Citrus and Kale

The key lime is not doing well. While we do have some key limes growing this season, the leaves are falling off just like they did with our lemon bush (the lemon has since been removed). At first I thought it was a nitrogen deficiency but fertilizing doesn’t seem to help. Then I thought the problem was mites, but pest control measures seemed unsuccessful. I am now thinking it has a problem that citrus gets in central Florida – Citrus Greening. From what I have been told and what I have read, there really isn’t much I can do to treat it. Our local hardware garden guy recommended just trying to keep that and other citrus around it healthy so it can fight it off. So that is my new plan – try to keep my plants healthy.

The spring kale is still lingering around. I pull up about one a week. We aren’t eating it and it looks sad. I don’t know why I don’t just pull it all up and throw down new seeds. My garden still needs some cleanup work for the fall.

August Garden: Summer Cleanup and New Arrivals

Some old friends are still in the garden and some new have recently joined. This is what is enduring the August heat for now….

New Citronella plant and marigold. Trying something new to fend off mosquitos.

It was time for some thyme to be added back to the garden. Purchased a thyme plant so we had fresh herbs on hand.

Summer crop of pinto beans sprouting while the garden waits for fall crops.

Spinach is still doing well. Now that the squash is removed it has room to grow.

Tomato seedlings preparing for the fall.

Now that the squash is gone, the collards have room to thrive. They do love those semi-shady days though.

Needed some fresh basil so I put another store bought plant in the garden.

These chives keep on kicking year after year. This is their best year yet. Can’t wait to throw them in various recipes.

We have a few of these sickly kale plants spread throughout the garden. I can’t seem to pull them out yet though. Part of me thinks they will beat the heat and the bugs.

Kale Chips

It has been a while since we have attempted to make kale chips. We had an abundance of kale so I decided to take a stab at it.
I loosely followed this recipe.
They were crunchy fun but only lasted a few minutes. I guess next time larger batches are needed.
Note: Check on your kale while it is cooking, mine only required 25 minutes to be fully crunchy.

Eviction Notice

Yesterday afternoon, right before a holiday weekend, I sent eviction notices to some tenants. I  physically kicked some tenants out on their arse. I think of myself as an easy going landlord. I let freeloading weeds live in my garden all summer, never having to pay rent (aka feed me). Weeds are big partiers who tear up the place; evictions must occur. Although it is as painful for me as it is for them (sunburns and back pains), it must be done to make room for new tenants.
I am real excited about the new tenants. I am expecting some first class kale, yummy broccoli, and other fall crops to be moving in soon. I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Some of the unwanted visitors

Here is what you have missed the last few months:

I took on way too much responsibility mid-way through this year. Gardening and photography were put on hold.
With the exception of back pain this past week (and two missed runs), I am on track to be ready to finish and maybe beat my time for my second half-marathon in November.

Some jerk bird ate all the blueberries.

Bugs binged and purged on the brussel sprouts

 Grapes are rotting off the vine because we are slow to pick them. Backyard smells like a winery.

 I killed these carrots

Fig Party

 I just about killed my aunt’s favorite plant- the Okinawa Spinach. I am working on bringing it back to life.

Kale is King

Seeds are in for the fall.

Easing into the Green Smoothie

From Photo Challenge

Smoothies can be incredibly healthy things for you to drink. I have a very healthy co-worker who swears by them. As part of my weight-loss-slash-get-healthy journey I have decided to give green smoothies a try. But before I give you the recipe that I used, I want to give you a number of disclaimers so I don’t hear you complaining about my recipe.


  •  My smoothies are typically assembled with yogurt, greens, banana, and whatever fruit (frozen or fresh) that I have available in my house. The fruit provides some nutritents but I add it mostly to sweeten the drink. 
  • This smoothie is not low in calories. In time less fruit should be added and more veggies should appear. My last recipe came out to almost 550 calories (maybe 1.5 servings though).
  • My blender is a high quality blender from the 1980’s (I am proud of my blender that I acquired from my mom years ago). It made of glass (not plastic) and is still kicking; but even it is not idea for green smoothies. It is highly recommended if you are serious about this smoothie thing that you invest in a blender that handles greens well like a Blendtec or a Vitamix. If you don’t, it is very likely that there will be little chunks of spinach or kale floating around in your smoothie; floaters are bothersome to most people.
  • Some people have issues with mixing the dairy in the yogurt with all the other ingredients (stomach doesn’t like it). I have no issues with it (even though I have a slight lactose intolerance) but you should monitoring this for yourself. I like how the yogurt makes the shake creamy. Down the road I will be adding less of this though to cut back on calories (maybe add only 1/2 cup).
  • There is a debate about the type of protein powder that is best for the smoothie. I use whey protein but I know someone who swears by a expensive hemp protein. This is another topic where you have to do the research and decide what is right for your smoothie.
  • Finally, this is the first go around for me. It is heavy on the fruit. The goal ultimately is to get as green as you can. I mean you are drinking a green smoothie because you are obviously interested in improving your health….why else would you do it?


  •  Very Important: A good quality blender is needed.
  • Applesauce, unsweetened, 0.25 cup  
  • Banana, fresh, 1 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) 
  • 2 large leaves of Kale chopped, stalk removed
  • 1 cup Spinach frozen
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Farm Lowfat Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup Ocean Spray fresh Cranberries (I had them sitting in the freezer) 
  • 1 scoop of protein powder 

Blend it!