Spring Around Here!

Oh the weather around here has been wonderful! We had a very mild winter, and spring has lasted for what seems like a very long time. Which unfortunately for me, when all this pollen is in the air, I have vertigo. It is a very unsettling feeling. Want to be outside and just don’t want to breathe anymore pollen! But finally I think it has passed! Everything is blooming and looking amazing, just in time for the crazy caterpillars, chewing up everything in sight! Even though these things can be maddening, there is some comfort in it, the lengthening of the days, a familiar season coming around again.IMG_0113

It is always busy here on the farm, but springtime is the busiest! Watering, fertilizing, planting, and weeding. Getting all the mowers and tractors back up and running. Animals shedding, bugs coming! Just when you think you have it all under control and are enjoying the lovely evenings you find out the mosquitos are back! I have this little secret mosquito repellent, I stumbled onto a few years ago. Natures Gate has an organic body lotion that has lemongrass and clary sage in it, it works wonders! I just rub a little on whatever skin is exposed and they won’t bite! No chemicals and smells good too! We even tried it at the drive in last summer, the mosquitos were swarming but we didn’t get one bite!

Last weekend we, went to Crones Cradle Conserve, a wonderful place just north of where we live, it is an ecological preserve and organic farm. They were holding a natural foods and sustainability festival. This is something near and dear to my heart! I really try to incorporate as much local, organic, sustainable food that I can into my cooking. There were 5 guest chefs preparing all kinds of delicious natural and organic foods, most of which were harvested right there on the farm! Such a great idea, we got to sample grass fed beef and free range chicken, lots of beautiful organic produce, prepared in wonderful ways, goat milk cheeses and cheesecake, the blood orange pound cake was divine. The closest thing to Farm to Table we have here. Very inspiring for sure!IMG_0114

The citrus season is wrapping up here and as a final send off, I made a tangerine upside down cake, so moist and delicious. This is one I would definitely make again!

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Chica Chica Boom Boom!

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The crew!

The crew!

It is that time of year in Florida, in July and August when you step outside you just can’t breathe the air is so thick! As soon as you step outside in the morning the humidity slaps you right in the face! You will be dripping with sweat just sitting outside, let alone doing farm chores. Even the plants seem droopy and tired this time of year. This is the time of year you lose lots of plants to the heat and moisture. Everything seems damp and moldy, even me! There is a never ending amount of laundry to do since you have to keep changing into dry clothes throughout the day. More cleaning of coops and barns as animal bedding stays damp and gets mildewed quickly. Horses are sweaty and gummy by 11:00 am. Bugs are lovin it! Frogs too, on some nights the neighbors pond is absolutely roaring!

We are in our rainy season which just adds to the dampness. We have been getting lots of thunder and lightening every day, in fact a house down the road got struck by lightening last Monday, yikes! The storms can be pretty powerful here. My dog McKenzie hates the thunder, she has a thunder shirt that seems to help, but she is still not happy about it. It is supposed to rain all weekend, I heard we could get up to 12″ of rain, better get the Wellies out!

If you have things to do outside you better get them done early in the day. Yesterday we made nesting boxes for the chickens. I just found out last week that we do, in fact, have two roosters. They were having a lovely crowing contest! So now we know for sure! We really don’t want to get rid of one as long as they get along, so far so good. But I think I might need a couple more chickens to try and keep the peace! Over the last few weeks I have been letting them free range during the day and putting them up in the coop at night. So far so good. It is very scary because we have lots of predators around here but I prefer not to keep them locked up. We have fencing and plenty of cover for them. I really enjoy them in the yard! They seem so happy running around chasing bugs, scratching around in the grass, and taking dirt naps! It is so peaceful and fun to watch their silly antics. They seem to be pretty aware of their surroundings. If I go out to check on them they come right over and if I sit on the adirondack chair they like to come and sit with me. No eggs yet, but I think it will be soon.

Just found a new pet sitter. We are heading to LA in a few weeks, can’t wait! Looking forward to a much needed break from this humidity! Can’t wait to hit the beach!