Attention Shoppers

When you’re standing in the midst of rows and rows of luscious flowers and plants, herbs and vegetables I warn you:  TAKE CAUTION—your desire may outweigh your energy.

At least mine does!  Kinda like my “eyes are bigger than my stomach” syndrome, my desire for fabulous vegetables fresh from the garden can outweigh my energy level—to weed, plant, mulch and feed them all.  Especially fall and spring here in Central Florida.  It’s our planting seasons. 

How do I know?  Well, this weekend I found myself in the garden for more hours than I had planned and while this isn’t particularly unusual for a woman like me (multi-tasker extraordinaire, 4000 sq. ft. garden), it was still eye-opening.  I had a babysitter for the evening–I had places to go, a husband to talk to, dinners (I didn’t cook) to eat!  I didn’t have time to toil away in the garden, I was busy, busy, busy!

But much like standing before a sumptuous buffet on a cruise ship, I couldn’t help myself as I shopped, piling more plants and flowers into my basket until I could barely fit them in the back-end of my suburban. 

“Ohhh…look at that lavender!  (Grabbed one.) Those cabbage are absolutely delectable.  (Snatched up two.) And garlic–is it that time already?”

Add a few shallots, some more scallions and oh what the heck, why not get a head start on my sweet onions?  (Toss in a little brown bag-full.)  Sure I’ve already ordered two hundred-count bunches from my neighborhood seed shop—so what?  These will go in earlier and mature earlier which will amount to an endless harvest of sweet buttery onions!  Mmmmm….

You can see how it happens.  It’s easy to fall prey.  So please, take a word of advice from an overachiever and make a list—before you go.  Buy only what you need, but do bring an extra bag with you.  Like those dastardly buy one-get ones at my local supermarket, I can’t help myself when I see a great deal and this time of year—you’ll see plenty.  From the sweet savory onion bulbs calling your name to the fresh green herbs thick and full, you’ll have more than enough to choose from.  And don’t forget the mulch, weed protection, fertilizer…

They all equate to more time and more energy!  Great when you have it, not so much when you don’t.  But in the end, it’s worth it.  My garden is healthy and happy and I think is the most beautiful sight to behold.  Corn, limas, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, squash, lettuce, garlic, onions (scallions, sweets and shallots!), pumpkins, cantaloupe, okra, sweet potatoes…

And this is only the beginning!  Wait until I get my hands on some golden papas!  Then we’re talking cream of the crop!  Healthy French fries, roasted quarters, mashed, baked—you name it, the skye’s the limit.