If you’re anything like the rest of the world, right now, you are probably sitting around at home and could be just throwing everything you see in your mouth! Wow, at the amount of food people are consuming as almost a coping mechanism to make it through the “new world” we’ve run into. There is a way around that though!
No, I’m not talking about going on a diet. I’m talking about being present in what you are doing. Its all about being mindful. What is Mindfulness? Well, you can read more at a previous Mindfulness Series blog but it is paying attention to what is going on around us in a way that allows us to respond rather than react. By stuffing our faces, we are reacting. We are not thinking about what we are doing and we are just jumping to some sort of reaction. Responding as a way of eating is thinking through how we feel and making a decision of how we really want to act as a response to our feelings.
How do you mindfully eat?
By mindfully eating, we are taking food into our hand and noticing all of the things about it. You should notice its smell, touch, sight, sound, and give it a minute, we’ll get to that tasting part. Try this out on a strawberry. Of course you see it, but you can smell its sweetness and feel the ripples of the seeds on the outside of its skin. The sound of it can be heard as you place it into your mouth and begin to bite down. You can finally experience its taste. And once you do, you’ll think back through all of those senses again. You can notice the feel of the strawberry on your tongue, the sounds of you chewing, the smells from biting into it. As you do this, try cutting out your sight – close your eyes and just experience the strawberry.
Do you really want more?
I have adults try this with a Hershey kiss before – the tin wrapper, the smooth chocolate. They really didn’t even want to eat another piece of chocolate after that one just because they filled all of their needs in that one experience! Now, I’m not saying that you need to go into this much detail with every bite you take but eating mindfully is something you should try to practice.
It takes practice
Every time you lift your hand to your mouth, try and apply your senses to only that. Don’t start thinking about why you really should be eating quickly or what you have to do this afternoon. Try to push all of those thoughts away. It’s not bad that you’re having those thoughts, its just a natural habit that we tend to have. Every time you decide you’re “hungry” try to start with a mindful eating practice in mind. When your mind wanders, remind yourself of the taste, touch, smell of your food.
For a more detailed script of mindful eating, click here: Mindful Eating Fact Sheet.
February 17, 2022
Thank you. You have prepared a good guide. Congratulations.
February 16, 2022
In 2020 we removed a ficus hedge from the side of the house to build a raised planter there and noticed a curious little vine growing. I left it to see what it was. It ended being a vigorous and beautiful bleeding heart vine. It was so being so big and healthy it grew over 2 tomato cages tall (I wired them together and tied it to the fence) and then across to my garden planter.. it worked out at first because it gave extra sprawling space for my beans but they tore apart in windy weather. A few months ago the bleeding heart vine seeded and I wasn't sure how they propagate so I shared some seed pods (?) with friends who wanted to experiment and see if they could get them to grow.... I just cut it back last weekend since it didn't do that well through the frosts we had a few weeks ago. I covered the base but that was it. I think it'll do fine growing back - it seems very vigorous. Besides pollinators, I've also seen hummingbirds visit the plant. I'm in 10b.
February 15, 2022
Thanks for your feedback Patti! Yes, this plant can certainly be a challenge, but with the right conditions (think shade and forest) we believe it might have a chance here. Thanks for mentioning your bleeding heart vine. This is a lovely plant. It is not related to the Dicentra specatbilis, but is Clerodendrum thomsoniae. This vine is sub-tropical and grows in zones 9-11 normally. It can be "friendly" as you move down the state and require some maintenance to keep it in check. For North Florida, it can be a lovely vining addition to the garden and should do very well.
February 14, 2022
While I’ve heard this particular variety doesn’t do too good in Nassau Co, I’m having great success with bleeding heart vine! It’s surviving the frosts and still shoes green leaves.
November 29, 2021
Yes, that is the plan. We usually accept applications beginning in April.
September 23, 2021
Will the next year MG program be around the same time of year, July-Oct? Very much interested in the program! Stacey Bowen
September 21, 2021
Thank you for this blog. I have been trying to figure out what kind of pear tree we have. I live in Winchester Virginia and because of your blog, I realize our tree is a Sand Pear. I've been calling them Asian Pears but they are not like the ones in the store. Your description fits them perfectly. Our horses have loved them and my grandchildren and I occasionally eat them but when we bought our property, the owners said there was no fruit trees on the property. I have been trying to figure out how to reduce the grittiness of them. Any suggestions?
September 10, 2021
Pat, it would be wonderful if you'd pass on your mother's recipe. There are many people here who'd carry on making her preserves!
September 10, 2021
The Hernando Co cannery at the corner of Cr 491 and Hwy 98 holds private and public canning classes every week. Contact them!
August 13, 2021
Hi Jared, I'd be happy to arrange this
August 13, 2021
Hi Kathy I just came across this article and reply. Pears are abundant and ready now! Feel free to call me 954.707.3844
July 18, 2021
You can order many species of milkweed plants (seeds, seedlings, cuttings, etc.) on etsy. Just type in the species name in the search bar. Many FL nurseries grow and ship them. :)
July 4, 2021
I grew up in Lecanto in the 60s and 70s. Still in the area trying to learn how to can these pears.
June 22, 2021
Check out Green Isle Gardens. It is a wholesale/retail nursery in central FL.
June 7, 2021
Are Sand Pears the same as Asian Pears that we have in California?
May 10, 2021
Would love to get washtub of sandpears for pear relish.if you have customers list plz add me
April 30, 2021
KELLIE Converse, I am in Mobile County, AL and I am interested in some cuttings and seed/fruit this year if you are not too far.
April 30, 2021
Kathy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 30, 2021
Application for volunteer please(Mrs. Heather)
April 9, 2021
Where can I buy Native (central Fl) Milkweed? My local nurseries don't seem to carry it
March 30, 2021
DO YOU HAVE ANY FRUIT THIS YEAR ANY DO YOU SELL IT LOOKING TO BUY A TREE BUT CAN,T FIND ANY OR SALE. THANKS
March 15, 2021
Thank you Mary! Yes, being different is a good thing :)
March 14, 2021
Very encouraging and thought provoking thoughts. I am considered different by some.
February 27, 2021
Did you get some? I’m in Brandon lol
December 7, 2020
Hi Liz, Any chance, do you have any sand pears available this year? I’ll be happy to purchase some. I’m trying to find at most 5-10 pounds.
December 7, 2020
Hi DeAnna, Any chance, do you have any sand pears available this year? I'll be happy to purchase some. I'm trying to find at most 5-10 pounds. My girlfriend's mom makes a desert with them every Christmas, but unfortunately her trees didn't produce any fruit this year.
September 22, 2020
I did this in class in Agri. it was so much fun, and the pears tasted so good.
September 11, 2020
would you happen to be on griffin ave near uncle donalds farm? if so i know right where you are and yes you have a lot of pears. i would like to buy some from you. my number is three five two 418 ten 48. call or txt me if you are looking to get rid of some. thank you sooooo much.
September 10, 2020
I have two sand pear trees that are full. You can come pick as much as you want. We don’t really use many. We are located in Chiefland.
September 8, 2020
iv never had them are they good ;p
August 29, 2020
Did you get some clippings? I have 7 or 8 old pear trees on my property in North Florida you can get clippings from. They are getting old and show age and I have been thinking of starting new ones to continue on.
August 27, 2020
You could also make wine with the pears, it's not that difficult it just takes some organization and doing things on time.. and waiting.
August 25, 2020
Victoria, You should be able to grow sand pears in your area. Check with your local nurseries for varieties in your area.
August 14, 2020
Do pears grow in Central Florida ? I love planting, and I have several Arbequina olive trees, and citrus in our backyard. Thank you. Victoria Blocker in Valrico, Florida 33596 email@example.com
August 4, 2020
Hello Becky, we have pear trees that are loaded down with fruit. We would be willing to share some with you! We live in Milton Florida.
August 1, 2020
Liz, I would like to buy 20 or 30 lbs of these sand pears, you name the price and I will pay the freight. We had a big Sand Pear tree at our farm in Oklahoma 50 years ago. My mom made the best Pear Preserves I have ever eaten, I have her recipe and would love to make those preserves again before I die. I am 87 years old now, so I don't have much time
July 27, 2020
Hi Mr. Williams, Sounds like the plants are reproducing in your field. Even if there are only one or two peanut pods per plant that is enough to sustain the population. You may find pods or nuts later in the season! It will depend on plant competition and soil fertility. Don't expect harvestable yields out of these plants. Peanuts require considerable calcium inputs to form nuts which is usually provided through the application of gypsum. If you discover nuts later in the season they may be easily crushed with your fingers and smaller compared to the peanuts grown for commercial production due to the lack of calcium.
July 20, 2020
This is a very old, tried and true recipe. I'd also love to find some of the hard pears to make this again. I never tried it with the soft, grocery store pears; I think it would be mushy. HOMEMADE PEAR RELISH -- we used a meat grinder, it should be a chunky consistency like store-bought relish. Sorry, I don't remember how many canning jars we used, and you'll need a huge pot to mix it in. 4 Quarts Peeled and Ground Pears (about 30 pears) = 16 cups after peeled and ground 2 Quarts Yellow Onions (about 7 large) = 8 cups after peeled & ground 8 Green Bell Peppers - remove seeds 2 Red Bell Peppers - remove seeds 12 Dill Pickles 1 Cup Salt 2 Jalapeno Peppers - remove seeds 8 TBLS Sifted Flour 4 Cups Sugar 2 TBLS Turmeric 6 TBLS Dry Mustard 2 Quarts Dark Vinegar 1) Grind pears, onions, peppers and pickles. Mix together, Add salt and let stand for 1/2 hour. Drain well. In a large pot:, 2.) Mix dry ingredients and some vinegar to make a smooth paste, then add remaining vinegar to the paste. Stir and boil for 5 minutes. 3.) Turn off the heat and add ground pears, onions, peppers and pickles and mix well. Let stand 3-5 minutes. 4.) Pour into canning jars while hot. 5.) Enjoy! Makes a great gift.
July 15, 2020
Start in containers. This way you can find where each will work best. Florida growing season is backwards from everywhere else. Fall is a great time to plant most things due to warmer winters. Summer is really great for tomatoes, eggplant, okra. And all kinds of herbs.
July 15, 2020
I have peanuts that were planted about 8 years ago and plants still appear but don't make peanuts. I dug one plant yesterday and there were not nuts. The ground has laid fallow ever since the first planting. I intend to wait till the tops turn yellow and hope there are nuts later in the summer. Question: Should I expect to harvest any nuts from these plants?
July 9, 2020
Many have this fungus especially if red cedar trees are nearby. They host the fungus. Our tree has it bad most years but not this year.
July 9, 2020
I get to pick some on an empty lot near my daughter's house near Loxley, AL Could I possibly get your recipe for the relish. I love making chutney and preserves. Making a pear, cranberry and walnut bread tomorrow. Already made pear and blueberry preserves.
July 7, 2020
Karlton, they are probably milkweed bugs, https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/nassauco/2017/06/15/q-black-red-insect-milkweed-plant/. They will feed on the plant, but typically don't do too much damage. Because monarchs use the plants, we don't recommend chemicals to control them. You can pick them off if you want or just leave them alone.
June 19, 2020
June 19, 2020
https://wilmotgardens.med.ufl.edu/programming/about-therapeutic-horticulture-at-uf/ This link is FYI Good job
June 17, 2020
I have non-native milk weed plants in my yard. Every summer there are black and orange/red bugs that eat all the leaves. These flying bugs don’t seem to bother other plants. What should I do about them. Thank you.
June 11, 2020
wow, awesome blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.
June 2, 2020
I spoke with our fruit specialist in Central FL and she said that growing blueberries that far south could be a challenge. It really depends on how many chill hours you get. We figure you probably get 0-50. Most blueberries need around 100-150 hours to do well. If we were going to try a couple of cultivars that far south then we would recommend 'Avanti' and 'Endura'. You might get some fruit especially if you have a cooler year. Good luck!
June 1, 2020
This is a nice article, I loved it! I am just wondering how much south you would recommend planting blueberries for ornamental purposes. Also, if you happen to know two cultivars that would do OK in Palm Beach counties. Thanks
May 29, 2020
Most kids agree you can never have enough blueberry plants! Make sure you write down what cultivar you have so you can select additional ones that will bloom at similar times.
May 29, 2020
Very informative article. We recently moved to a house with a large backyard and we purchased a blueberry plant. My kids love to pick it’s delicious fruit. We definitely need to add some blueberry plants to increase the production for next season.
May 28, 2020
Heather, Check out the Monarch Butterfly Conservation website. They have several free webinars at https://monarchjointventure.org/resources/monarch-webinar-series, some good FAQs, and butterfly information. They also do a nice job explaining OE and how to tell the symptoms. Make sure you are cutting all of your milkweed back in the fall to make sure that you are reducing the risk of OE spores on your milkweed. I also use this website https://www.themonarchinitiative.org/assets/ext/img/monarch/native-milkweed.pdf for information on the various milkweed that are native in Florida and also where you can purchase them. I'm not sure what the chalky substance on the leaves are. With all the recent problems you have had with wing deformities, it sounds like you need to cut the plants back and refresh all of them.
May 28, 2020
Mike, Are you located in Columbia County and have you had the disease diagnosed? Is it just the fruit or leaves as well? I want to make sure we are providing the correct recommendations. Feel free to email me some photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 26, 2020
May 21, 2020
greetings Erin, Thank you for an interesting article concerning Sand Pears. I have a neighbor with Sand Pear trees infected with Rust Fungus on much of the fruit. Local literature does not offer any cure for this problem and I was wondering if there is anything new to fight this fungus for residential uses. Thank you in advance for any help on this issue. Mike Poff
May 18, 2020
Heather, thanks for your great questions. We think your questions are so important so we are taking some time to gather all of the answers and will get back with you!
May 17, 2020
William, please email our Horticulture Agent, Erin Harlow, and she will be able to assist you. Her email is email@example.com. Thank you!
May 17, 2020
Hi, I'm looking to update my backyard mainly to hide a preserve which I find to have no useful function other then a water runoff area. It is run by our HOA. This area is very un-sitely and stores a medium portion of water covered with a green algae. Residents are not allowed any entrance on this property. As a result I now have added some Plant life on my property o/k'ed by our HOA and Growth Management Office on my property. I would like to add some kind of Evergreen shrubs between the existing plantings to close in on some open spaces but from what I have researched I should get the soil tested for PH Etc. This is my main reason for getting in touch with you. Can you tell me what I will need to supply you to have this done? If there is a cost to having this or other requirements, I need to follow upon? I live off of Cove Road in a closed gate community. Thank You
May 12, 2020
Do you have more information on creating a way station & education on protecting monarchs from dangers? I need to buy native milkweed Asclepias tuberosa. I have used Asclepias curassavica, which is only available at my local nurseries. Reading your information about the Asclepias curassavica, I have had monarchs emerge with bad wings but I thought it was caused by OE or just a genetic deformitiy. I had no idea this milkweed can cause the damaged wings. I need help!!!!! I’m so confused with what is or isn’t OE. In the last 6 months I have released close to 60 monarchs. I have probably had 10 that had damaged wings or perhaps OE. I know you can tell from some chrysalis if the monarch will have OE but some of the chrysalis are more of a lime green than the jade look. Some chrysalis look fine but the monarch comes out deformed and have a greenish discharge. Is there 1 website that has pointed information on what I need to know? I love raising the caterpillars and having a part in building the population. I just do not have alot of time to go to so many websites to find my answers. (I have a child with special needs so my time is limited) also, my milkweed will get white chalky substance on the branches, do I get rid of that milkweed? I have heard of plant hoppers which cause the leaves to wilt, it said to throw those plants away? Any help is so appreciated!!!!!!❤️
May 9, 2020
So glad we can give ideas to even the experienced sewers! Thank you for your feedback, Edith!
May 9, 2020
Well, well, well. I didn't think youall could teach this old button-sewer-oner, anything new. But, I declare, the toothpick trick is a revelation!
May 7, 2020
Alesia, at this time to my knowledge there is no composting bin program in Columbia County. It is something we would be happy to look into and think it is a neat idea. If we can figure something out we will certainly get the word out to residents. Thanks!
April 24, 2020
Erin, I am interested in a compose box, do the county offer them to residents for a fee and if not who can I speak to about considering it? The more that is bought the more affordable it would be to residents. Do you foresee these being made available to residents for a price? There are more people starting gardens than ever with the COVID virus and lost of employment. We have wild animals in our area racoon, fox, coyote and possums, which is the better one that is secure from predators.
April 22, 2020
Marian, you can plant a trap crop like tobacco or flowering tobacco, Nicotinia alata.
April 17, 2020
Thank you . I did not realize there were two. Does planting tobacco act as a trap crop?
April 8, 2020
See links below on nematode management. Nematicides, crop rotation/cover crops, increasing soil organic matter and selection of less susceptible varieties are potential management strategies! https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ng005 https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in516
April 8, 2020
Great article. How do you treat root knot nematodes in a pea field ? New to farming.
April 8, 2020
I agree! My 7 year-old son found them in our yard and I think it changed the way he looks at all insects. Such beauty in something so small.
April 7, 2020
That's one of the most beautiful bugs I've ever seen. Not counting bees, butterflies, moths and velvet cowkiller ants.
April 7, 2020
Can you email me some photos or post them on our facebook page? This way I can properly identify and give you some options. Thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org or @ColumbiaExtension on fb.
April 6, 2020
Erin, I started a small veggie garden on a raised box for my daughter. We both have been wanting to do it and the stay at home situation gave us great opportunity to get it started. We planted small amounts of squash, zucchini, tomatoes and corn. Things were going great and we were so excited to see the sprouts poke out. We planted the seeds in MiracleGro vegetable soil. Today, we came out to inspect our little patch and noticed the leaves have a new blight/scale on them. Any suggestions on what it is and how to fix it?
March 31, 2020
Any chance of seeing a photo of the trunk of one of these trees? I have been trying to identify two trees on my property that I believe might be this fruit tree. We moved here in December and the trees are just starting to have leaves come in. They started appearing about 10 days ago and are emerging at a very fast pace. No sign of fruit yet. Fingers crossed! Searching the web has only produced photos of fruit and leaves. The leaves look promising.
March 31, 2020
I finally found your site to sign up! I heard of this through the 4-H program. I signed up to participate with my two older kids, both members of 4-H. I also have two younger ones that LOVE eat things we grow (like from the limequat tree). We are looking forward to this. THANK YOU! No time like the present!
March 30, 2020
Elizabeth, We would love if you joined us. Please register at https://bit.ly/V2020G. You will then be given access to the facebook group, the book club information, the online course, and much more. We do have a class on 4/1 about designing your vegetable garden. You can register at https://veggiegardendesignapril20.eventbrite.com. Anyone who is part of the Victory Garden Community will also have access to it after the workshop. Your food forest sounds like fun! We hope you join the group so we can learn more about it from you. If you are still interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer then I encourage you to look into it. You would register in the county you live. For instance if you live in Alachua then you would contact Taylor Clem the horticulture agent there. He is awesome and would love to hear from you.
March 30, 2020
Beth, It would be helpful to know exactly which rat they are calling a "water rat". Are you talking about Neofiber alleni, also called a round-tail muskrat? It is sometimes called a Florida Water Rat or are you talking about something like a black, roof, or Norway rat. This will help us give you better guidance. If it is what we would call a water rat or the muskrat then I would try the garden. They feed on aquatic grasses and are protected in many areas since they only live in marshy wetlands. Anytime you have a garden you always risk loosing some to animals. Unless you have open trash cans or a compost pile you are not managing then the garden may attract some, but I wouldn't consider a garden a huge attractant. You may see a rise in predators too such as hawks, owls, and snakes. Thanks.
March 29, 2020
Hi Erin! Before the quarantine hit, I wanted to join a master gardener program through UF or alachua county, I'm not sure who offers it. Anyway, I've been gardening in North Central Florida off and on for several years and I want to spend the next several years turning my backyard into a food forest. I'm so excited to see your program, but I'm a little confused as to how to sign up and where to participate digitally. Is it just offered through Facebook? Or am I missing something. Are they virtual classes? Thanks so much for any information!
March 29, 2020
I would love to plant a victory garden! However, we live on the water with water rats!? Our pest guy says a garden would just invite more:( what are your thoughts and suggestions?
March 27, 2020
Amy, welcome to Florida gardening! If you don't have seed trays you can always start your seeds in an egg carton that has been washed or small containers. If you want to go ahead and get them in the ground, depending on the seed you can plant most things now. What kind of seeds do you have? Do you want to do in the ground or container? Make sure to sign up for our Victory2020 Garden program at https://bit.ly/V2020G for more resources. Feel free to email me at email@example.com and we can chat some more.
March 23, 2020
I have never gardened in Florida, although I had a successful garden in Northern Utah. I don't know where to begin. I live in a duplex and have a small yard. I'm not working thanks to the virus so I have more time than money. I have some seeds from the seed library. Where do I start?
February 27, 2020
Brian, that is a great question. Potatoes do require adequate fertilization to grow tubers. Many of our soils already have phosphorous (the middle number on the bag) and a soil test can tell you if you need to be concerned with adding this nutrient when fertilizing. At planting, UF recommends 0.75 lbs of nitrogen and 0.5 lbs of potassium per 100 foot row. This is around 7.5 lbs of a 10-0-10 fertilizer. If your soil test indicates that you need phosphorous you can either use a balanced fertilizer or incorporate P into the soil at planting. The soil test will tell you how much the lab recommends.
February 26, 2020
75 pear trees is a LOT of fruit!! I bet your property is brimming with wildlife. Very cool
February 25, 2020
Hi Liz, Your Florida pear tree story is awesome, My name is Jared I am a Fruit tree and medicinal herb collector with over 500 varieties of plants, I have searched for central Florida sand pears for years and I am still looking. I would love to see these trees and offer you plants or cash in exchange for cuttings and seeds.
February 24, 2020
What's the best fertilizer for inground potatoes?
January 23, 2020
Did you have the Upick? I'd like to go next summer if you do it then.
September 9, 2019
Paula, Most properties only have one or two trees. I have not found a u-pick yet, but from the comments it sounds like a good business venture for someone!
September 9, 2019
Yvonne, Unfortunately I don't know a regular source for the pears. Sometimes you can find them at roadside stands or as you did before, a neighbor's house. I would consider planting one of your own if you have the room.
September 8, 2019
I have a sand pear relish recipe that I canned that my mother-in-law gave me years ago and my family has been wanting me to make more. I use to have a neighbor that had trees, but they were removed from her property after she passed away. I have no source to getting them now. Do you know where I can purchase them?
August 29, 2019
Susan, You can purchase trees from local nurseries. A good one in North Florida that carries UF recommended varieties is Chestnut Hill Tree Farm in Alachua County. Check with your local nurseries as well, as most carry fruit trees. Grafted varieties only take a few years to be really productive.
August 13, 2019
I would like to come up and get some I grew up in the panhandle there was a sand pear tree in the yard,I love these better than the other pears.
August 10, 2019
I would pay a good deal to come pick what I can carry!! I miss them!
August 9, 2019
Hi! Did you make a you pick? Would like to come for a family outing :) maybe a photoshoot
August 8, 2019
Where can you get seedlings? How long before a tree matures?
July 21, 2019
I currently reside in Lady Lake Fl. My property have over 75 of these trees! This property has been vacant for nearly a decade. I am considering doing a weekend Upick and I like the idea of creating a product with the pears. I think they will be fully ripen in 3 to 4 weeks. My trees a are 30 feet tall with an abundant amount of fruit. I feel like if I don't do anything this season I will regret it.
July 12, 2019
Check with your local nursery or garden center to see if they carry any trees. If you are in the North Florida area, we will be having a fruit workshop on October 11th at the Columbia County Extension Office and will have some available at the workshop for sale. We will most likely have 'Thanksgiving' which ripen closer to November.
July 11, 2019
My grandmother had a tree in yard in Lecanto. She always had gobs of canned pears and made the best pear cobbler. Yummy! I loved picking a pear and eatyit right off the tree. I would dearly love to have a sand pear tree in my yard.
July 11, 2019
my mom had two sand pear trees. She made the most AMAZING pear preserves, with lemon or with pineapple in them. SCRUMPTIOUS!!!
July 11, 2019
Thanks for a great article.
Comments are closed.