loved the new soil and location… or just being in the ground, instead of a pot, finally.

The yard was coming together, the wildlife even joyed their little spots of love where I planted their goodies, so they would stay out of mine. LOL

And then, … IRMA came to town. I don’t know if there are any real words to describe this. I AM a Floridian. In all my 50 plus years, I have never been through a hurricane like this. Yes, I’ve boarded up, been without electricity and had to live on canned foods for a week or so, but THIS… no way. No Thank You. I just want to go back home and clean my house.

Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t catastrophically destroyed. But my neighbors were. And that’s worse. I can’t help them. There is nothing I can do but fight for them. To get what they need to survive. So this I shall do. Life has changed again. When things are put into perspective, you see the REALLY big picture…. there’s nothing you can do but morph into what Is.  None of this will happen again, if I have anything to say, and Do, about it.

On a good note, I didn’t get the chickens and bees for the garden. So there weren’t any misplaced, or worse. The garden didn’t get moved into its new place. The Garden Shed didn’t get finished on the inside. And the fence around the whole of it all… didn’t get finished.  However, I learned the new spot for the chickens is high and dry, the bees would have been homeless, the garden would have been half underwater, and the area to be fenced is not nearly big enough. The shed has to wait for other things like a well and electricity, so that’s ok too.  Moral of the story… more build up is needed, more Dirt. Building it all Up is first. Being ready for the next one, and just waiting for it to come, is last.

However… The bees are back! They aren’t my bees, but they are back enjoying what is left of the buckwheat I planted for them.  I wish you could hear how many are here….

 

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Raised garden flooded by Irma 9/11/17
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My 1st Garden – What an Experience.

I cannot believe July is almost over. My brain cannot fathom how quickly everything has gone in just the last few months, much less years.  My intention was to keep a journal of sorts of my first ever gardening triumphs, and so it seems downfalls. It seems like yesterday I was so excited to see the green beans, carrots & corn stalks sprouting up through the newly mixed soil, and the basil was becoming almost big enough for it’s first cuttings.

There is much to be happy about, as well as grieve, with this garden of mine. As I was not prepared for the onslaught of insects and critters that had me in tears a lot of the time, and almost had the entire garden up in flames just to be done with it all.  I was so certain this garden would be the happier of recent times in my life. But the Sun, Ants, Grubs, Grasshoppers, Mockingbirds, Squirrels, Raccoon’s and Deer did not get the best of me in the end. Before the Squirrels and Raccoon’s took control of all 20 tomato plants, I was able to harvest enough tomatoes for at least a year’s worth of homemade sauces, that are already roasted, canned and/or frozen. The Okra seems to have made it through the attack of Ants and Grasshoppers well enough that the freezer section of Okra will feed anyone who wants them for quite a long while, so far. Although, I had no idea that the Okra plants would get so big. They probably shouldn’t have been planted in the raised garden, since I will be needing a ladder to reach them in the coming days.

A learning experience it has all been. What have I learned that will help the Fall garden live longer than Spring’s?

  • Full Sun does not mean FULL Sun in Florida.
  • Not all Organic pesticides are what they claim
  • God’s critters are hungrier than you, so plant them their own garden – away from yours
  • Fruit Trees are a birds best friend… Protect them.
  • Flowers are not meant to be grown in close proximity to your vegetables, even though they are pretty to look at
  • Don’t believe everything you read on the bags of soil
  • Ants are a gardener’s worst nightmare. How do the Farmers do it?
  • Tall Fences make Honest Neighbors

Don’t get me wrong, I am still quite eager to get rolling on the Fall Garden. This photo is from today… Tearing out the flowers and tomatoes were not exactly fun, but everything will be out by the end of the day except the Okra and Italian Basil. I will continue fighting the good fight with the grasshopper-looking things that are trying to eat them, while I am prepping the rest of the garden for next month’s plantings.

As hot as it has been, Heat Index today will be around 114*, I know I have time for the dirty work of plucking out those daggum grubs and grasshoppers. Fried Protein anyone?

Time to Get Ready for Fall

Fish Full of Flavor

Fish Full of Flavor

Tuscano Tilapia

6 filets of fresh Tilapia
2 Drizzles of cayenne pepper infused olive oil
Dash & 1/2 of Sweet Smoked paprika
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper
2 whole Roasted Red Bell Peppers
6 whole Hot Marinated Garlic Cloves
¼ lb Fresh Tuscano Cheese, to be grated after fish is cooked
Two handfuls fresh baby spinach
Skillet on med high, drizzle the oil to heat. Cut up roasted red bell peppers (bite size) and quarter the garlic. Put in hot oil. Stir once or twice cooking for one to two minutes. Lay filets on top of garlic and peppers. Salt and pepper fish to taste. Then sprinkle a dash of sweet smoked paprika over all the filets. Cook two to three minutes (depending on thickness) until fish is cooked halfway thru. Turn fish over to finish cooking thru, approximately another two to three minutes. When fish is done, turn heat off, but leave pan on burner. Lay the spinach on top of fish and shred cheese block over the spinach. Cover and let rest for about two minutes.

I’ll have a yummy salad, today!

NOW I know what I should do with a beet… I cannot wait to make this salad. I don’t know what’s taken me so long to find a good way to try my first beet….
Thank you, Alice. It looks scrumptious!

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I have been eating a lot of salads lately and I am enjoying them very much. I like the fact that you can assemble whatever you like and what’s important (whatever you have on your fridge).  This salad in particular is one of my favourite as it has simple but very healthy ingredients in it. To make it I used  2 boiled beetroot (full of vitamins and minerals, low in fat and full of antioxidants), green beans (full of vitamin K), fresh spinach (important for skin and hair, provides minerals,protein, iron) and feta cheese ( good for your bones as a good source of calcium).

For the dressing:  I used good  organic Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and salt mixed them all together in a small cup until they are mixed well and  then pour it over the salad (this way the flavour will mix very well together).

I…

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Home Grown to Home Made…

Grow It Make It TASTE It... Just Do It.
Grow It
Make It
TASTE It…
Just Do It.

There is absolutely nothing like smelling and tasting food from your own yard… IN your own yard… and then in your own kitchen.

Nothing.

Pick a fruit, or vegetable, off the plant and take a bite…. no seasoning, no additives.
Seriously True Flavor, at its finest.

grab a bag of seeds… and I’ll prove it to you…