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!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The South Florida Garden

Gardening in South Florida is like gardening no place else that I have ever lived. When others are finishing the harvest and planting cool weather crops, I am planting beans, collards, eggplant and tomatoes. Carambola, star fruit, is hanging golden and ripe from the tree and tempting us with its slight floral fragrance and delectable sweetness. The perfect snack picked warm from the sun, served with no frills, simply sliced and shared with a loved one. Each slice in the shape of a star, enthralling to three year olds and their grandma's alike.

It is cooling here as well. Our evenings are dropping to the 70's and the days will slowly drop in temperature to the low 80's. The peak of winter will bring days in the 70's and nights in the high 40's.  That is when my cold weather crops will be planted. Red kale, that survives into summer, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, bok choy and even turnips all end up in my winter garden.        

Avocado, hidden in the leaves.
The avocados are green and beginning to ripen. Eventually, the green goodness will become a creamy rich addition to salads or guacamole. Mmmm....lovely.    

More papaya than we can handle.
So many papayas in the tree that it appears a strong wind could take it down. When golden and rip they become a sweet glowing orange jam. Perfect for toast, bagels and even pancakes. Bliss in a jar with a hint of lime.

The awesome Seminole pumpkin.
Pumpkins, in South Florida? Why yes, Seminole pumpkins. They will wrap around everything in their path and send out roots when the vine touches soil, or rocks and even tree trunks. Prolific does not even describe this green entity. We have eaten the babies sauteed with garlic and tomatoes, put medium sized ones into frittata and are awaiting the large ones for baked squash and pie. they are well worth thew $3.00 spent on the seed. Caution- they will take over!!! These were planted in early July with nothing around them and they still took over. AT one point they were even climbing the side of the house.      

We also have Purple Podded Pole Beans, Gold of Bacchau Beans, Georgia Collards, Bunching Onions, Serpente di Sicilia (edible gourd), Eggplant (unknown variety), Arugula (unknown variety), Mustard Greens (Unknown Variety) in the ground and countless herbs and vegetable starts waiting to be planted. Not to mention countless other fruit trees and plants. 

Gardening in South Florida is unique and brings me countless hours of joy. May your garden, regardless of location, bring you joy as well.  



  1. I grew Seminole Pumpkin this year, too, but it didn't make anything but vines and leaves. Then the squash bugs got it.

    Your pictures still aren't showing. Do you see the pictures when you view your blog?

  2. Hey Ilene-
    I can see the picture on this computer but after your comment I checked on my phone and they do not show up. Go figure. I used mu I phone to take the pictures. I guess I need to use the camera- So sorry!!!!!


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