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Monthly Archives: October 2012

  • Breast Cancer Awareness October

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink is everywhere this month.  Whether is the NFL, college football or local races, someone is wearing pink!  Last week, I had the pleasure of participating at my friend's Kat healthy walk at the business offices of Progressive Insurance in Brandon.

    She asked if we could set up a table to promote healthy eating at her event.  Jordan Parke and I had a great time meeting some awesome people and enjoying the great Florida weather!  Yes, it was breezy out there.


    We brought some granola for the walkers to snack on as well as some pumpkin butter and coconut butter.  Everyone was very impressed with the granola ingredients and nutritional facts.  Although, I think they secretly wished I had brought samples of our strawberry cookies.  :)  Maybe next time.

    Last Sunday, I gathered up the courage to run my first 15k.  While the event did not raise funds for breast cancer, it was aptly named Pretty in Pink to raise awareness.

    Breast cancer is one of the most "preventable" forms of cancer because of all of the early detection programs available.  If you need help finding a low cost screening center, follow this link.

  • Freshly squeezed Orange Juice, Navels and Tangerines...oh my!

    You know it’s fall when the front tables in the market are filled with Florida citrus.  Back in August, I posted this picture on Facebook.

    I couldn’t believe all the comments!  I must say it was pretty awesome to see y’alls reactions.  And as promised, Dad has been working non-stop putting the pieces together.  I honestly believe there is nothing this guy can't fix!


    After countless hours of tinkering, we are happy to report Dad has completed reconstructing the new orange grading machine. Yay!  Thank you Dad!

    We’ve started grading Navels, Amber Sweet and Fall Glow Tangerines.  The Navels are packaged in 5-pound bags and ¼ bushels.  Prices for the Navels are as follow: $1.59 for a 5-pound bag and $3.49 for ¼ bushels.  As the Navels become more plentiful, we’ll start packaging them in ½ bushels.

    The Amber Sweet Oranges and Fall Glow Tangerines are packaged in 5-pound bags to prevent bruising.  All Tangerines are $1.49.



    In case you are wondering, we've started making our 100% freshly squeezed orange juice.  If you've never tried our orange juice, I highly recommend it.  Our orange juice is made with 100% Florida Oranges and it is freshly squeezed every day.   It is unpasteurized, and has no additives or preservatives.  Give it a try.  You’ll be hooked!


    Have you ever tried our Orange Juice?  Did you know we make freshly squeezed OJ?


    What’s your favorite Florida citrus?



  • A visit to the Parkesdale Greenhouses

    Last Wednesday, I stopped by the Parkesdale Greenhouses to visit Grandma Parke and Colleen.  There’s just something really neat about being in a greenhouse early in the morning.  Since 1977, Grandma Parke and Colleen have been working together at the same greenhouses.  Not much has changed since they started.  The process is always the same.  When July rolls around is time to start the “seedlings”.

    All of their tomato and pepper plants are grown from seed!  How they sort out 25,000 seeds I'll never know!



    This season they’ll be growing the following tomato varieties: Big Boy, Better Boy, Whopper, Plum, Grape, Cherry and Tomatillo.  You can find these varieties at our market from October to May.  One of my favorite things to do at the market is walk around and pick out the fresh tomatoes right off the vines.  Don't worry, I don't take them all!  It actually helps the plant produce more tomatoes if the ripes one are removed continuously.  And I'll do anything to help our plants produce more tomatoes!



    They also grow many varieties of peppers.  This year, we’ll have the following sweet peppers: green, yellow, red, and orange bell pepper, sweet pickle and sweet banana.



    If you are into hot peppers, then we’ll have the following: Thai hot, Nu Mex Twilight, Jalapeno, Long Red Slim, Orange Habanero, White Habanero (yellow), Scotch Bonnet Habanero, Purple Flesh, Anaheim, Serrano, Cherry Bomb, Bolivian Carrot, Super Chili, Prairie Fire, Purple Jalapeno and Bolivian Rainbow.  Honestly, I haven’t heard half of these names!  Have you?



    According to Colleen, we should have the Poblano peppers at the market pretty soon.  These are mostly mild peppers used in Mexican cooking for Chile Relleno.  They are perfect for roasting and stuffing.  We’ll also be featuring Cajun Belle this year for the first time.  They are a miniature bell pepper with a spicy flavor that is a tasty blend of heat and sweet.



    And of course, we can’t forget our beautiful Strawberry Baskets.  Between Grandma Parke and Colleen, they will plant about 5,000 strawberry baskets.  This year, they are planting Festival and Camino Real strawberries.  These strawberry baskets won’t be at our market until they are a bit bigger and are bearing fruit.  We should have the strawberry baskets at our market around Thanksgiving or early December through sometime in March or April.

    As you would imagine, a lot of work goes into planning a growing season.   And a lot of help is also needed.  Thanks to Grandma Parke, Colleen and her husband Terry, who is in charge of irrigation and repair maintenance, we are very fortunate to provide our customers with the healthiest, most beautiful tomato, pepper and strawberry plants in Hillsborough County.




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