I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

May 2012 be a year of joy, contentment and love for all!  

Today's Bounty!!

Today was a nice quiet day for me spent mostly at home or close to home. I visited with my neighbor Jen  and her mom while she had her yard sale then came home to read. My afternoon was spent napping and clearing out beds in the garden. After 4 weeks of neglect the tomatoes had succumbed to a virus and insects were munching merrily on the tomatoes. Sadly, and with regret  I had to pull out all of my Amish Paste tomatoes which left only three Viva Italia plants. The rest of the garden was fair to middling and tomorrow I will be clearing out the other casualties as well as the weeds that have slowly crept into the beds.   

After the tomatoes were destroyed I walked around the yard and marveled at the sheer beauty of the plants and trees in our yard. I am a novice gardener at best and am consistently befuddled by what happens to my plants. They start out lush and beautiful then I turn my back and Mother Nature plays pranks. When I turn around again leaves are curled or bug bitten or plants are stunted or dead. Yet there are the successes, beans that are so prolific I have to can dilly beans so my husband does not have to eat them nightly for weeks. Cherries abundant enough to make cherry jam and freeze cherries for more jam later in the year and greens enough to keep us in salad for months. These successes balance out the annual failures in my garden and keep me trying again every season.  

Yes, I pulled most of my tomato plants. It is fine because I harvested enough green tomatoes to give a few away and to put up a few pints of green tomato chutney. It also opens space to put in more salad greens, some chard and anything else that strikes my fancy.

A little bit of Hope on a tree. Persian Lime blossoms.
My garden gives me hope. When I plant a seed I trust that eventually grow into a plant that will feed and nourish myself and my loved ones. May garden gives me patience. A plant does not simply produce right after planting. It takes time and effort- no instant gratification here. My garden gives me beauty. Working in the beds and in the yard puts me out in the paradise of South Florida. I can watch bees hop from plant to plant or see water droplets glistening like diamonds on emerald green leaves. 

Most of all my garden brings me peace. I can be overwhelmed by work and stretched to the limit. When I walk out that door and into the yard it all fades away. I don't even have to work in the garden I can simply stand and look around and the cares of the day dissolve into nothing.     

A snapshot of Peace and Beauty, Star Fruit buds (Carambola)
May 2012 be a year of hope, patience and beauty for you as well. With love from my garden to your home.
Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!!!   

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