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  • We are back!

    Vacation is now over!  School started today for Hillsborough County, so my two babies are now attending Elementary School full time.  Where has time gone?!?!

    back to school

    While the market was closed, we took the girls to San Francisco for a few days to escape the Florida heat.  With high temperatures nearing 65-70 degrees every day, we were glad to put on our jackets every morning.  I had been to San Francisco many years ago on a trip with my grandfather and my cousins, so it was fun to return to the City by the Bay.

    San Francisco

    The girls had the most fun riding public transportation, whether it was a street car, cable car or the bus, it didn't matter.  We found this great app, Rover, and downloaded it for free.  It worked amazingly well to get us from point A to point B.  It would tell us the closest bus stop location and all the available buses for our destination.

    San Francisco

    While in San Francisco, we visited a few of the parks in the area.  When traveling with kids, it's always fun to find a spot to "let them run" while you sit and enjoy your coffee.  We visited at least three parks while we were there: Golden Gate Park, Yerba Buena Gardens, Embarcadero Park and South Park.  Each park had something unique to offer the girls.

    Golden Gate Park

    An as an avid, Yelper, I was able to get a "cool" badge for visiting so many parks! :)  We love using Yelp locally and especially when visiting a new town.

    Yelp

     

    One interesting thing about San Francisco was that I found many of the same ornamental plants all throughout the city.  I was surprised to see how these plants could tolerate such a broad temperature spectrum.  I realize it doesn't get really cold in San Francisco, but it sure gets hot in Florida.

    ornamentals

    Needless to say, we had a great time while in San Francisco.  However, we are back home now and ready to go.  The market has reopen to regular business hours (Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm) and we can't wait to see you!

    Have you ever visited the City by the Bay?

    Are you ready for the school year to begin?

  • Vacation August 5 to August 19

    vacation

    Our Summer Vacation is almost here!  This year the market will be closed August 5 through August 19th for our yearly vacation.  We hope to see you before August 5th.  We appreciate your patronage and look forward to seeing you again on August 20th.

     

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  • Roasted Okra

    Okra is one of those veggies people either love or despise.  Those who love it, can't get enough and those who despise it complain about it's slimy taste.  While I occasionally enjoy some fried okra with ranch dressing, it may not be the healthiest combination.  Having fresh locally grown okra brought to the market daily, made me realize we hadn't had it at home yet.  While my girls may not eat everything I put on their plate, I'm always encouraging them to try new things.

    Roasted Okra
    Recipe Type: Vegetable
    Author: Xiomara Meeks
    Prep time:
    Cook time:
    Total time:
    Serves: 4
    Enjoy crisp, flavorful, fresh from the farm Roasted Okra in a few simple steps!
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound okra
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 450. Wash the okra through running water and use a paper towel
    2. to dry it. Line a baking sheet with the okra and drizzle the olive oil over it. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Roast it in the oven for 15 minutes. Make sure to shake the baking sheet half way through. Allow a few minutes to cool before eating.

     

    Growing Tips

    Okra is very easy to grow, especially with Florida's hot  weather.  Some relatives include cotton, hollyhock and hibiscus.  If you plan to grow it in your garden, make sure you have well-drained soils in full sun.  It prefers slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils (pH 6.5-7.5).  Okra can be grown  by direct sowing or by setting transplants.  Make sure you soak the seeds overnight before sowing.

    homegrown okra

    Selecting Okra

    When selecting Okra make sure it has a beautiful shade of green.  Preferably, you should pick them when they are about the size of a small finger or your "pinkie".  The smaller they are, the less "slimy" they tend to be.  Also, the smaller the seeds are.

    Additional Recipes

     

    What are some of your favorite ways to prepare it?

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