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Monthly Archives: September 2012

  • Where do you buy your honey?

    Did you know we sell honey?  It is one of our best sellers!   People come to our market looking for honey all the time.  Whether our customers use it for cooking, medicinal purposes or just for their morning cup of tea, we go through a lot of honey!

    I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but this past April there was a lot of controversy right here in Florida over ultra-filtrated honey brought in from China and re-sold under store name brands at local stores.  Buyer beware!  This ultra-filtrated honey lacks all the nutritional benefits like pollen.  According to Food Safety News, 3/4 of the honey sold at U.S. grocery stores isn't honey!


    We normally carry two types of honey: Orange Blossom and Tupelo.  Orange Blossom, as the name implies, comes from Orange groves throughout central Florida.  Tupelo honey comes from the Tupelo tree which is mostly found around northwest Florida.   This summer we brought in Palmetto honey.  Palmetto honey comes from the blooms of the saw palmetto palm which grows throughout Florida.

    There's much debate as to whether how far "local" honey can still be called "local".   Most people say about 50 miles.  I've also heard the debate that because there are no mountains in Florida, all Florida honey is local.   My thoughts on this local debate is that anything from Florida should be considered local.


    We have a large variety of sizes available for sale.   We offer 8 oz, 16 oz and 32 oz in both the Tupelo and the Orange Blossom.  We also carry honey with the honey comb.  If you can't make it to our market, but would still like to taste of Florida honey, visit our website for more info.

    I must admit, I'm partial to the Tupelo honey.  It's a lot brighter in color than the Orange Blossom.  According to the Tupelo Beekeepers Association, Tupelo honey is the only honey that will not granulate and it's use is recommended by doctors for diabetic patients.  At our home, I use it to combat seasonal allergies.  Since making the move to Plant City from Boca Raton, my allergies have been a lot better ever since I started using our honey on  a regular basis.  I know this because I used to take Zyrtec every day in the spring.  I couldn't go a day without it or my eyes would start burning and my nose would start running.  This past spring was the first Orange Blossom season I did not need a Zyrtec.  :)

    When shopping for honey, make sure to look for raw, unfiltered or local labels on it.  These labels will ensure you get the most benefits from your purchase.

  • Busy at the Farm

    I thought you might like to learn about what goes into growing our delicious Parkesdale Strawberries.  Sometime between July and August the fields are plowed and leveled.  These fields were most likely used to grow peas (blackeye, zipper, and conk) pickles, zucchini or squash.

    This is probably when I think the fields look the worst, but being the one with the positive outlook, I always remind myself that you have to start from scratch and only in time you can reap the delicious sugary sweetness.



    From August to September, the farm “lays plastic”.  This means a tractor comes through the fields making perfect rows of mounded dirt.  These mounds are about 2 feet wide.  Drip lines are then connected and placed on top of the mound.


    A second tractor will then come through the same rows with an attachment.  This special attachment allows two farm workers to cover the mounds with the plastic.

    During this time, Bobby Parke will travel to different states in search of the perfect strawberry plants for our Florida weather.  This year, he travelled to Georgia and North Carolina.  We usually pick a couple of different varieties in order to continually have strawberries.  There are early and late berry plants.  The Farm will start planting the bare root plants sometime in October.  The bare root strawberry plants will be available at our market for sale in bunches of 25.  Last year’s price for the bunch was $6.99.  As always, I’ll keep you posted when we receive the plants so you can grow some at home too!


    Have you ever grown your own berries or other fruits/vegetables?





  • Orange Chicken in the Crock Pot

    One of our favorite Chinese dishes is Orange Chicken.  The sweetness and tartness of the sauce makes it a crowd pleaser for our little ones.  When I stumbled across "A Year of Slow Cooking" recipe for Orange Chicken I knew I had to try it.

    Another reason I liked this recipe was the short list of ingredients.  I think I had the hardest time buying the frozen orange juice concentrate because it reminded me how much I miss our freshly squeezed orange juice.  But I digress… The ingredients were easy to find and I had most of them at hand.  Bonus!

    The process is fairly simple.  First step after chopping the chicken was to bread it and brown it slightly.  Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and set on low for 3-4 hours.

    For a side dish, I sauteed green and red bell peppers, carrots and purple onions sprinkled with salt, pepper and olive oil.

    The chicken came out very tasty and flavorful.  This recipe is definitively a keeper.  Along with the orange chicken I prepared white rice.  This time I followed the recipe as shown.  I know, I was surprised too.  I think next time I might try it with boneless skinless chicken thighs.  Also, it seems to me this dish may work on the stove too.  If I try it on the stove, I’ll be sure to use our own Parkesdale fresh orange juice.


    What’s your favorite Chinese dish?

    Do you like to recreate meals you typically eat out?

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