Early July Garden

It’s the 4th of July and the garden is doing fine.

We finally have a watermelon growing. The bees are no where to be seen so I have been hand pollinating these as I can.

We also have a great crop of plum tomatoes. I noticed some signs of caterpillar damage (but saw no caterpillars yet). I want to spray them but the rain is every day lately. Hopefully I can spray BT sometime soon.

In the distance you might be able to make out the corn plant that is hanging on. No corn yet but I am hoping for something.

I am doing a much better job at training the muscadine grape vine this year. Last year the weight of the vine made the trellis slant forward. The extra support I added this winter is holding up.

For the first time we will have grapefruit this year. I counted at least five that are growing. The leaves are still falling off though. I found a spray that may help with this but I am having a hard time applying it because of the constant rain.

Key limes are back again too. They have the same issue as the grapefruit tree.

I butchered the heck out of the viburnum in the backyard. I was trying to locate a lost sprinkler head and finally found it behind the middle bush. I will be replacing that sprinkler head with drip irrigation to provide better water to one of the square foot gardens. I would like to train the bush on the right to grow as a small shade tree to open that area for some shade plant opportunities…..we will see what happens.

Flowers doing well in one of the whisky barrels.

And finally the aloe plant is reproducing again this year. I might transplant some of the babies. We don’t take advantage of this plant as much as we should.

Hopefully I will have an update at the end of the month to see what makes it.

Early June Garden

I know the post is late since it is almost July but I wanted to show what has been up with the garden earlier this month.

Watermelon plant is starting to flower.

Roma tomatoes start to ripen.

We have a grapefruit that has not fallen from the tree!!!!

Key limes are ready to grow again this season

Starting some baby dills that I hope will make it through the summer.

New collard is getting some shade action by the palm frond.

This might be the first year the corn makes it….only time will tell.

Beans are hanging in there.

Garden Update : Late April

The ladies are back. They seem to like the grape vine for now. The lady above is wearing spots but the one below is in plain attire.

Muscadine grapes are starting to grow. Looks like we will have another good year for grapes. It looks like the little black bugs are back as well (see blurred leaf). They are there every year but appear to be harmless so I let them be.

One of the watermelon seeds germinated. I have yet to have a successful crop but I keep trying. I got these seeds from a watermelon purchased at whole foods a year or so ago.

We haven’t had much rain and days are getting hotter and longer. I am watering almost daily my seedlings. I hope they grow to a stable size soon so they won’t need as much attention.

Watermelon Summer Cocktail

While in Miami last month I was craving a light summer cocktail. In a great cafe on Lincoln Road I ordered this delicious and refreshing cocktail.

I have had the urge to try to reproduce this cocktail at home. Today I had the opportunity. I am attending a BBQ this evening and this drink would be great to drink in the heat.
The drink menu at the restaurant only lists ingredients but no amounts. After some web searching I came up with my own recipe and I have to say it seems pretty darn close to what I experienced in Miami.
And if someone asks me, I will deny that I sampled this cocktail at 8:30 am on a Sunday morning.

For 1 serving:
1/2 ounce of Aperol
1 ounce of St. Germain
1 ounce sparkling water (or club soda)
2 ounce Prosecco
1/4 cup pureed watermelon (seeds removed)

As a little side story, the bottle of Aperol is not the first one I purchased for this drink concoction. The first bottle was purchased at a large Florida liquor chain store. Most times when you buy more than one bottle, they place one in a paper bag so they will separated from each other. This is so the bottles do not hit each other. The brilliant guy at this store did not do this time and I heard my bottles go “clang clang” as I walked to the car. I started my car, blasted the air conditioner and started to drive home. I soon began to smell a musty bar. I dismissed this smell; the bottles probably just had an odor from the liquor store. Then I heard liquid running; I dismissed this to be the sound of the liquid moving within the bottles. When I arrived home I found a bottle, empty of liquor, and the bottom had fallen completely off. Red-ish orange booze spread from the plastic bags all onto my car mats. My car now smells like a boozer car. Lesson learned kiddos, make sure your liquor is paper bagged and if you suspect it has leaked, it probably has.