It feels like summer now to this northern transplant, but it isn't. Summer is yet to come. Summer is a whole other kettle of fish in Central Florida.
After my Mother's Day post, I cannot stop thinking about my mother, especially in this heat. Mom hated the heat and humidity of summer. I can just see her in my mind, sighing and sweating. She preferred the cold, northern winter. I am the opposite. I hate the cold. It chills me to the bone.
However, I've said this before. From June through September it is too damn hot to be outside in the afternoon down here. Our lives are very different since we moved to Central Florida. Now we hibernate in the summer rather than the winter. I am absolutely not complaining. It is neither better nor worse. It's all good! I am simply marveling at how different one place can be from another.
We DO have two vegetable planting seasons. How cool is that? Mom would have loved it. I do, too. She always had a veggie garden, and she used Rotenone like it was going out of style. She was of the "why weed when you can spray?" opinion. I figure that is why she developed Parkinson's Disease. Sigh. There was no telling that stubborn woman anything she didn't WANT to believe.
One planting takes place in October, for things like beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, radishes. Everything else we plant in late February or early March. We have been eating juicy tomatoes from raised beds since late April.
We grow basil almost all year round (lotsa pesto!). Our perennial herbs are always available. Hmmm, I don't think Mom ever used or grew fresh herbs, except when she made dill pickles. I can picture her kitchen table covered with mason jars, cukes, and sprigs of dill weed. It was one of the things she and my Dad did together. They also made grape jelly, sauerkraut, and put up innumerable quarts of tomatoes. Food was important in my mother's house, and we ate well.
Living in this beautiful, relentlessly sunny place is almost like living in bizzarro world, or in upside down land. However, I'm goin' with the flow. The politics sometimes stink, but every day is beautiful. I am grateful to be right here experiencing big changes in my life, at my age, in these times. No matter how long one lives, life is too short. I try to live my life with joy, and I do NOT use Rotenone. I like reaching into the earth and yanking a skanky weed out by its roots. It feels like a personal victory.
Here are some things in our small veggie garden this morning:
|Orange grape tomatoes - they always make me happy|
|Zucchini blossom, such a tease|
|Japanese eggplant and parsley|
|Basil, patient and true|