Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm finally farming!!!

I believe there is not too much more satisfying then planting seeds, nuturing and enjoying the bounty after a few months - flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs. Unfortunately, Florida backyard gardening is a full time career. The soils are very poor (sand) and need lots of amending, it's extremely humid which means prolific fungus and molds, and the South has bugs that I now know were role models in the monster movies of my youth. But, successful container gardening is my salvation. I grow wonderful flowers and tropicals in containers outside. We stopped using pesticides and very seldom fertilize. We prefer the butterflies, hummingbirds, birds, anoles and other benefits of growing natural. We love working with FL natives, but are not purists in that department. In fact if I plant is legal, not on Florida's verboten list, but labeled invasive, it's my favorite kind because I know I probably won't kill it.

Our good friends Andy and Kim Bruner sent us hot pepper seeds from their Georgia garden. They are called Birds Eye Peppers and I threw them in 5 pots, 2 clay and 3 plastic, from 10" in diameter to 18", watered and waited. about 3 months later I was picking tiny (as in the size of the end of your pinkie finger) hot hot peppers, hotter than jalepenos. And, as Andy promised, when I brought them in last winter and stored in the garage during threats of frost, put them back out this spring, they bloomed again and I'm now enjoying a 2nd crop on all 5 plants. Southern cooks make a sauce from small peppers, washing them and placing in clean jars washed in very hot water, and pouring white vinegar or sherry over the peppers and refrigerating. Great on greens, in bisques (ummmmmm ummmmmmm crab bisque) and blackeye peas! But these little pacakges of dynamite heat can be used in recipes calling for hot peppers.

As always, handling hot peppers and seeds need
to be done carefully as they will cause irriation on sensitive skin and eyes. I have a limited supply of seeds in my etsy shop Whyte from the first harvest.


Kathy said...

Isn't gardening awesome. Irv does a wonderful job and we are now starting to enjoy the lettuce, peppers and soon beets, beans and cukes. He grew everything from organic seeds and uses an organic fertilizer. He grew all of his flowers this year from seed as well. He actually went overboard with excitement and started way too many things. He intends to cut back next year! :)

dogdazzle said...

Glad you're enjoying your gardening. We have a large garden, unusual for the suburb we live in, and have already been enjoying lettuce, spinach, strawberries and mustard greens. Waiting for the green peppers, green beans, pumpkin, broccoli, zucchini and whatever else my husband decided to get creative with this year, but especially watching for that first tomato!