Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Fall Gardening in Florida

by Robin

I was VERY LATE in getting my seed into the ground because we dealt with Hurricane Irma and then flooding rains in my county a couple times.  After that, we continued with heat like the summer.  So, when I bought seeds (from Johnny's Seeds), I kept in mind that this would be a very quick growing season. I felt like my animals were putting on heavy coats so I prepared for super cold weather crops too.

So, in no particular order....You have to forgive my weeds.  I'm doing my best to keep them out but this is newly cut land in most the garden, so I'm out there every day trying to get it under control!

American Broccoli.  I put these close to the chickens as they really enjoy the leaves through the winter & spring months.
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Italian Broccoli
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Black Valentine (drying) bean
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Sunflowers on the top side and Hybrid Chinese cabbage on the bottom row.  Truly an accidental double seeding.  I hope they will seem to co-habitate.
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 Cherry Tomato (I call them Hurricane but I've also recently heard them called Everglade tomatoes.)
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 Pepper.  I have no idea which variety it is!  It was a volunteer that I moved to a spicket.
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 Canellini (drying, white) Beans
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Baby parsley in the far back. Giants of Italy variety
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 Volunteer tomato (which I had MANY!)
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Tiger hybrid Collards
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 Leeks (only had a handful of these transfer over)
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Hybrid Main Carrots (mostly for my bunny, Lulu)
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Celery.  I started them in starter cups but I somewhat neglected them and only got 2 of them that made the transfer into the big garden.  I may have to cheat and buy some.
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Bouquet Dill.  Looks a lot like carrots but on the other side of the garden.  LOL.  I am super happy to see this germinate.  This was saved seed.
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I'm pretty certain this is Turnips.  We hated turnips when I grew them a few years ago but I wanted to use the seed. I'm sure the bunny or chickens will enjoy this crop.
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I had a few of these tomatoes.  Not sure if they were big or small tomatoes.
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Unknown at this point but looks like cherry tomato.
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I believe these are the hybrid Chinese cabbage babies again (looks like a sunflower on the left).
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Sweet (Genovese) basil
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Sweet potato vine growing through rosemary herb bush
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Sweet potato leaves, showing a variety of coloration
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Offshoot of a pineapple plant that has already produced one fruit.  I believe it may produce again in the spring.
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Another off-shoot of another plant.
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My lime tree was moved from the shade of a bleeding heart vine to be out in the open where it could get more light and water through the winter.  Looks sad but did produce well last year. Time to fertilize and mulch.
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Lemon basil (volunteer from spring seeds)
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Cilantro again.
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Giant of Italy flat-leaf parsley, leftover from Spring. It had a little bit of shock after I moved it but seems to have recovered.
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Partial row of the All-Star lettuce mix
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Another section of the row of All-Star lettuce (plus weeds).
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Another All-Star Lettuce Mix photo
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Salanova Red Butter lettuce (I only got 13 seeds and I think most, if not all,  of them germinated.)
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Another Salanova Red Butter amongst the weeds.
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Ridgeline MT0 Romaine Lettuce
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Ridgeline MT0 Romaine Lettuce (amongst the weeds).  Some type of grass went airborne and landed all amongst the lettuce!  It's been a slow process of getting it removed and making sure I didn't pull lettuce instead.
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Here is the overview of the entire garden.  In cataloging my garden tonight, I realized that I had a partial open row in the far back.  I will look for my Red Russian Kale seeds and fill in that gap. Btw, if you look back in the history, you'll noticed that I formerly had two gardens.  The only that used to be closer to the house was disassembled and left to become yard again because of multiple reasons.  One being that we are going to be doing some construction on the house, new roof, fix the porch and trim trees.  The garden would have just been trampled if we kept it going.  Secondly, we wanted to move to a sunnier location and now that the chickens were no longer in this area, it was an easy decision to cut in this garden.  It was also made deeper back to the fence.  Third, we wanted to begin mulching much like the Back to Eden gardening method to help keep moisture control with the roots for our plants and improve soil quality to the Florida sand that is naturally here.  And last, this is the view from my kitchen sink.  I love being able to see the full garden now.  Gardening brings me joy and peace.  It's a great place to sit and pray or just think about life. 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My lessons with Janice

It has been wonderful to return back to horse back riding lessons as a treat to myself. It is helping me with balance and building muscles. I really love Janice because she doesn't push me if I'm having an off day but in turn, is game if I'm game for jumping or whatever.

This video is basically of all our volunteers in the lesson but around the 10 min mark is where I am on a long line and practicing a balancing technique where I put my arms out and close my eyes.

Thanks & blessings to you,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016


by Robin

Jack and I seem to have a lot more free time lately with the boys becoming older.   I'm trying to grow my photography business.  I am running a special discount on doggie portraits.  So, I'm always looking for cool backdrops for the business.

Below is actually out second location but it certainly makes for a scenic background.  Can't you just see a border collie or aussie in there?

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The first location was near the airport.  It had these beautiful yellow wild flowers.   I added a little red hue to wash out some of the lush green grass.  It turned out to be a beautiful Fall capture.

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Beautiful as it was, it was filled with prickly burrs.  See below on the edges of the picture.  The dogs were certain they were put on land mines.  Captain finally stopped long enough to smile for the camera.

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Our third and last location was filled with river rock and a bridge.  Very cool.  Love the cool tones it gave me.

Have you ever seen such a chihuahua smile?  He's a happy boy.

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This also had beautiful flowers.

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Here he is on the bridge.

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Well, I thought you'd enjoy seeing our peaceful evening.

PS: Still waiting for seedlings to break ground.

Friday, September 9, 2016


by Robin

I am playing in the dirt....manure!!!

Hermine set me back a week and I set own self back the week before that, but at least I can say that the hardest part is behind me.  The ground has been tilled.  Manure has been shoveled and spread.  Irrigation lines are in.  I had a couple bad lines that gave me fits, but I can deal with what's left.

(Eggplant, Peppers and Fennel are the only plants still standing after the summer heat.

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I came in to upload these photos and then grab the seed boxes and see what I want to put in.

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Certainly, corn, tomatoes, broccoli, kale and a variety of beans are on my priority list.  (Below: Pineappe, Rosemary and Sweet potatoes have remained.)

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One thing I didn't plan on planting but is well underway is PUMPKIN!!  Yes, last year's decorative pumpkins that wouldn't die were thrown into our side lot by dear hubby.  Then, I noticed squash-like blooms about two weeks ago.  And now.... it's just crazy goodness spilling over into the extra parking area.  I may need to post a sign so people don't run over my new pumpkin patch!  LOL.

I don't know if they will be the white pumpkin or red spotted pumpkin.  Either way, they should be very pretty.  I had no idea how prolific pumpkins were.  Seems like they spread a foot every day!  It looks even fuller with side shoots since I took this picture about 5 days ago!

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That's all for now.  I will update when I have seedlings breaking ground.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016


by Robin

Booked my room for a trip up to Ocala (OJC) for the International 3-Day Eventing competition.  I am excited to be attending this event with Jack.

"Beginning this fall, the Ocala Jockey Club will host a spectator and media-focused International 3-Day Event with a family-friendly atmosphere. The first year of this prestigious event will entice competitors with the offer of $100,000 in prize money and provide live streaming of all the action around the world from Ocala, FL." 

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Above is a picture of a young Arab I photographed on the Ocala Jockey Club grounds back in February.  Isn't she cute??

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Guava Jelly

My neighbor brought me about 40 guava fruit(s) and asked if I knew anything about making jelly/jams with them.  No..... but I was a willing candidate.  This is the below recipe that I used.

They are sterilizing under water.  I will let you know in the coming days how it turns out.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016


by Robin

I thought it may be nice to put up some of the wonderful reasons I was so distracted all year!

Last fall, I shared with you that we needed to drain and take down our pool.  We were having major tilt issues.  The pool came fully down and then we had a little lag while we built our boat barn (about a month or so delay).   What an excellent decision to get all this up before the oak leaves began falling.  They make such a mess everywhere.

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We also needed about 3 weeks to remove all the decking around the pool.  We had beams that were no longer attached to the posts and that too had to be address.  **As well as the sink hold UNDER the deck that kept happening because of the decomposing trash pit that came along with the house.**

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But then, we knew spring was coming and the heat would eventually become brutal so we asked around at church and found a friend with a Bobcat & technician who could meet our needs.

He did a wonderful job!!!  We dug 48" down, moved the pool location closer to the house, removed all the stumps and cedar trunks over by the fence.  Found garbage and a concrete slab too!  Part of the slab remains under the former pool area.

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Our pool parts were sitting in the garage since February but now we were ready to assemble.  Jack took 1 week off of work and every day was filled with physical activity and sometimes rain.  Thankfully, I am raising boys, now men!!

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As it stands now, we are raising the money to replace the fence on the far side and then we can begin the rebuilding of the deck around the pool.  Meanwhile, it is nice to take a dip in the water.

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As for the garden, here are a couple pictures from March.  I had a hard time keeping up with weeds and ..... everything.    My chickens were very naughty and destroyed all my heirloom beans that were growing this year.

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Old broccoli was later replaced by okra and sunflowers.  Sweet potatoes were in the back.

I mentioned that I volunteer at the horse rescue and so here are some of our group.

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And then, I also was adding in a lot of photography for either the rescues or clients.

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God bless!!  Hope you all are having a fantastic summer.  Drop me a line to let me know you're still with me!