Sunday, May 28, 2017

New Beginnings

This year I decided that I would begin my own garden. I knew I wanted to start small and inexpensive. I had so many questions as a new gardener: Will I enjoy tending the garden? Where should I start it? What do I plant? and maybe most of all Will I have TIME?

With those questions in mind I spent a month examining our small tree covered property trying to find that special sunny spot. I settled on a brambly weedy area near our front fence. Can I do this? I kept asking myself. Can I actually grow my own food? 

Still unsure of my green thumb I carried on. Amending my soil and tending to my seedlings. I noticed every single change from day to day. I was aware of the moisture, sun, new leaves. I would wake up excited to see if any new seeds have emerged.

Eventually these seeds were ready to be transplanted. Like a mother dropping her child off for school on the first day of kindergarten I reassured my tiny seedlings that this new patch of dirt would be perfect for them. I gave them a nice drenching of water, a sprinkle of fertilizer, and crossed my fingers.

Then, Florida did as Florida does and surprised us with a very frosty night! I was so worried, was all that hard work for nothing? I carefully arranged small containers over the seedlings to keep them warm. I prayed to mother nature to have mercy on my little seedlings.

The following days I carefully monitored the condition of my seedlings. Eventually things warmed up and the seedlings grew. Still nothing to eat but they were growing! I was actually growing cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, squash, peppers, and strawberries. 

Now, as we reach mid-summer I am able to harvest a few veggies almost daily. I am hoping to post weekly garden updates and tips that I find helpful. Maybe a small garden is in your future?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Blueberry picking at Southern Hill Farm

Down a winding dirt road, a stones throw away from the Mouse, hides a real Florida gem. On a warm Florida morning I packed the kids up to meet Granna at Southern Hill Farms for some blueberry picking!

I never knew this but there are many varieties of blueberries, some sweeter and some with more of a bite. We took one look at the little map and decided to head towards to the sweet juicy rows of blueberries. 

The kids picked blueberries for about 15 minutes before spotting the play area! Huge tires to dig into, swings, and even checkers! We also enjoyed some thirst-quenching blueberry lemonade at their little store. 

We had picked about a 2 pounds of blueberries, more than enough for a blueberry pie. I used this recipe (and refrigerated pie dough) to make a delightful blueberry pie bursting with flavor. Southern Hills Farm is the perfect place to bring kids for their first trip to a farm!