Thursday, March 10, 2005

Spring Fling

Spring has arrived in north central Florida.

Elms, maples, redbuds, and wild plums have bloomed. Dogwood and azalea blooms are transforming yards and parklands into pink and white post cards. The air is awash with the ubiquitous anemophilous pollen of the several oak species and sugarberries and pines. Carolina willows are abloom in the expansive Paines Prairie south of Gainesville. Living things are shaking off the torpor of winter (what little of it we had this year) and are getting a jump-start on the new season.

Freddy Wood, the aging truck farmer and kindly neighbor has prepared his melon patch. I expect he will be getting ready to plant his sweetcorn and Arsh ‘taters soon. This winter we’ve enjoyed his citrus, carrots, beets, cabbages, tomatos, Romaine lettuces, purple cauliflowers, mustard and collard greens, yellow and pattypan squashes, and the tender okra and broccoli.

There is a certain deeply felt pleasure that comes from eating home-grown produce that has been harvested that day, and knowing that the bounty has traveled no more than 200 yards from field to table.

Watching and maintaining the connection with the land and seasons is what the Clog Almanac is and was all about.

Cowboys and Indians in Florida? Explore the history of Cracker cattle and horses, and movements to preserve this aspect of Florida’s storied history

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