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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rabbit Food

I'm saying this very softly so the critters don't hear --doesn't this look like fabulous rabbit food? With all the horror stories I've read about rabbits in gardens surely Hoe & Shovel must not have any lettuce eating bunnies around or this tender bounty would be the talk of rabbit world.

To be truthful I have hardly been able to contain my excitement all day long. Right now I actually want to squeal quite loudly that THIS IS MY FIRST EVER HARVEST of lettuce.

In a round about way that is...

I had been putting it off but it was definitely time to thin the lettuce. Why is thinning so difficult for me? Uprooting perfectly good plants just doesn't seem right. Then I remind myself that pruning back perfectly good plants doesn't seem right either but it is necessary. So, thinning shall be done.

Because this is an above ground food I've been reasoning all along- why not wait a little longer then I can eat these tender greens instead of throwing them to the compost pile like all the other plants I've thinned.

One of my welcomed surprises is that it is growing at all actually. I purchased this variety because the seed packet states: Heatwave Blend. Risking that I had waited too late for success, I sowed the seeds anyway. It also states: sow seeds thinly... I think I didn't read that part well.

With the baby greens thinned out and then thoroughly washed, hubby and I were the only rabbits around here eating our greens for dinner. What a thrilling experience. From the garden to the table and one of my favorite meals to boot!

I left more lettuce than I should have in the ground... I'll be having salad again very soon. Then I guess I should let the lettuce get to maturity. Won't that be fun?

My Garden Helper

I've been keeping our 2 yr. old grandson a couple of days a week recently. Like most 2 yr. olds he is fascinated with water. He also seems fascinated with his Mimi's garden. I'm not picky, anyone who is fascinated with my garden, I'll chat your ear off about it. So I tell him what's what and he seems to care.

It's to be expected I don't get a whole lot of gardening done on the days he is with me. But he really likes to help me with the daily watering and he's especially happy to use his own watering can to do it.

Even more fun than watering are the rocks! ... in the bucket, out of the bucket... tossed in the air or squeezed up by the handful slowly allowing them to trickle through his pudgy little fingers. They keep him occupied long enough for me to get the tomatoes tied to their stakes and pull some weeds.
His sweet and innocent curiosity gives me indescribable joy and to imagine he might grow up to embrace gardening makes my heart swell with anticipation.


  1. Success!! You are growing your own food. Have you ever in your life tasted lettuce as tender and delicious as what you harvested from your own garden??

    And what a sweet little helper in your garden!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. My first grandchild will be one soon...I am so looking forward to being able to spend time in the garden with her. You are doing a wonderful thing for your grandson and creating wonderful memories...what a special grandma! And lovely lettuce too...he'll learn where food really comes from!

  3. Congrats on all that wonderful lettuce. And your grandson is adorable. I can't wait for my son (now almost 9 months) to toddle around with me in the garden. Enjoy!

  4. Aw, what a sweetie pie! My grandson likes to help in the garden too.

    I have (had?) lettuce planted in a container on the patio. It was just beginning to sprout. But the yard monkeys were at their dastardly business a couple days ago and pulverized most of the seedlings with their digging. I shoulda known better. They have no mercy.

    I'm trying again, this time with screening over the top of the container.

  5. This is so great! Bunnies don't come near my lettuce, either, thanks to the outdoor cat patrol, but the cats like to lie in the warm soil of the veggie beds, so they create their own hazards. How exciting that you have super-fresh lettuce to enjoy, and a wealth of gardening experience to share with your adorable grandson. What could be better than that?!

  6. Wondeful, Meems ! If the lettuce gets big enough use it for a quick lunch wrap with some rice, meat, veggies and sauce. Best eaten outdoors.

    Your grandson is adorable and you are raising him right :)

  7. What a great blog! Fellow floridian here from South Florida who enjoys seeing what grows in your garden . I get many ideas and inspiration from your lovely garden. thank you

  8. carol: We have a long way to go but it's a good start.

    That was THE best tasting salad I've (should I say ever?)eaten in a long time. Most tender and most delicious. Thanks for always encouraging... you are a true inspiration!

    Leslie: I am so much more patient with my grandchildren than I was with my own kids. Funny how it works that way. You are going to love it when yous gets out there with you... they want to know about everything.

    gardeness: Thanks. It won't be long for you... enjoy every moment... they grow up so fast.

    garden girl: Those rascally varmints... I am fortunate all the dozens of squirrels hang out in the front and back trees and none on the north side where my veggies are. That would have been a heartbreak had they dug up my garden.

    Ben Welcome to Hoe & Shovel. Cats are great for the keeping down the bunny population... maybe the strays around here are working that out for me... I have wondered if they might make use of the box for their own duties... yikes that would be really yuckie.

    Nancy: And your grandson is adorable too... I've seen his photo on your blog. They are just too much fun and so full of love and innocence!

    Carolyn: OOOOO... I can see it now...lettuce wraps with a tall glass of iced tea eaten on the back lanai while taking a lunch break from gardening. Yummy.

    Mario: well, thanks. I'm glad you visit and I'm glad you let me know... come back anytime... always love to hear from fellow Floridians.

  9. Gosh Meems, you made me hungry showing that beautiful lettuce.

    You are mightly blessed with that little garden helper.

  10. Great job on the lovely lettuce you have grown!! Nothing beats fresh.
    Your grandson is precious. I can't wait until my granddaughter can help me....she will be the brightest flower in the garden!

  11. Oh yum! I'm hoping to grow lettuce for the first time this year too :) Enjoy the fruits of all your hard labour!

    Your grandson is so sweet - the pictures bring back memories of when my children were that age, not so long ago.


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