some time ago...

whgille(FL 9b)July 22, 2012

Hi All especially Tom

Here is a review of the days past...Orlando eggplants are just amazing, just from one plant that I have, I made so many dishes and gave away a lot. Tasty and prolific.

And I made this for a party. eggplant with sausage and tomato sauce from the garden

Brogdon avocados have been very good this year like usual, here they are with shrimp tacos

I planted violet multicolor butterbeans this season, they are not as prolific as the black jungle butterbeans but they are tasty

Violet butterbeans with corn and preserved tomatoes from the garden

We went for a week to Ocho Rios in Jamaica, weather and food was great, it only rain the last day that we were there and that was the day they had a program outdoors.:)

Here are some scenes.

The beach

The pool

Some waterfalls

A sunset

Some greenery

I hope that you are all having a happy and healthy summer.

Silvia

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kayjones(Mo6b)

Just lovely - thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:15PM
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denisemb(9a N. Central FL)

Your eggplant tarts look AMAZING - yum! Gorgeous photos of Jamaica, too.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:42PM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Beautiful food and vacation photos! I am really struck by the colors in the violet butterbeans and corn dish. It just "pops."

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:49PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Ladies!

Fig harvest has been more than good this year, when I came back I had a week worth of figs in the fridge to make preserves, so far I made fig jam with cinnamon, vanilla beans, honey, grand marnier and the last one with some dark rum that I won at the resort. My favorite is the one with cinnamon from Costa Rica rainforest...Cheryl's favorite is the one with rum. They go so well as an appetizer with a platter of different cheese.

Tom, I also have the FHIA-23 banana and now is fruiting, mine does not get so big like yours but for a long time they only get water from the sprinkles twice a week and no fertilizer other than the leftover soil from the containers that I grow tomatoes. Bananas are really a not so good idea if you have a small place including me.:)

Some more pictures of the Islands...

I had a lot of fun in the chocolate festival, I am afraid that I did a lot of damage to my waist sampling all the treats, I loved all the chocolate filled with fresh fruits, bananas, grapes, strawberries, mango, the ones with nuts and coconut were good too.

Chocolate covered man ( he kept saying, "don't touch me! I am already taken!")

Chocolate covered girl

Some of the treats, there was a full outdoor room filled with all sorts of chocolate creations!

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 7:42AM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Is the chocolate festival an annual event? I might have to start saving my pennies for a trip to Jamaica.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 5:13PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Laura

The resort is an all inclusive and have programs every day of the week, and every hour. A lot of restaurants to choose from and the chocolate event is one night of the week. In my experience for the money that you paid it is all worth it, you get treated like royalty.
One of the best services for me is the spa, I had the coffee treatment and therapeutic massage, if I was going to tan I would get the coconut treatment. I get enough sun in the garden already,lol.

Here are some more pictures...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:10PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi Silvia, I'm glad you're back ;-)

Foods look yummy as usual, and the trip reminds me of mine other than the fact that it was just shy of forty years ago and a whole lot safer to venture out on your own :-(

I expect you to get caught up and help all the newbies with their various pest problems and growing issues.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 7:16PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Tom

It is nice to be back and exchange some news. Time seems to fly, when we got there they said that it was our 8 visit to the island, soon we will have a free week...

And I have some pictures for you.:)

Callaloo in a soup, they called it pepperpot

The lunch is usually a buffet and here is one of the dishes that I picked

Sweet potatoes and other veggies. Mangoes, papayas and jackfruit are in season so I always had a side of fruit

I also had yams, I like them better than sweet potatoes, they are more starchy and savory. Also in the plate cod fish with lima beans, so good! This was breakfast.

At night in one of the restaurants I had a pumpkin cheesecake, desserts are served in small sizes and that is a good idea.

Good food makes the trip worthwhile!...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 7:48PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Silvia, I can't take my eyes off of those yummy dishes! The chocolate looks like Heaven. Wow - what a great food-fest!

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:36PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Carol

The soil is very rich and fertile, food taste great when grown in that soil. The pork is also different taste and the quality and variety of fish is very good! I tried to have both every day. In one of the restaurants I had a savory coconut bread that was outstanding! like the coffee too. One day in one of the lunch buffet, they had everything jerk style including all sort of veggies, not too spicy because they cater to tourists:)
One time that I went, I took the safari tour that goes to the countryside and saw the fields and coffee plantations...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:09PM
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katkin_gw

Hi Silvia, looks like a wonderful trip, glad you had a good time. Food looks terrific. :o)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:45AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Kathy

Yes, we had a wonderful time. We went to this resort before when we did the Dunne River Falls, remember I told you about? this time they did a lot of remodeling putting a lot of millions into it. Every year we do different things, this year we mostly stayed by this spot where I could have some shade and read a book. Few steps down on the left is the beach and on the right is the swim up bar where Willy stayed most of the time. He for sure drink for me,lol. I was having most of the time especially in the morning flavored water with pineapples and oranges. A cocktail and some wine before dinner for me is enough. Willy's plates for breakfast and dinner look different too and he said they were very good, mostly meats.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:39AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Wow Silvia, those dishes look almost as good as yours! I'm sure they gave you some great ideas for new dishes...I know how you are, ever experimenting in search of new delectable delights for the palate ;-)

Tom

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:02PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Yes Tom, I always learn new things when visiting other places and new restaurants, sometimes I even ask the chefs how they prepare some dish that I like.

My garden is getting ready for the fall and I keep everything harvested. I picked some kale, butterbeans, more eggplant which is very versatile but I prefer to use it in Asian style dishes.

Planted some zipper cream peas, here with the anise plant, that attracts bees and butterflies.

I planted yacon, this will be ready to eat the tubers when is flowering

And soon I will be getting atemoyas ripe green and red

The pickles and other preserves are getting used, now that some of the garden is resting...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:44AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Very nice! My zippers have a little age on yours but are not doing so well. The cats found them and they were not budding so I quit watering them with the expectation of pulling them but two things happened. The worms moved over to the callaloo and they started budding so I started watering them...only time will tell. Now the callaloo is decimated, I virtually denuded the plants and have moved them inside the pool cage, I sure hope they survive and give me some edible leaves.

You'd think after all these years of being so close to the water I'd know better than to try to grow edibles in the summer but I keep trying :-) :-(

Tom

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:24PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Silvia, what was the point of chocolate man and chocolate woman? Did they do anything? Do they drip all over the floor? What do they do?

Carol

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:24PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Tom - Your plants looked good before the bugs got them. The callaloo will do fine in the pool cage, any greens can take less light, mine were under the loquat.
One thing that I noticed and everyone else at the resort, is that they were no bugs anywhere. The ornamental plants look gorgeous, not insect bites or anything. They were as warm as Orlando but breezier because of the sea. It only rain the last Friday that we were there. The locals said that on the mountain were they grow the coffee is about 40 degrees.
If the yacon produces a good crop, next party I will make a dish and let you sample. Don't say no.:)

Carol - The night of the chocolate fest, we already had dinner so I could not sample anymore chocolate even if I want it,lol. The same night there was a reggae show, that is why we stayed a short time, besides everyone kept asking Willy to sample the chocolate and he kept saying no, I have no idea why he was saving the calories.:)
The first thing that I saw was the chocolate man and he was perfectly covered in chocolate. I think a lot of people was getting too close that is when he kept saying "don't touch me, I am already taken". After we left, I don't know what they did but you can imaging that it will be hard to do covered in chocolate and it was a warm night and they were not dripping!lol.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:35AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

...If the yacon produces a good crop, next party I will make a dish and let you sample. Don't say no.:)

Okay, I'd never say no to you ;-)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:12PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Tom - I have a couple of yacon plants that are doing really well. I ate them a long time ago in tasty recipes, if successful I will be able to save some of the tubers for planting again and can also be done in pots. They have grown with all this heat, I only planted small tubers.
Here is the info...

Silvia

Here is a link that might be useful: yacon

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:55PM
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happy_fl_gardener

I know I haven't been around for a while, but that's going to change. A few days ago I bought a laptop because my old computer (tower) had gotten so slow it took forever to navigate around. I got so discouraged that I didn't go online much. Anyway, I just love my laptop - it's so fast and portable.

Yucon - A friend gave me some tubers a few years ago. The stalks are at least 4 feet tall. They get so tall that they lean over after a while. Then I have to trim when they get out of bounds. Since my patch is older, I get tubers as big as sweet potatoes in the fall. After harvesting I was told to cure them for a few days before eating but I find them to be tasty straight out of the ground. Silvia, I'm looking forward to seeing some of your tasty yucon recipes.

Silvia - I ordered calaloo seeds but they don't grow like what you had. The plants went to seed at a very short height. The seeds that you had given me last year weren't mature enough to be viable. I am pleased with the Orlando eggplants too. I got them planted very late and they are doing well in spite of that. Oh, am I envious of your atemoya!

Silvia, in the above picture, is that kale, dinosaur kale? Are you spraying the kale to keep the bugs off?

Christine

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:15PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Christine, congratulations on your new laptop. How fun!

For those with slow computers, there are lots of things that can be done to address/maintain that, but if you have little computer skills/knowledge and want something easy, this might be helpful. One of the simplest ways to address much of that problem is to download and install the free version of CCleaner and then run it once a month. See link below.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: CCleaner

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:01PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Christine!

I am glad that you are back and have a new computer. Mine is also new and I really like it.

Do you have yacon tubers or yukon? I don't have any recipes right now because long ago the maid prepared them and I was not learning how to cook then. When I start to get the tubers I will ask, I also have shark fin melon seeds to be planted in the future...All these vegetables I remember them like in a dream.:)

There are a lot of amaranth seeds out there, I got the ones that are served in dishes in Jamaica, didn't plant any this summer but I got to eat them while I was there.

And yes that is dinosaur kale prepared for cooking, I harvested a lot more than that and I froze in pieces like in the picture. And no, in the summer I don't spray for bugs because is too hot and will be not good for the plants. I let everything run its course and if they look bad, they come out. The only thing that I do is hose them with water and surprisingly they were not even bitter after I cooked them.

Christine, it was a nice surprise to hear from you, I miss friends posting, the more that we know about each other gardens, the more that we learn...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:08PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Silvia - I Googled Yacon and am intrigued by it, it really looks like something I'd love but I see it's virtually impossible to grow from seed. I wonder it there's a local market around where starts could be obtained from the tubers?

Christine - good to see you back :-)

Started my tomato seeds this morning

Moved poor callaloo inside the pool cage, hope I was able to get all the worms....

Zipper Cream starting to produce, shot these pictures from inside my picture window.

Not the best picture of my Cottage Garden but it's come along nicely....

Tom

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:42AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Tom

You have been busy starting the tomatoes, the set up looks very good!

Hope that your callaloo recovers, I start to eat the leaves when young.

Your cottage garden is coming along nicely, looking great!

About the yacon, check the you tube videos, everyone said is very easy to grow in a wide variety of climates, they also show how to grow them in pots and how to keep the crown after harvesting the tubers. Also google shark fin melon, not really a melon but squash...have few seeds for this variety and I remember eating in soups long time ago.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:11PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

You have been busy starting the tomatoes, the set up looks very good!

I started 53 plants but only have room for 28, so there will be extras for other folks...lots of oranges and yellows, I'm rather bored with red and have had NO luck with the larger blacks, only black cherry.

Hope that your callaloo recovers, I start to eat the leaves when young.

Not sure Silvia but it's already getting ready to go to seed so at least I'll be able to start over inside the pool cage.

Your cottage garden is coming along nicely, looking great!

Thanks, I've really grown to love having flowers back there.

About the yacon, check the you tube videos, everyone said is very easy to grow in a wide variety of climates, they also show how to grow them in pots and how to keep the crown after harvesting the tubers. Also google shark fin melon, not really a melon but squash...have few seeds for this variety and I remember eating in soups long time ago.

Off to Youtube... :-)

Tom

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 9:14AM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Oh, yum, Silvia! So good to see your garden and your dishes again! You always inspire me to get more creative. Your trip looks wonderful too. Nice to get spoiled every once in a while. Especially when you are the one to spoil everyone else usually!

Tom, I love your cottage garden. Looks like it's grown in nicely. Can't wait to see it again in another month. I recognize the zinnia and the pentas, of course, but are the yellow pods the coreopsis? What else do you have in there?

Anna

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:03PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Anna!

I am so glad to hear from you! thank you for all your nice compliments and I hope that you are getting ready for the fall. I do miss your posts and I am sure everyone else. You have to show us your beautiful garden sometimes...

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:27PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Anna - most everything in the Cottage Garden is mature now except the pentas and rain lilies; four varieties of dwarf zinnias, white and blue plumbago in pots, red and pink pentas (still small), panama rose (not blooming?), pink and blue salvia, African lily, stalking bulbine, tithonia and the rain lilies in several colors.

Silvia, you know me, I have Yacon on the way :-)

Tom

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:44PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Tom, that is good! When you get them, you can grow them in the pool cage. Mine are planted with a little bit of shade from the fig. They are fast growers and look pretty with the big leaves.

This morning...some zipper peas, eggplants and peppers

I am getting a second crop of figs

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:11AM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Silvia, that fig looks great. Your double pea vine is beautiful too. All I've started is tomatoes. Less than in previous years. I've been so busy this summer.

Tom, thanks for the id's. You will love your panama rose. I just trimmed mine back a month or so ago. The summer is about the only time of the year it rests from blooming. Mine are 5-6 feet tall and that's with a lot of pruning once yearly. I keep it limbed up.

Anna

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:12AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

:-)

Tom

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 7:49PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Anna, good luck with your next tomato season!

Tom, how did you do that? you are the miracle man! lol. It is so exciting, now we both can compare the growth and the taste of the yacon roots. Those plants that you got look really good! congrats on your new babies.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 8:21PM
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