Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Speaking out

Senator Rob Bradley and me.

The 2014 Clay County Delegation hearing


Each year the 3 elected officials to the Florida legislature representing Clay County—a senator and 2 representatives—hold a hearing before the legislative session begins. This year the committee work begins in January and the general session begins on March 4th. (The only date during the year that calls for action. Get it? March 4th.)

After introductions of the delegation members and their staff people, the normal agenda was interrupted for a heart-rending testimony of a mother holding her child with brain cancer pleading for more freedom in choosing medicines including restricted substances.

Then came the parade of the local elected officials from the county, the 3 incorporated towns, the school board, the clerk of court, and the supervisor of elections. They all made cases for more money for their various projects. The one surprise was the clerk of court's problem of the lower crime rate meaning less money in fines that are normally used to run the court.

Charitable groups like the Council on Aging, a group that works to employ people with disabilities, an orphanage, 2 groups that work with at risk children, a group that rehabs houses for veterans, and more also described their needs. A couple of people with cancer made their cases for medical use or restricted substances and that the exceptions shouldn't be just for children. A breast cancer survivor made the case for medical coverage of compression garments that are needed for people whose lymph glands have been removed during their cancer treatments. People from Keystone Heights (where the lakes are drying up) plead for more help to direct surplus water to their lakes. Someone wanted to ban all billboards from Florida.

For the past few years I've made a point of attending this hearing to be the one person speaking on behalf of Florida's native ecosystems. See my handout and summary of my remarks below.

It was a very long night. The hearing was supposed to be from 4pm to 6pm, but it lasted until 7:30pm.

I hope that you are speaking up for Mother Nature, too. She doesn't have paid lobbyists and needs all the advocates she can get.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt


Politicians and others working the room before the meeting starts.  More seats filled up when the session actually started.

Handout & summary of my presentation

Dec. 16, 2014
To: The Clay County Delegation
From: Ginny Stibolt  gstibolt@sky-bolt.com  904 XXX_XXX

Issue #1: Florida is the "Sunshine State."

As the nation's 3rd largest consumer of energy, Florida needs to develop smarter energy policies, which may not necessarily more profitable to the monopolies that run our power grid. In at least one district, when power consumption decreased the rates were jacked up to keep the stockholders happy. Power should be supplied as a public service in our society and the customers should not be used as a profit center. Florida is also 3rd in the nation for solar potential, but 18th for installed solar systems and by 2016 solar will reach grid parity.

As a step in the right direction, you passed the Florida Energy Act in 2006, which offered rebates to individuals and businesses to install solar systems. The funding has been gutted as approved by the appointed Public Service Commission, which has caved to the power companies' pressure. Scott appointed these people and the fact that 2 power companies have contributed more than $2,500,000 to Scott's campaign means that this commission works for the monopolies and not for the Public. Maybe it should be renamed the Power Company Service Board.

More than one power company has applied for fracking in Florida to find oil and gas for its power sources. Fracking is expensive, uses huge amounts of water mixed chemicals that will pollute our already stressed aquifers, and has caused sinkholes. Fracking should never be allowed in Florida, but you passed bills HB71 & HB 157 that allowed frackers to keep those polluting chemicals that they are mixing with the water a secret. The customers pay the bill for this exploration and environmental ruin. The irony here is that all this irreparable damage to Florida's fragile ecosystems to extract gas and oil would be totally unnecessary if the companies just switched to solar.

There has to be a way to organize the solar effort so that it works for the power companies, so that they never have to build another power plant. Instead they can manage a grid of solar panels: 1) that they install and own, such as in parking lots, 2) that they install on roofs and lease out to businesses or individuals, and 3) by putting privately owned panels on the grid with 2-way meters. If these utility companies don't get to charge their customers for new power plants, they may not make as much money for their shareholders. Shouldn't the public be served with fair policies for their power?

Issue #2: Amendment #1, funding of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund

75% of the voters passed this amendment, which as close to a mandate as we get around here. Do not gut the will of the people to preserve more of the Real Florida. Everyone knows that tourism is our largest job creator, but tourists are not going come to our state to visit a dried up spring, a polluted river cover with green slime, or to see yet another abandoned shopping center. So use the money as mandated and not for sewer systems that would allow even more development. Please don't undo other environmental funding because this money is again available. This is for new projects.

I'm appalled that more than 70 people showed up in Bradenton last week for a hearing of the 10 members of the Acquisition and Restoration Council that recommends land purchases for the Florida Forever conservation program, but the council members did not show. Even the council’s chairwoman, a high-ranking official with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, skipped the public hearing. How rude. The people of Florida deserve better from our state officials.

Issue #3: Redistricting

Why am I worried about your handling of Amendment #1? Because in 2010 63% of the voters passed the Fair Districts Amendment and you have spent more than $6,000,000 for legal fees, billed us for special sessions, used secret email accounts to bypass the constitution. And we still have District 5 that is the very definition of gerrymandering. Is this the best you can do?



Rob Bradley's response to redistricting:
The way the Fair Districts Amendment was written guarantees allowances for districts like District 5. I've known Rob for 10 years and worked with him when he was the lawyer for our special tax district that manages the lakes in our neighborhood. He was on the redistricting committee which had little choice in how that district was drawn. He said that the writers of the amendment either did not know the ramifications of the language or they lied about it—maybe both. Now it will be very difficult to change this situation since it's in our constitution.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Yard critters

A green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) jumped out of the beggar ticks (Bidens alba) that I had pulled from the front garden.
A bagworm (Oiketicus abbotii) is overwintering on a beautyberry bush.

Managing exuberance carefully

I allow some beggar ticks (Bidens alba) and snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea) to grow in restricted areas to attract all those pollinators. But in the fall, I harvest those that have escaped to other places in the landscape to reduce the population and weeding the next year, at least to some degree. So last week I started pulling and a cute green treefrog that was using these stems for shelter jumped out of the cart. And the frog is just the wildlife that is evident. There could be hundreds of bugs snuggled inside these stems for the winter. Instead of leaving these stalks out with the yard waste, I add them to various brush piles, so those insects will have a chance to make it through the winter. The songbirds also use the brush piles for shelter, so they may appreciate the seeds, and maybe even some of those hidden bugs. 

Nearby, I spotted this bagworm (probably Oiketicus abbotii) hanging from a beautyberry branch. This moth is different than most, in that it gathers plant parts to stick to itself as a caterpillar to build protection. When its ready to pupate, it glues its portable shelter to a secure location and seals itself inside. When the female reaches the adult phase, she will be flightless and will emit pheromones to attract males. When a male arrives, they mate inside her sack where she lays her eggs and dies. The new larvae feed on her remains and other food that she's stored there. When ready, the new larvae head out on their own, often on a long strings of silk that balloon in the wind so the larvae swing away from each other. Isn't Mother Nature amazing?


Fall goldenrods! 


I planted seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)  this spring thinking it would be similar to the sweet goldenrod  (S. ordora), which volunteers in my yard, but no. It bloomed later in the season and it attracted a different set of bees. Normally I see carpenter bees with their shiny abdomens, but these are real bumble bees (probably Bombus impatiens).
An insect wove an overwintering shelter within the flattop goldenrod (Euthamia caroliniana) inflorescence, so I'll leave this stalk standing, and if I'm lucky, I'll find out what's inside this cocoon.

The spiny orbweaver!

Spiny orbweaver (Gasteracatha cancriformis): I found this beautiful spider doing her work in a gap on the far side of our driveway. 
We loved seeing this beautiful little spider and the hand lens came in handy to see her up close. It's been a couple of weeks since I took these photos, but she occupies this same gap in the trees in our mostly wild area on the far side of the driveway. We've had some high wind events and a frost, but she's still out there. She has had to reweave her orb at least 4 or 5 times since we've been aware of her, but she may have been there for months before that.

The markings on her back look sorta like a smiley face and those 6 red spines look fierce. Isn't this a cool find? Of course, the reason we have all of the critters is that we have used no landscape-wide pesticides since 2004. If you'd like to improve habitat for birds in your yard, you must invite the bugs. It's time to break that poison cycle. Read my post: A poison is a poison is a poison for details on the whys and hows.

I called my husband out to see her. She's small, so this hand lens is useful. Suspended above my garden glove, you can see how small she is.

The sun makes the seeds of this bluestem grass (Andropogon sp.)
shimmer. How beautiful.

The Disney Wildlife Preserve

Last Saturday I headed down to Kissimmee to the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wildlife Preserve for a Florida Native Plant Society board meeting. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. The morning presentation was really interesting, the pot luck lunch was an eclectic collection of yummy stuff, and then in the afternoon I met with Marjorie Shropshire to talk through the plans for the next book. Marjorie illustrated both "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida" and "The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape," which will be released in August 2015. Now we are working on the proposal for book #4. Stay tuned for more details.

Our discussion was delayed while we took photos of this wonderful Florida praying mantid. It was near my shoulder, so I felt like Jiminy Cricket was there to give me advice. "Don't poison your landscape," she whispered in my ear.
A Florida praying mantid (Stagmomantis floridensis) behind my shoulder at the Disney Wildlife Preserve.
Marjorie took this photo because I did not want to disturb this magnificent insect.

Seasonal colors

Here in north Florida, we don't get the rich fall colors that you see farther north, but the Virginia creeper (Pathenocissus quinquefolia) lights up the landscape. And its blue berries feed the winter birds.
Even in Florida, there is some color as we move into winter. Virginia creeper provides reliable color and the way it is festooned across the vegetation, it make everything look festive. And speaking of that, I wish you and yours a bountiful Thanksgiving. I hope you'll be able to provide at least some of your family's meal from your edible garden.

Green gardening matters,
Ginny Stibolt

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lime basil

Lime basil took over my early lettuce rows. I'd grown it here last year and now I know that it's an abundant reseeder. I'd let it grow since early September when I set up these 2 rows, but now it was time to give the lettuce and the beets more room.
Abundant harvest of lime basil! I shared some with 2
new neighbors and then made a pesto with the rest of it.
The standard sweet Italian basil doesn't do well here with our hot, humid summers. It is prone to various wilt and fungal diseases, which forces growers to harvest it early. So on a whim I bought some lime basil seed from Burpee Seeds a couple of years ago. It not only makes it through the summers, it also reseeds, so it's unlikely that I'll need to purchase more seed any time soon.

The taste really does have a distinct lime overtone. I use it in the same as I do for regular basil, but since its flavor is strong, there are some dishes that I have learned to use less of it.

So this happened...

I planted an early crop of lettuce, beets, and a few white radishes at the beginning of September. It was a little too early for the lettuces and only a few seeds germinated, but the lime basil, which had been planted in this bed the year before loved the new planting rows and volunteered there.

When it became obvious that the lettuce crop would be lacking, I planted some more seed, but I left the basil in place. Well, the basil took over the whole area, as you can see in the top photo, so it was time to give the lettuce some light and room. I did not want to disturb the roots, so I cut off the stalks just above ground level and this made for an abundant harvest. I gave half of it away to two new neighbors and made pesto with the other half. In this pesto, I used equal amounts of garlic chives and basil—in addition to the onion and other ingredients. (You can see how I make pesto in my post: A field trip, A Florida native plant hero, & a pasta salad.) This time I used about a third of the pesto for a Mediterranean pasta salad and I froze the rest.

Now, the lettuce and other crops have more room to grow. Some lettuce, like the black-seeded Simpson have been mostly harvested. A week after cutting off the lime basil, it is already sprouting, but frost will kill it in December. 
These containers of pesto will allow us to enjoy this harvest when there is no fresh basil available from the garden.

I love the loose leaf salad blend. So pretty and so tasty. I had already harvested some of the red butter leaf  lettuce leaves from the outside of the plant, but you can hardly tell. Some oakleaf lettuce is making a good start for a later. harvest

One parsley plant left from last year's crop. Normally, this is a biennial and takes 2 years to complete its life cycle, but here in north Florida, our season is so long that parsley sets flowers in the same season as it is planted. But this one plant that was grown in a container did not, so now I have a little fresh parsley to use early in the season. My new crop has sprouted, but it will be a couple of months before it's established enough for picking.
We don't have any citrus plants in our yard, but many of our neighbors have too much. Ample Harvest is a matching service for people who have too much of a good thing with organizations that can use the surplus. How sustainable!

Time to turn the compost pile

With all the fall leaf supply, it was time to turn the compost pile. Looking from pile B toward pile A. The okra stalks have not rotted in the compost pile A yet, but they will.
With the abundance of fallen leaves, it was time to turn the pile. Besides, the old pile was almost cleaned out and I needed the compost from the bottom of pile A (near the shed). I scraped the rest of the compost from pile B (near the cement pad) and put it in the old wheel barrow. I laid in about 6" of raked leaves for the floor, and added alternating layers of 1) unfinished compost from pile A, 2) raked leaves, and 3) thin dusting of finished compost from the wheelbarrow. After the finished compost layer I poured a watering can of rain barrel water.

Since the turning, I've added a layer of kitchen scraps and more leaves. I will continue to add layers of alternating green and brown materials until the end of the year and then let it rest until spring when the whole process will begin again.

As expected at the bottom of the pile A, there was a good supply of moist, rich, finished compost. I'm using this compost to enrich the winter veggies beds (which you can see in the above photos), store some of it in a bin (next to the potting bench) for winter use, and use the rest of it to topdress my recently planted woody plants and others that I want to push a little more. While I never put amendments in the planting holes, a layer of compost laid outside the root ball area several times during the first couple of years after planting will entice the trees' roots to grow outward. Wide-spreading roots make plants more wind-tolerant and more drought tolerant and this is important in Florida where we have and 7-month dry season each year and tropical storms on a regular basis.


Native flowers

Oh my! It's hard to beat the dune sunflowers for beauty and durability. This one is part of our mailbox planting. This one plant has spread across the whole bed and has lasted for 3 years. I trim it back to keep it within its boundaries and use those cuttings to make new plants.

Our state wildflower!

I renewed my membership in the Florida Wildflower Foundation and they sent me seeds with my new card. I've sowed these seeds in a meadow area and look forward to seeing more of these cheerful tickseed flowers in the spring.

I trust that you are enjoying your fall gardening.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

A beautiful sunrise as reflected in the St. Johns River. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beautyberry bread

Gathering the berries. I used only the ones at the ends of the branches because they
are the last to ripen.

I robbed the birds!

Many birds feast on our beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) including mockingbirds, catbirds, and cardinals.  So I felt guilty removing even one cup of their winter berry supplies, even though I have a dozen bushes plus more berries on the wax myrtles. But I saw a recipe for beautyberry cake in Peggy Lantz's new book, Florida's Edible Wild Plants and wanted to try it. I tasted a few berries right off the bush. They were fairly bland and only slightly sweet.

It didn't take long to gather the 1 cup of berries...
I modified Peggy's recipe to fit with the ingredients that I had on hand and added nuts and sunflower seeds to make it more of a bread.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup old fashion oatmeal (Peggy used wheatgerm)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (Instead of the vanilla and nutmeg, she used ground ginger root)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar (Peggy used honey and molasses)
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup beautyberries, washed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and shelled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease one 9" x 5" loaf pan. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, in a separate bowl mix the eggs, sugar, oil and hot water, add the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and then fold in the beautyberries, nuts and seeds. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until the bread cracks on top.

Verdict: The bread was dark, moist, and quite tasty. Both my husband and I liked it, but neither of us could really taste  beautyberries in the bread and wouldn't know they were there except for getting occasional seeds stuck in our teeth. It's sorta like carrot cake where you can't really figure out where the carrots went, but you can still count it as a serving of vegetables anyway. :-)

The bread is beautiful: as it should be. Hot out of the oven, the pat of butter melts readily. For
subsequent slices, we'll zap them in the microwave for 45 seconds.

Out and about...

A Muscovy duck and a large brood in a Chick fil-A parking lot. Hey what's in those sandwiches anyway?

A mound of mushrooms at the foot of a live oak tree is beautiful in the morning light.

Root beer anyone?? How's this for a catbriar tuber? We were clearing an overgrown area at the edge of the elevated drainfield for the septic system. The catbriar (Smilax ssp.) vines were as thick as my thumb, so I knew there was a tuber, but I did not expect one this big.

The other day, the skies were filled with a wide variety of cloud types. Beautiful.
October is supposed to be one of our 5 wet months, but the dry season has started early this year with not only no rain, but also record heat. We only received 1/2 an inch of rain early in the month and none since then. (The 30-year average rainfall in October for our area is 3.86".)  Don't forget to water your winter vegetables and if you've planted new trees and shrubs this year, be sure to give them extra irrigation as we move into winter so they'll get a good start on their spring leaves.

And most important, vote green and YES to Florida's Amendment #1.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gardeners know when to "fold"

Gardeners are gamblers

We plant seeds or seedlings and we bet that we'll end up with a bountiful harvest, but it doesn't always happen that way. So when a crop is in distress, we need to yank it out and move on to something else. Case in point: our fall cucumber crop that I talked about last time. We had a pretty good harvest of 20 or so crispy cukes, but the vines got hit with a blight, so it was time to pull them out even though there were small fruits coming along and frost will not come until late December. The vines would not be able to overcome this fungus, and the longer you leave an ailing plant in the garden, the more likely it is to leave tainted soil behind. So I pulled the vines, gathered all the fallen leaves, and put them out with the yard trash. I never put diseased plants in the compost. We have to know when to fold, just like the old gambler...
"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
"Know when to walk away and know when to run..."

Even though there were more cukes coming, I ripped them out. Fall blight...

Eat your seeds!

Eat the seeds!
We enjoyed a lovely acorn squash for dinner the other night and I also prepared the seeds for eating.
Separate from the squash flesh, cook for 10 minutes in about a half an inch of salted water, and then place the seed/saltwater slurry on a cookie sheet to dry. I turn my oven to 300 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn it off, leaving the seeds in the warm oven for an hour. You can also dry the seeds in the hot afternoon sun. Of course, this is also fun to do with pumpkin seeds, which you may have on hand very soon.
Add a little salt to about 1/2 an inch of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the seeds onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Put in a cold oven, turn the heat to 300 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn off. After an hour, delicious seeds to eat.

Snags are so important for bluebirds and other wildlife.

 

Snags, stumps, and logs

Whenever possible leave this deadwood in your landscape to provide food and shelter for bluebirds and other wildlife.

I covered this in my upcoming book, "The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape." Marjorie Shropshire, my excellent illustrator, created a lovely drawing to illustrate the concept.

I turned in all the drawings and their captions into University Press of Florida this week. This was the last piece of the puzzle; I'd already turned in the final draft, the color photos and captions, the B&W photos and captions, and a collection of possible cover photos, so now the ball is in their court. Yay!


I hope you are enjoying the excellent gardening weather. Just remember, if you are planting trees or shrubs that this is the beginning of our dry season and extra irrigation will be needed for the best success.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

Sunrise this morning. How can you not love Florida sunrises?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cole crops

Don't plant too many cabbages at one time.
While they are easy enough to grow, do you and
your family need 20 of these beauties all at once?

Do you know cabbage?

Cole crops are all the cabbage crops derived from a single species of Brassica oleracea. (Kohl is the German word for cabbage.)

The cultivars are divided into seven or eight major groups (depending upon the authority) that are grouped according to form.
-Acephala group--kale, collard greens and ornamental cabbages.
-Alboglabra group--Chinese broccoli and obscure pot herbs.
-Botrytis group--cauliflower, broccoli and broccoflower
-Capitata group--cabbages: red, green and Savoy
-Gemmifera group--Brussels sprouts
-Gongylodes group--kohlrabi (German for cabbage apple)
-Italica group--Italian broccoli, sprouting broccoli, purple cauliflower. This group includes the looser headed varieties.
-Tronchuda group--tronchuda kale and cabbage, Portuguese kale, braganza.

This is probably more than you wanted to know, but there it is and now you know why a cabbage salad is called cole slaw.

The main curd of broccoli is only the start... Leave the plant in place for...
come-again broccoli for the rest of the season. Cabbages can grow back after harvesting or
like this plant grown from a cabbage heart.

While we are waiting for the winter crops, we are enjoying the
fall cucumbers, sugar snap peas and the last of the okra..
Organic Methods for Vegetable
 Gardening in Florida

Now is the time to start your fall/winter crops in Florida.

Cole crops are only one group of plants to start now, you can also start lettuces, beets, chards, carrots, dill, and more. For more details, buy the book.

I'm a tree hugger, for sure!

Tree hugger!

In case it hasn't been obvious, I have been a tree hugger my whole life, so I will be voting "YES" on Florida's Amendment #1 in November. Monies that had been set aside in a trust by Jeb Bush in 1999 to purchase important and environmentally significant lands in Florida have been used for other expenditures by our current governor and legislature. Plus some of the lands that had already been set aside in the Florida Forever program, were put up for sale. Amendment #1 will change things so that politicians will not be able to do this again.Please join me in this vote--it's extremely important for the future of Florida's fragile ecosystems.



Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny




Saturday, August 30, 2014

Garlic chives, a bountiful evergreen crop

The evergreen garlic chives supplies plenty of fresh greens all year. At the top of the photo on the left, you can see how big the spaghetti squash plants are that I talked about last time and the okra just is going nuts. We are harvesting several each day, which is a good thing...
Harvest with a sharp knife or scissors with a cut near the soil level.

Garlic chives!

A few years back when researching crops for Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida, I bought some garlic chives seeds (Allium tuberosum) and planted them next to my meadow garlic bed. (2 perennial crops together makes sense when everything else in my edible beds is changed up several times a year.) At first I was disappointed that only 3 or 4 seeds sprouted, but now I don't know what I'd do with any more. It's been amazing. We can use it all year long.

We use it in soups, salads, stir fries, dips, pestos, and more.  The other day I needed a pesto, but most of my lime basil* had been harvested, so I made up the difference with 7 or 8 bunches of garlic chives. It turned out very well. My recipe for pesto is in the Organic Methods book, it is more of a pesto sauce that's ready to use than the standard pestos. (*The lime basil seems to last better in our summers than the standard sweet basil and its citrusy flavor works well for our recipes.)

While the common name, garlic chives, is descriptive of the onion/garlic taste, this is on the garlic side of the genus with its flat leaves. Chives is on the onion side and its leaves are hollow. I grow chives as well and we love the subtle flavor, but chives does not take to cooking at all. It's always good to have some choices.

I cut off whole sections to use. There's plenty for us throughout the year.

I planted some of my cool-weather crops the other day after several mornings with temperatures well below 70 degrees. It's probably a little early, but I'm anxious to see how these rainbow carrots do. Very cute packaging, but will the carrots live up to their wrapper?

Predators in the yard!

So I was out back working to clear some encroaching vegetation from the path and caught a movement out of the corner of my eye into this mound of sand at the edge of the lawn area. Of course I had my camera in my pocket, so I hunkered down with my camera ready to shoot whatever emerged from the hole. It was not surprising that it was a huge cicada killer when you look at the size of her sand mound.

There were several nests lined up along the edge of the lawn out back. To host these beneficial insects in your landscape, use no landscape-wide insecticide of any kind and leave some of your property unplanted and unmulched. For more information on cicada killers see this post from IFAS

A cicada killer female emerges from her expansive underground nest.
The volume of soil removed for the nest is amazing. See the runway across the top of the mound just above the tips of my fingers. Nests can be up to 4' long with 16 cells—one for each egg/larva.
And while we are talking about wasps...
Paper wasps are also effective predators in the landscape, but their nests are well above the ground. This nest hangs on a dog fennel stem in a vacant lot across the street.

As seen in Clay Today...

My fungus article for Clay Today's Oakleaf Magazine is on page 23.

Sunrise at Jacksonville Beach the other day. I loved the reddish sunlight on the sea oats.

A Florida moon shot... 2 flyers. As I was snapping a shot of this heron, a mullet jumped just at the right time. :-)

I hope you're ready for your cool weather crops and I strongly urge you to try some garlic chives so you can always have something fresh from the garden for your salads, pestos, and stir fries.

Happy Labor Day and I hope that any labor your are doing for the holiday is in the garden.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt