How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Granola Recipe

On my recent trip to Boston my daughter Katie, who is much more disciplined than I, made some very delicious granola to munch on in the car. I would have been eating ‘Good n Plenty’s” or” Twizzlers.” My daughter has been following the Paleo Diet for some time and is very much into Cross Fit. She has been known to put herself through 21 day sugar detox. As much as I joke I have been, and can be very disciplined also, so I think I know where she gets her drive. I am just taking a hiatus from exercise in my life right now. I liked the granola so much I decided to make some. It turned out delicious. I combined two recipes that she sent me, and instead of using maple syrup I used my fresh honey from my hives. Here are the recipes and some pictures.

Nut Free Granola
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup fresh honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract

Mix everything in a bowl, coating everything well with the honey. Spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until coconut is golden. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. If you choose, now is the time to add dark chocolate chips. When completely cooled, mixture will be crunchy and delicious!

Paleo Granola
  • 2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix nuts and seeds together in a big bowl. Melt coconut oil and honey on low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add vanilla. Pour coconut oil mixture over nuts and seeds. Stir to coat. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely in pan, then pour into a plastic container or bag for storage.

This granola was delicious in fresh yogurt with raspberries and some fresh honey drizzled over top.

Enjoy!

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