We had some really nice fava beans from Chef's Garden delivered to us and based our one of our tasting items on it. The executive chef of the hotel, Robert Ciborowski, recently returned from the Chef Garden Food and Wine event and he was blown away by the farm tour and claims that the tour made the whole trip for him. The attention to detail and the passion that everyone who works their has for the product is second to none. With that in mind we shuck and tediously peel the favas while they are raw and remove the germ. Our agnolotti filling was a straight up simply seasoned fava puree. We reserved some of the puree and heat it to order to retain the color. The agnolotti are arranged on top of the puree and garnished with more chef garden goodies. Bacon braised mixed mustard greens, micro parsley and baby squash with blossom play a part.

Our finishing touch of Manni "Per Me" olive oil sealed the deal. If you are not familiar with Armando Manni's olive oil grown from a rare variety of olive that grows only in the Tuscany Region in Italy on the edge of the highest known altitude an olive tree can survive then follow the link and read up.


A little home gardening

It's hot as hell here in Orlando and I've given up on my tomato plants, they just can't hold up to the 95F temps anymore. On the other hand my watermelon has conquered just about everything.

It just started pumping our little melons about 10 days ago. Before that the plant was just as big with nothing on it and I was wondering if it was goin to happen or not. It did, now I have to decide whether or not I want grass or more melons as it has taken off over the railroad ties into my St. Augustine grass.

It has completely taken over my tomato plants and melons are hanging from my tomato support structure.

Everyday I find a couple more

This one still has the blossom attached, I guess I can skip ordering baby watermelons from Sid Wainer for a while.

Eggplant blossom, I'm hoping to start seeing some production from these guys but for now I just have to wait.

After having some production issues with my tomatoes early in the season we visited our Native Plant nursery. We had a ton of blossoms, but no good bugs to pollinate them. I picked up a couple flowering native plants and after they bloomed we started seeing a lot more butterflies, bees, and lady bugs. Pretty soon after our tomatoes started to produce some fruit, now it seems they have turned their attention to the melons.

Check in your area for a Native Plant Society, we have one here in central Florida. I can go to their website, plug in the conditions in my yard and even go as far as what plant will do best for the soil ph levels I have and figure out what I should plant. Find out about host plants, passion vines are host plants for butterflies, the caterpillars will be drawn to these vines so you can get butterflies to pollinate your garden without the caterpillars destroying all your other vegetation. As a bonus, you get some passion fruit out of it as well. So plant some native plants, some veg, and some fruit in your yard. It's gives me something to pick at, inspect, and admire while I'm having my morning coffee before the rest of the day takes over.