Archive for the ‘Sustainable Gardening’ Category

May News in the Florida Garden!

maygarden15

We have been busy bees this month.  Online we are excited to have a new cover photo for our social networks.

FL gardening Cover

The new cover photo was designed by creative Courtney from Strong MOD.  Strong MOD is  Florida blog about healthy eating. Courtney offers up some delicious recipes. In fact I can’t wait to try her Pear Squares!

In the Garden…

The bugs are starting to swarm and I know our easy days of gardening are coming to a slow end.

maygarden5

The beets were destroyed by what looks like pickleworms, and they moved right onto the cucumbers! We must have a healthy population of pickleworm moths in our preserve! Their pupa are hard to organically control!

maygarden6

Speaking of moths, I discovered this banded sphinx moth while doing a little yard work today.

sphinx_moth

It was almost four inches long.  I would love to see it’s colorful pupa. They usually live in burrows and feed on plants in the Ludwigia family (water purslane, water -primrose, etc), so the garden is safe!

Sweet Surprises…

When we removed our winter tomato crop this spring, a volunteer celery was growing underneath! We should have some to eat soon!

celery

The little gardeners asked for yard beans this spring. They are hoping to see some soon!

maygarden11

maygarden12

I hope all my gardening friends have a special Mother’s Day weekend!

maygarden14

Thanks ~Bee

Flowers!

Spring is in full swing here in Florida.  We’ve been enjoying the flowers in our yard and wanted to share…

We’re not the only ones enjoying them, can you see the little caterpillar eating one?!

Hello April!

April is an awesome time to garden in Florida.  The weather is great… warm and sunny with a breeze.  April is typically before rainy season begins here so the bugs and humidity are at a minimal.  The only advice I can think to give this month would be since the weather is so nice, dry, and breezy… keep an eye on your watering.  I have to had to lightly water almost every other day this month.

marchgarden1The saliva is blooming in the garden right now! Salivas also known as sages have a long flower blooming period.  They attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to our garden.

gardenApril1 gardenApril2The little gardeners have really enjoyed picking cherry tomatoes in the garden.

aprilgarden25

Lots of onions have been ready for harvest this month. The girls think they take too long to grow. ;)

aprilgarden24

marchgarden2

The rest of the month we are working on a new butterfly garden in the front yard! We started native milkweed from seeds a few months ago, but they are slow to grow this season.  We purchased scarlet milkweed, native lantana (below), and a purple variety of lantana this week.  We have several other native wildflowers and plants to add to our new butterfly santuary… once it is dug up!  There is a lot of St. Augustine grass to be removed first, so we’re pulling Dad in on this spring project!

photo (14)

I will take before and after pictures!

Hope you all are enjoying April, whatever your weather may be like!

Calendulas & the Cold


febgarden1

Just as the calendulas were starting to bloom the cold arrived here in zone 8b.  I feel spoiled saying this is the first of our winter cold. Yes, the first time I have had to cover my plants and it is the middle of February!

The effects of a warmer winter are all around. My swamp lily and aloe are still blooming. My amaryllis lilies are starting to bloom (a month early) and I am willing to bet the bugs are going to be awful this summer.

We enjoyed a few nights of cold weather though. The little gardeners loved helping me carry plants inside. My three year old liked putting blankets on the raised beds. She thought it was funny.

Both of my gardeners loved getting their wheel barrel out and harvesting as much as possible for the cold set in.

febgarden4

febgarden3

We have been eating delicious veggies all week, and even took a break and ahead to the zoo in the cooler weather.

bzoo21

We all loved feeding the lorikeets at the Brevard Zoo!

I have an outdoor craft tutorial that I will be sharing soon.  Have a great week!

 

 

Love is in the Garden!

JANupdate104

For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband is helping me add our first rain barrel to the garden!!! I am soooo excited.

JANupdate102

I have wanted one for years! We added gutters to the house last year and now have the perfect place for one. We will have to build a stand and place it under the gutter spout, after we remove some banana trees.  The rain barrel even has a small tray on the top for planting anything with shallow roots. I was thinking some succulents would be nice and easy.

Lots of activity in the garden this week…

JANupdate103Cauliflower heads are starting to peak through their leaves.

imageAfter lots of love (and misting) our spring sprouts are starting to appear.  Above my oldest gardener planted beets, hope this means she will eat them. ;)

JANupdate105

Onions are looking lovely! We should have all sorts of varieties ready soon.

image

One more head of cabbage is left in the garden this week! Yum!

gardenV1

And a little red is showing up in the garden, just in time for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Happy Gardening!

 

Good-bye January!

Hello February, where did January go!?!

The garden has been keeping my busy since we returned from our travels.

The warm weather is splitting the cabbage and burning the strawberries, but the tomatoes are doing good. Tomatoes?! LOL Feels so funny to have tomato plants producing in January!

Here’s the garden at the beginning of January…

gardenJAN1Lovely Strawberries

gardenJAN8Wild Cherry Tomatoes

gardenJAN2Broccoli

gardenJan3Cauliflower

gardenJAN4Cabbage

gardenJAN5We’re still getting a few handfuls of collard greens. I’ve been adding them to our soups.

gardenJAN7Parsley by the front door.

carrots2Carrots ready for harvest.

And at the end of the month…

imageBurnt Strawberries… too much sun, heat, and not enough water.

I wanted to show several shots of the cabbage…  After much investigation, it seems to have split from the heat and a busted water hose.  We ate it right away and it was still delicious though.

image

image

image

On a positive note, we planted spring seeds and the verbena is starting to bloom.

image

Happy Gardening!

Thanksgiving Recipe: Fresh Rosemary Butter

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

This is an article that I wrote, which was published on EcoEtsy in November.  I thought I would share this yummy recipe here as well!  Enjoy your Thanksgiving week and count your blessings. I am thankful for my garden and for my gardening community this year!

Post image for Decorative Pumpkins & Rosemary Butter Recipe

I love decorating with pumpkins during the fall holidays.  Years ago while purchasing some, a stranger stopped me at the local produce market to tell me how much she loved to eat sweet dumpling pumpkins. She wanted to know if I had ever tasted one? I thought to myself those pumpkins can’t taste good?

Sweet Dumpling pumpkin is on the far left.

Well, I have tried all of those pumpkins after talking to that stranger and they are delicious. I love buying them in the fall to have out in the house for months, and then eating them when Thanksgiving and Christmas come. How much easier can it get? Pumpkins are un-refrigerated, beautiful to look at, and good to eat! I can’t imagine fall without them.

Carnival Heirloom Pumpkins

This month I thought I would share our favorite way to prepare our favorite pumpkin, Carnival Heirloom!  This colorful squash has a surprisingly creamy texture and a flavor similar to a sweet potato. It makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes.  Just bake or steam, then mash with butter and herbs for a side dish.  My family likes it mashed with some rosemary butter.

Fresh Rosemary Butter

While the pumpkins are cooking (it generally takes about 35-45 minutes depending on your temperature), we make our herb butter.  We have a large rosemary bush outside and my daughter loves cutting herbs for me. When possible, I try to make cooking in our house a family affair.

Fresh Rosemary Butter:

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Mix all the ingredients together.

You can also use lemons instead of oranges. I like to double the recipe when I make it so I have some for another recipe later in the week.  During the holidays, you can save the butter in ice cube trays for a special touch.

 Be sure to be thankful for those pumpkins this Thanksgiving!

Thanks, Bee

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers