Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Green Travel 2010 part two

Sought out a peach grove in steamy Barney, Georgia located west of I-75 and just north of Valdosta.  We got a coupon at the Georgia tourist information stop, for half-off peach icecream.  We drove 9 miles inland from the highway to get to Barney and then found the town was packed with peach groves.  The heat index was 110 F, when we got out of our car and walked the short distance to the peach stand.  There was a u-pick-it sign out front and we asked where the groves were.  "Over, that there hill but what are you driving?"
We pointed to our car.  The attenedent then said, "Oh, no you can't go back there because we got a heavy rain yesterday and its all mud back there.  We don't want you to get stuck.  We're only allowing people with trucks back there today."
So we bought some pre-picked peaches and ice cream.  They had two flavors: peach (from their orchard) and blueberry (from a grove on the east side of Valdosta).  We got one of each and found the Blueberry had a stronger flavor than the peach.
While looking at the pre-picked selection of peaches, I noticed a Mocking bird flying in and out of a potted plant (I also heard a lot of cheeping sounds everytime the bird flew into the plant).  I asked what was going on and was told, "Oh she has a nest in there with chicks so large it's amazing they don't fall out. We tried to stop her from nesting there.  We even took away her first nest but the very next day she had another built in its place." 

I went up to the nest and sure enough there were four large chicks nestled in amongst the flower blossoms.  I wanted a photo and as I started clicking, the counter attenedant said, "You'd be amazed how many people have taken those birds photo.  We had one person that got a picture with all thier mouths open.  They looked like flowers.  The person said they were going to email the picture tous when they got home."

We asked about the green plums that were for sale.  The attendent said people liked to eat them with salt. Before we left the stand we bought a selection of jams and jellies made at the orchard. Then it was back to I-75 for us.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Green Travel 2010 part One

Just spent one night at a Holiday Inn Express in Silver Springs, Florida.  They professed to be a Green hotel recycling all their paper and plastic yet they only had recycle bins out front and none in the breakfast room where most of the trash was created.  They said they did not think to put bins in there but would change that detail in the future.

They reused their paper at the front desk but it was stock paper with no post cunsumer products in it (recycled).

They did have energy efficient fridges and microwaves in the rooms along with efficient air-conditioners.
But they used VOC paint in their stairwells.

They were open to suggestions and look to becoming Greener in the future.
If you want more information about them go to http://www.hdghotels.com/

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summertime in South Florida

The hurricane season has started in South Florida and the growing season has ended.  So it's back to trucked in fresh produce from other states.  There are a few bright local produce lights on the distant horizon.  Lychee season starts at the end of June and Mango season at the end of July.  Apart from those the only other local Sth Florida items during the summer are wine from Schnebly's in Redlands; rice from Sem-Chi in Belle Glade; and tomatoes from Farmhouse Tomataoes in Lake Worth.
Please suggest any other 100% South Florida summer grown/created items.