Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This n' That

Pajamas and stuffed sweeties and our own sleepy-headed children. What could be better?

Strawberry Bunny was Eve's first favorite bedtime friend, since the age of two. Six years and a number of baths later, she still gets the favored spot along with Blankie every night. The bed is FILLED with many other dear friends - many of them also bunnies, but Strawberry gets top billing.

After the recent Chinese New Year, we learned that Eve was born in the Year of the Rabbit. "Aaaahhh," we all thought. :)

She wasn't thrilled with morning photographs until I told her I was taking photos of Strawberry too and then she was willing to poke her own face out from under the covers.


I'm nursing a cold today. It's actually a good day for a cold: kind of gray and cool; the sun isn't begging me to come outside. It's just a head cold, nothing too bad and I really don't mind. I am thankful not to get sick - or even colds - very often at all and so when I get one, I kind of take it as a good excuse to drink my garlic/ginger/honey tea (it really is quite good!), make soup, and snuggle in and knit or crochet.

My friend, Marie, refreshed my memory on my crochet skills today and so I am finally getting started - again - on my Project Linus blanket. I'd started knitting it a couple of times and decided that this wasn't really something that I wanted to last a very long time, and thought it might be the perfect project for me to brush up on my crochet skills. So, I'm currently knitting a cardigan and pair of socks for myself and the blanket for PL.

While today is cloudy, last weekend was STUNNING. We were blessed to not have any major things to do and were able to go out to the Crowley Nursery, about a 20 minute drive from our house. For those of you who are starved for a bit of sunshine and greenery, please allow me to share with you a bit of our walk.

One of the nursery paths

This is at the entrance to a bamboo grove.

I don't know what kind of plants these are, but they were in the bamboo grove. They look like
something out of a Dr. Seuss book to me!

This flower has a deceptively lovely face! It smells just like Salt and Vinegar chips!

Paul takes a whiff of the Salt and Vinegar flowers.

One of the many greenhouses at the nursery.

I don't know the name of this pink beauty, but it reminded me of bachelor buttons.
They have pretty much everything edible and flowering and gorgeous that can grow in our area of FL. We were there to buy an avocado tree - yay! We also got a jasmine plant that blooms and smells heavenly year round.

This place was INCREDIBLE. It was so full of so many neat things to see and smell. The air was heady with the smells of roses, gardenias, honeysuckle and more. February in FL is just plain awesome. :)

I talked with the woman who owns the place - and lives on the property amongst all the beautiful gardens - and said to her that I was always so surprised that people who live here don't take advantage of the fact that they have beautiful growing weather 9 months out of the year. Star fruits are in the grocery stores as an exotic fruit from South America that sell for two dollars a piece, when the trees grow easily and abundantly here! It just seemed so odd - and frankly, foolish. She agreed and commented how people will come through the gardens and say that they don't like star fruits... until they try one off the tree!

Continuing to buy more and more foods locally and grow more and more of our own foods is a goal of mine this year. We now have an orange, a grapefruit, a mango, and an avocado tree. I've still got a couple of tomato plants in the garden, garlic, beets, kale, and basil. Rosemary is in another bed and I'm getting fantastic, organic eggs from a friend of mine. I'm making an effort to get out to the hydroponic farm more often and I'm planning a trip to another organic farm on Friday. We're not 100% local, nor 100% organic, but every effort, I know, makes a difference.

But, you know, even more than making a difference, eating locally and sustainably connects you to a place. Areas are known by their culinary dishes. Using what is around and available to you is the flavor of your home. I love to think about the different things God put in different parts of the world that shape the culture. And food definitely shapes the culture! What is the culinary culture of where you live? Do you take advantage of the dishes and traditions of your area - even if you did not grow up in the place you now call home? It's exciting to me to move with the seasons and the climate in selecting what we will have on our table. Again, I don't even pretend to do this all the time. But I am working at it more and more!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole,
Sitting here in the blasted sub zero land (aka: Minnesota), makes the walk through the nursery so surreal. I know we will have our time, just hard to see from under the snow :)
I hope your avocado tree does well, I am currently rooting some pits in my worm composting bin. I gave one to my dad to grow, I am not sure if they will grow fruit inside though, I need to research that.
Thanks for the lovely tour, brought warmth to my insides (or was that the heat of jealousy? J/K)

Marianna said...

That nursery is amazing! How lucky that lady is to live there with all of that beauty and abundance everyday!

The little owl is cute. Is he your creation? or one of the girls?


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