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Dave's Garden Articles: By Hetty Ford

Saturday, May 3, 2014

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Dutch Stewed Pears
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

How amazing that this dish, known to the Dutch as ‘Stoofperen’, which we ate almost every week when I was growing up as a child in Holland, is unknown to the rest of the world. The specific variety of pear used is not even available elsewhere!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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Leeks: Good and Good For You
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Leeks are documented as having been part of the diet of early Egyptians and Mesopotamians, as far back as 2000 BC. They were said to be Emperor Nero’s favorite vegetable giving him the nickname Porrophagus – leek eater. Probably native to the Mediterranean area and popular in Europe for many years, they are just now coming in vogue in the US and are mostly used in soups. But they have many other uses as well and many gourmet recipes can be found using leeks.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

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The Hawaiian Silversword Fern
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

On the slopes of the largest dormant volcano in the world, there exists a plant like no other.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

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Shamrocks - Not Just for St. Patrick's Day!
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Leprechaun, leprechaun, fly across the sea And fetch an emerald shamrock for you and me. Do not bring a nettle or a thistle for a joke, But bring an Irish shamrock, for we are Irish folk. And you and I, my leprechaun, will wear the shamrock gay, And match it with an Irish smile upon St. Patrick's Day!

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Friday, November 9, 2012

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Brussels Sprouts
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Brussels Sprouts really are from Brussels!! Although a variety of this nutritious vegetable was already cultivated in ancient Rome, it had a heyday in the middle ages in what is now known as Belgium. However, it wasn’t until the 1500s that it gained popularity throughout Europe, and it was the French settlers that brought this crop to Louisiana in the early 1800’s.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

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Savoy cabbage
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

To me Savoy cabbage is the queen of cabbages. It is believed to have originated in Italy, or more precisely the ‘Savoy’ region, which is on the border of Italy, France and Switzerland, a former duchy of some historical significance. The earliest record of this variety dates back to the early 1500s.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Lucky Bamboo
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Lucky Bamboo may seem like a novelty plant to us westerners, but it is in fact a powerful symbol in ‘Feng Shui’, considered the perfect combination of the five elements.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

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Key Limes: A Taste of Sunshine
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Pick up this curious, yellow golf-ball looking fruit, scratch the skin….MMMMMMM…there is no scent like it in the world. If you’ve ever been to the Florida Keys, this fragrance will take you right back!!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Dried fruit for the holidays
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

England and the U.S. have their Christmas Fruitcake, the Germans have ‘Stollen’, Italians have ‘Panettone’ – all foods that are traditionally associated with the winter holiday season.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

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Celery - history, uses, benefits and growing tips
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

In Holland, where I come from, celery root, or celeriac as it is sometimes known, is one of the staples in any household. When I occasionally find it in grocery stores here, I immediately grab it, after which I have to deal with puzzled looks from fellow shoppers and check-out assistants. “WHAT IS THAT?” they inevitably ask. Celery root looks like a giant turnip, but tastes more like a cross between celery and jicama. I nearly always take a few minutes to educate people on the wonderful qualities of this ugly root.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

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Stepping Stones
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

step•ping–stone Pronunciation: ˈste-piŋ-ˌstōn Function: noun 1 : a stone on which to step (as in crossing a stream) 2 : a means of progress or advancement

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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Seaside Plants
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

As gardener in a seaside community you need to always consider your choice of plants based on their saline-resistance. Not just salty soil, but especially salt-laden winds can wreak havoc with your beautiful plantings. Fortunately there are a number of plants that are eminently salt-resistant. Because of my location I will concentrate here on plants that grow in the beach areas of Florida.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

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Broccoli Raab or Rapini - not broccoli but delicious!
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

This bright green, leafy vegetable seems to take pleasure in confusing people: variously known as Rappini, Rapini, Broccoli Raab, Broccoli Rape, Italian Broccoli, Chinese Flowering Cabbage, Choy Sum, or Turnip Broccoli, it is closer related to the turnip than broccoli. Give it a try sometime: it is delicious and very good for you.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

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Traveler's Palm
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

There are stories of thirsty travelers searching the horizon for a sign of this tree, which can accumulate as much as a half gallon of rainwater in each leaf base, making for a ready supply of drinking water.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

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Use of Tillandsia as decorative art
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Tillandsia – or ‘airplants’ as they are frequently called – are a group of epiphytic bromeliads, found in the woodlands and mountains of South and Central America, Mexico and the southern part of the United States. There are about 400 different species with a huge variety of colored leaves and blooms. One of the smallest varieties, found throughout the Southern United States is the plant we know as ‘Spanish Moss’ (Tillandsia usneoides)

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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Belgian Endive
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

A vegetable that was very familiar to me growing up in Europe, and which only recently has made inroads here in the United States, is Belgian Endive – and like Brussels Sprouts – it really is from Belgium!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

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A visit to Florida Colors Nursery
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Blink and you’ll miss it – unless you have what we call ‘plumie-radar’ – in which case you can sense the presence of a thousand or more plumeria trees long before you get to the entrance. There is no sign, just a whole lot of plumeria trees.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

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Big worms with scary teeth
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

On a pleasantly sunny late summer afternoon, with no sense of impending doom, I answered the doorbell, to be greeted by THIS!!!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

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A Romantic Garden
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Watching the moonlight silvering the palm fronds….a gentle wafting breeze …. The fragrance of honeysuckle and plumeria……a mockingbird singing…..that is romance for me.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

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What folly!!
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Folly: Architecture. a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found esp. in England in the 18th century.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

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Gazing balls
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Known variously as Gazing Globe, Garden Ball, Garden Globe, Victorian Ball, Ball of Happiness, Butler Globe and even Witch Ball, this enchanting piece of garden art has been around for centuries and is now making an entrance back into our outdoor spaces.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

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Botanical Prints
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Antique botanical prints challenge the distinction between art and science. We are all familiar with the work of Audubon in his great books on birds, and many engravings on botanical subjects reach the high quality of his prints, which are considered great works of art and sell for astronomical prices today.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

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The weather is awful….
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

So it’s Saturday morning, you have the day off and a bunch of new acquisitions to plant, and you wake up to the sound of – OH NO – it’s BUCKETING and a gale is blowing, not even the ENGLISH* will garden in this weather. So – do you crawl back under the covers…. or make good use of the day in other ways? Here are some suggestions of things you have probably vowed to do for ages but have never gotten around to. Now is your chance!!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

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The Dutch Bulb Fields and Tulipomania
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

It is virtually impossible to access any travel website focusing on The Netherlands without encountering colorful photographs of the Bulb Fields in Springtime…… but bulbs, tulips and otherwise, are BIG business for Holland, not just for the tourist industry.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Chocolate and cocoa
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

“Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment."

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

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Cauliflower - a boring vegetable?
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

I have seen cauliflower described as ‘a wimp's broccoli’. When I was growing up it was always served covered by a ‘white sauce’ and of course it is frequently paired with cheese sauce. Frankly, anything can be made to taste good when covered with cheese sauce! But cauliflower can be the star of your dinner if you bother to look in the spice cupboard for some tantalizing Indian flavours to put the sizzle in this lowly vegetable.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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Plumeriamania
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

From an early age I always loved tropical plants, they held a promise of exotic far-away places, and from time to time over the years I had the good fortune to be close to them, whether they be as houseplants in cooler climates or (oh joy!) when living or visiting in warmer areas. When we bought a vacation home in Southwest Florida eight years ago I had no idea to what extent this would change my life.

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