Category Archives: About

Congratulations Class of 2016!

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Summer is here, and the new crop of graduates is being released from school to take a break!

Some will start college this fall, some grad school, some will finally get to work that job for which they have trained so long.

How about some cake?

coral peonies

Does homemade chocolate cake with mocha frosting sound good? I thought so, and gauging from the rate at which it disappeared, so did the teens for whom it was made.

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That’s all that was left.

I like baking for teenagers; they’re not shy about coming back for seconds!

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I made the coral peonies on pieces of parchment paper, then popped them in the freezer until I was ready to place them on the frosted cake.

The mocha frosting was firm from the fridge, so I had a bit of liberty as I placed them to change my mind and adjust them slightly. This was much less stressful than trying to pipe perfect peonies at just the right spot on the cake. I added the leaves once they were in place. I love the Wilton tip#352 for leaves.

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I had fun with the bottom border, and you can see it a bit in this picture.

Well, actually it started out that I wasn’t sure that I would have enough coral buttercream to do the bead border, so I just did it in spots, then decided to pipe some leaves and yellow dots and so it turned out pretty fancy. I think I did have enough coral, but I do like the more involved border sometimes. 🙂

I have fun making cakes, and I do like decorating them with garden fresh flowers, and sometimes it’s fun to make a woodland cake with fondant toadstools.

Now I’m in the mood for more ChocaMocha cake!

Congratulations class of 2016!

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Why Another Garden Blog?

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My Florida backyard garden is a source of so much happiness and so many wonderful vegetables. Here in the Florida panhandle (zone 8b), we can grow something fresh and healthy all year long. Vegetable gardening in northwest Florida is sometimes challenging, but it is very rewarding to grow plants that are both beautiful and productive. In this blog, you are invited to peek over my fence and watch my garden grow.

There are already many sites and blogs dedicated to the outdoors; why did I decide to add yet another gardening blog?

It started when I began vegetable gardening in the Florida panhandle. I found myself (as many of you are) searching for resources that would first tell me what should be planted and then show me what they were growing. Growing vegetables here is completely different than what is portrayed in many gardening books.

Usually my dear research assistant, Mr. Google, provided me with zillions of sites and I found what I needed on the first page. However, I found it hard to find many people sharing their gardens in my area. What I did find I read voraciously and studied intently. I love gardening and have learned so much; both by research, and by hard-won experience.

Some tell me that I have the coveted green thumb, but I say with H. Fred Ale, “My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.” I hope that I can create a resource to make gardening a bit easier for you. I also plan to share resources that I found helpful.

I am so grateful that I have my little garden journal to refer to as I start seeds(see my seed-starting tutorial here, plant my okra, and harvest tomatoes; but now I plan to have an illustrated journal here, on coffeetocompost.com. I find that few things are more cheerful in the damp cold days of February than looking back to pictures of the enthusiastic garden in June.

I love to have my hands in the soil, feed the compost, watch little sproutlings grow, and feel the hope that a packet of seeds brings.  If you eagerly await the seed catalogs each year, obsessively monitor your seedlings’ progress, frantically try new ways to outwit frost,or just want to figure out how to have fresh basil this year; let’s garden together.