Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Maple Hill Hop 49

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)

Today is the first official day of Fall!
Cooler temperatures are not far behind!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to garner a garden tour
by a couple who are strong proponents of organic gardening.
Welcome to Sandhill Farms.
It is located near Babson Park, which is about 35 minutes from my location.
Near acres of citrus groves,
their home is nestled among the growers.
These gorgeous trees have been planted around the perimeter of the property
to protect it from nearby crop dusters.

The property is filled with native plants as well as 
more tropical species that do quite well.

If you'll notice, they don't have a conventional lawn.
Instead, they choose to use perennial peanut,
which is a ground cover that needs very little water or care.
 I was informed that the grass is cut about once each winter
and only once a month the rest of the year.
They have also been successfully keeping bees for a couple of years
and have enjoyed harvesting honey from this hive.

The veggie garden is in a state of transition.
They use a combination of containers and raised beds
to grow much of what they eat.
The preferred method of fertilization is fish emulsion,
kelp and a mineral supplement.
No pesticides are used at all.
I like that.

New seedlings are started in another area.
Many are used by ag students where he teaches.

Their trellis was laden with gorgeous green globes.
How exciting to be able to make your own grape juice, 
wine, or just munch on the fruit as  you wander the property.

Although many avocado trees in the area are in decline,
they have several that are doing well and bearing fruit.

They gifted me with several as I left,
and they sure didn't last long!

The Pomelo tree was loaded.
It tastes similar to grapefruit, without the bitterness.
The rind can be used to make marmalade or candy.


There is a veritable papaya forest on the north side of the property.
No doubt they eat well right from their own backyard.

Pineapples abound at the base of the lower garden.
Several looked ripe and ready to eat.

As if all of this abundance wasn't enough,
they have a spectacular view of Crooked Lake.

A private beach has been left as nature intended it.
The unmistakeable reverence is apparent in every inch of this space.

It was an honor to tour their home and garden.
Knowing that this sacred place is in their care,
is very comforting indeed.

What's happening where you are?



  1. What a terrific spot. I've seen those Pomelos in the grocery--they're HUGE.

    1. They look like grapefruits on steroids. Always nice to see you here, Sue.

  2. Daisy, that was a great summary of the Sandhill Farm garden tour. I really like that they try to keep the land in it's natural state as much as possible. There's a good mix of orchard and vegetables. My properties are not big enough for fruit trees but I do plan on eventually putting in some berry bushes. It's a never ending planning experience with gardening, don't you think?

    Have a great day in the fall garden.

    1. I wonder if you could fit in some dwarf varieties? They take up much less space and still bear wonderful fruit. Yes, gardening is an adventure.

  3. What a great opportunity you had to tour their place. I'm really liking that peanut "grass" I wonder how it would do here. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. It's drought tolerant and heat resistant. It does die back with freezes, but bounces back when warmer weather comes around.


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!