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Monthly Archives: March 2012

  • Spring is here...or is it summer already?

    Florida weather has never been very predictable.  We have a few cool, breezy days in a row; then the mercury shoots right back up past 90 degrees  in the blink of an eye.  I know my calendar says we just had the first day of spring, but seriously, its starting to feel more like summer each day.

    Another sign of spring at Parkesdale Market is the greenhouses.  At this time of year, our greenhouses are filled with Gerber Daisies, Ground Orchids, Gazanias, Sunflowers, Amaryllis and the most fragrant Hybrid Roses you can imagine.  I dare you to walk by them and not stop to "smell the roses".  This is usually one of the things I do every morning.  I can't help myself.  I debate which ones I would like to bring home, meaning I'd like to bring one of each color!

    Last year I finally decided to give roses a try.  Mind you, I don't consider myself a gardener by any means.  I brought home three different types of Roses: a lilac rose tree, a peach drift rose and two Knock Out Roses (a yellow and a red).  I can proudly say my garden only suffered one casualty.  The yellow Knock Out Rose did not make it.  Not sure why because it was planted next to the lilac Rose Tree, which has bloomed and re-bloomed despite my lack of constant care and attention.  The red Knock Out Rose has at least doubled in size if not tripled.  Now I undersand why Knock Out roses are so popular.  They are much easier to not take care.  The drift rose is still alive, but not as big as I would have hoped.  I understand this is normal as they are recommended as ground covers because they stay very low to the ground.

    Given my odds from last year, 3 out of 4 is not bad, I decided to bring home two more hybrid roses: Granada and All American Magic.  Our backyard gets full sun, so I think I've found a good spot for them.  When I bring any plant home, I like to "test" their new home before putting them in the ground.  I've always heard about "right plant, right place", but I never really understood it until I found hoe and shovel.  I haven't met Meems yet, but I would love to.  Her garden, or better yet her desire for a front lawn without grass is very commendable.  Much like a lot of our produce, our roses are locally grown in Plant City by Mrs. Cruz from Cruz Nursery or the rose lady as I like to call her.  She recommended Bayer 2-in-1 Systemic Rose and Flower care.  It feeds and protects with one monthly application!  I sometimes remember to apply it.  When I do apply it regularly, I can see an improvement right away.  The blooms are plentiful and the plant itself looks so much more green.  Even with my sporadical use, I still get blooms and no bugs on my roses.

    What are your thoughts on Roses?  Are roses really worth it?

  • Roasted Corn

    Last minute dinner plans can sometimes turn out better than you'd imagine.  That's exactly what happened last night.  Fish was on the menu, so I cooked some brown rice from the corner store and opened a jar of our Mango-Lime salsa to top our fish.  Jim brought candy corn and I could not have been happier.

     

    We used to steam our corn and eat it with Troyer butter, which is great but after going to the Strawberry Festival we wanted that Roasted Corn taste again.  Here comes Ingrid Hoffman with a recipe for hot corn with chimichurri butter.  This recipe has transformed the way we eat corn.

     

    I've adapted her recipe by cutting the kernels out, mixing the ingredients with the kernels and putting it all together under the broiler.   Make sure to add olive oil to the baking sheet.  I also added about a tablespoon of Troyer butter cut in small pieces and placed on top of the corn.  The result is a crunchy explosion of flavors: sweet, salty and savory.  If you want to add another layer of yumminess, add parmesan cheese and roast for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.

    What's your favorite way to eat corn?  Have you tried our Troyer products?

  • Strawberry Onions are here!

    Plant City Florida is well known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.  What most people don't know is that most local farmers also grow "Strawberry Onions".  You may ask, What is a Strawberry Onion?  Do they taste like strawberries?   A Strawberry Onion is a Savannah Hybrid Sweet Onion which is grown on the perimeter of  the strawberry fields.  Sadly, they do not taste like strawberries, but they are sweet.

     

    Strawberry Onions are available from February to April.  It's funny to hear customers describing our Strawberry Onions to their friends or to other customers.  I've often heard them say "These strawberry onions are as sweet as an apple".  Last year we decided to start shipping our strawberry onions to the Northeast US via UPS.  So far, they've made it all the way to Maine, Ohio and Michigan.  The Strawberry Onions were such a hit last year, that we have already doubled last years shipments.

     

    At the market, we often joke that the Strawberry Onions are planted on the edges to "keep the elephants away".  At home, we use Strawberry Onions almost exclusively when they are in season mostly because they are so sweet, but I prefer them because they won't make me cry!  You can read this earlier post with our favorite way to enjoy them.  Have you ever tried our Strawberry Onions?  How do you enjoy them?

     

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