Climate envy

Mangoes, papayas, coconuts! Back home, these are the kind of exotica we seldom eat, and don’t even dream of cultivating, but down here in south Florida the things grow on trees!

Kevin and I have been thinking about planting fruit trees, and our options seem to be limited to apples and pears. Oh, and maybe apples. We might get away with a fig tree, but we’d have to wrap it up like a mummy to get it through the winter.

I’ve always thought of Florida as a nice place to visit for a few days in February, but now that I’m a gardener I see the state in a whole new light. You put things in the ground and they just grow. And grow and grow. Our thirty-year-old New England oaks are pathetic scraggly thin things, desperately competing with all the other pathetic scraggly thin things for what sun there is, but a thirty-year-old Floridian banyan, or baobob, or gumbo-limbo is a lovely, full, leafy thing to behold.

I hear even the shellfish are good.

3 people are having a conversation about “Climate envy

  1. Oh dear Tamar..
    I must take issue with your comments about the poor pathetic struggling oak trees. I do believe your photo portrayed a lovely Florida tree standing quite alone, lots of space, lots of sun etc.You’re right it is quite beautiful.

    Maybe you have never seen a Majestic New England Oak… only sccraggy thin ones in your woods..take a bigger look around.
    AND..did you know that the inner bark of the White Oak contains powerful astringent and antiseptic properties. It was used in Indian medicine by many native tribes and in the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s was listed in the U S Pharmacopoeia as a tonic, astringent and antiseptic.
    The indians made bread and soup from the acorns and Euell Gibbons has some ideas for roasting acorns and making meal, bread etc. in his “Stalking the Wild Asparagus”
    Oaks and their acorns not only provide food for Homo Sapiens but sustenance and shelter for a myriad other wildlife here in New England..and last but not least..dry oak gives off a lot of warmth when burned in your woodstove on a frigid, starry February night..right !! := )

    Take care, have fun , happy spring..Gram

  2. Gram — You are absolutely right. I stand corrected — or admonished, at any rate.

    We hope to do some clearing to give a few of our oaks some elbow room, in the hopes that they’ll reach their full potential. And the ones we clear will be giving off that woodstove warmth …

    I will never speak slightingly of New England oaks again.

  3. Kevin Healey says:

    Hello, Tamar,
    I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes saying, “Just one more and I’ll go back to work.” Had the pleasure of meeting you and Kevin yesterday at the wedding. Jon (the chef) and I have the little red house on Eel Pond. The blog is a great read: philosophy tempered by reality! I’m sure I’ll be checking in again!

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