Fresh Peach Pie and Lemon Growth

My UF Sun Peaches are only a few months from ripening. I can't wait!!!!! I made this peach pie yesterday as a practice run for when my peaches are ready for pie. It turned out great and the recipe is below. It got a lattice top with sugar and an egg wash.
Fruit grows from the middle of each blossom, so above you can see a green, fuzzy, baby peach growing from the middle of the flower that is ready to fall off.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this baby meyer lemon that I've been watching for a few weeks. They grow so slowly...when you watch them. :)
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1 box refrigerated pie crusts
2 bags fresh frozen peach, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Use glass pie pan.
2. In large bowl, gently mix all ingredients. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Cut and top pie with lattice crust. See Youtube for lattice
3. Bake 20 mins then brush egg wash over crust and sprinkle with more sugar. Bake another 15-25 mins or until golden brown and bubbly. I used a pie crust guard during the last half of baking.


Eagle in Palm City

My friend and I saw an Eagle in the cemetary behind my house today. We got a few messy shots. There was a guy pulled over on the side of the road taking photos. He had noticed that the eagle had a squirrel in it's talons. This is the first time I've ever seen an eagle here in Palm City.

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Dog Chases Crow in Porch

Tinsel found a crow in the porch this morning. It was not the brightest crow I've ever seen. This might be the guy responsible for eating all my sunflower seeds before they germinated.

Plants at Universal Studios in Orlando

We stayed at Universal last weekend. It was one of the first warm weekends we've had all season, so we went to CityWalk and Islands of Adventure. I was surprised to see that Universal's Brugmansia (Angel's Trumpets) were looking worse than mine! It made me feel better.

Above... This is a photo of a corridor at one of the three Universal resorts. I was VERY surprised to see dozens of these Angels Trumpets lining the dog walk. These plants and flowers can be lethal to both dogs and humans.

Here are some pretty ginger and philodendron on the path that runs between the parks. Orlando has seen some very cold nights recently, so these are tropical cold-hardy plants.
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Update on the Queen Palm Seeds

Here's a current photo of a baby queen palm tree (Syagrus romanzoffiana) that I began nurturing back in august 2008.

This baby tree has been growing in the incubator area for over a year. Each summer, the queen palms send out seed pods that are quite a nuisance to South Florida homeowners. This tree is from one of those seeds. After the seeds have fallen, they rot for a few months and become brown (like the photo below)

Once they turn brown, the seeds germinate and litter the yard with baby palm trees. Below is a photo from Aug 2008 immediately after some of the orange seeds fell all over.

I saved a couple of the germinated seeds from an earlier bloom. Here's the photo of two of the young seedlings I decided to nurture.

Here's how the tree looks today. Pretty nice looking tree given that it had frizzle top disease a few years ago.

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Hail Storm in Palm City, FL

We had a 10 minute high impact storm last week that brought small hail and 60-70 mph gusts. A few neighbors (and me) think we had a mini funnel cloud. I was scared and the dog flipped out. I took a quick video immediately following the storm. It was 70-80 degrees outside with hail...so weird.

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UF Sun Peach Progress

Despite the recent hail and huge winds, the UF Sun Peach tree is doing great!!!

Hopefully, the young peaches will hold on for a few more months. I can't wait!

Shown in this photo is:
- a blossom that has not yet bloomed
- one that is about to drop off to reveal a baby peach
- a fuzzy, green, baby peach

The stone fruits are supposed to ripen in May and this variety is a low-chill variety. As opposed to a grocery store variety that requires a greater number of chill hours, this specially bred variety requires only 100 chill hours.

Chill Hours:
n. The number of hours a plant must be exposed to temperatures between 32ºF and 45ºF before it will break dormancy.
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34 degrees in South Florida

The temp has been in the low 30s all night. It's 34 here at about 7:30am. I don't think I'll be gardening today. By the way, we are "Coastal South Florida," so, this weather in March is unheard of. Back in January, the Miami Weather Service says we are amidst the longest period of cold weather since 2001....it's now March and we are breaking all kinds of records.


How to Propagate Mint

Here's a quick comment about two ways to get free mint plants after just 4 weeks of little to no effort.

This is a variety of mint called orange mint. I like it because it's milder that regular mint and it has a citrusy aroma....which makes it PERFECT for my summer cocktail favorites....mojitos and screwdrivers.

Instructions for propagating mint:

Pick off a few 6 inch sprigs of mint from the main plant. Place them in a small cup half-filled with water and place on a window sill. Change the water every two days for 2-3 weeks. Plant each sprig in a pot and in less than a month, new mint leaves will begin to grow. That's how to propagate mint.
In the photo above, each skinny white root is the new. They grow from the nodes.

Easiest way to Propagate Mint

Perhaps the easiest way to propagate mint is to place the 6 inch sprig directly into soil. I put a few clumps of mint into this pot and in two months there was twice as much mint.



Here's an August photo of more orange mint, all from the same 2006 plant. If not contained, it will invade grass. I always keep it contained. Since it spreads by way of underground runners, I suggest checking to make sure it doesn't pop up on the other side of fences and bricks.
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