For the love of strawberries

Awwwww …. for the love of strawberries. That’s right ya’all, it is now strawberry season here in Florida.

Plant City grows the majority of our delish strawberries, so I made a trip to Plant City a couple of days ago and came home with 10 beautiful flats of those luscious red berries.

fridge strawberries

Seeing as I had loaded my extra fridge to the max and still had a couple of flats left, thank goodness for vacuum sealers! I cleaned, cut, sealed and froze a few bags and those should be delish come the summer time.

strawberry jam

To my market family and friends … I’m sorry I’ve been unable to keep up with orders lately but that’s all changed now that I am all back on my feet and ready to ‘JAM’!

I will of course, have some strawberry jam as wells as strawberry and rhubarb jam, at the market for you on Saturday. I’ll also have some awesome blueberry jam, blueberry peach and some fresh home made apple sauce for you too.

See ya soon!!

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Making homemade orange and pear marmalade

While my sister Jean is here visiting from chilly MA, she wanted to learn how to make the jams. Those delicious concoctions that you at The Farm at Rockledge Gardens, can’t seem to get enough of. Yes, those jams. So, we did.


Jean and I put together an awesome savory jam. We call it J. & V’s Savory Pear and Orange Marmalade! It turned out so well, that it will be coming to the market soon.

Here’s how we made it: We started by cooking up some fresh pears and fresh navel oranges. We added a small amount of pectin (which with hindsight we probably didn’t need), sugar and then we hit it with fresh lime zest and lime juice. We cooked all that up for 20 minutes and processed it for 5.

stirring orange pear marmalade

I have to say, this is one spectacular marmalade that we recommend can be used on pound cake, ice creams, toast, bagels. Well, just use your imagination folks and let us know what you’re going to dollop it on!

orange pear marmalade

Thank you sissy. We make a great team!

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Orange and cinnamon tea

Here is a great idea for using my dehydrated oranges. Orange and cinnamon tea. You can serve this one hot or chilled, either way you will find it equally refreshing. Since we are in Florida, here is a ‘chilled’ version for you to try.

Ingredients: Serves 4 – 6

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 – 3 dehyrated orange slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teabags of black tea
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • orange slices for decoration
  • cinnamon stick
  • ice cubes

chilled orange tea

  1. Combine water, orange juice, dehydrated orange sliced, cinnamon stick and teabags in a pan.
  2. Bring to boil, then take off the heat.
  3. Stir in honey, then let allow to cool.
  4. Strain the liquid and transfer to a jug.
  5. Keep in refrigerator until completely cold.
  6. Serve in a jug with fresh slices of orange, a stick of cinnamon and ice cubes.
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Farm Calendar 2014


The Farm at Rockledge Gardens is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.

  • 8th Saturday : 9am. Tour of the hydroponic vegetable farm at The Farm at Rockledge Gardens. Learn about hydroponic gardening on a large scale and how you too can grow your own food at home!
  • 12th Wednesday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 13th Thursday : Every Thursday in the Seminar Room from 9 am – 1 pm. Social Art Club. Social, non-instructive club is open to anyone with an interest in the arts. Bring your own materials and work while socializing with fellow artists. Contact for more details.
  • 15th Saturday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 15th Saturday : 10 am. Little Bugs Club: Plants in Your House! You probably already know that plants make oxygen, but did you know that they can clean the air in your home? Make your own plant hanger to take home… and breathe easy! Little Bugs Club is our gardening club for kids ages 4 to 12, cost is $8 per child ($5 for each additional sibling). Pre-registration required, email or call 321.636.7662. See the full listing of fall Little Bugs activities.
  • 15th Saturday : 10 am. Rain Barrel Workshop. Look outside your window the next time it rains. Imagine all the water that’s running down your driveway being put to beneficial use in your home and garden rather than washing pollutants into our bodies of water. Rainwater stored in a rain barrel has many uses, especially for providing water for landscapes and gardens! We are thrilled to be welcoming the Brevard Division of Natural Resources four times this year to teach their popular rain barrel workshop. The workshop cost is $50, which covers all the supplies and instructions to create your own rain collection device. Space is limited; pre-registration is required—call 321.633.2016 or sign up online.
  • 22nd Saturday : 10 am—Make and Take: Living Centerpieces. Join us this month to make a stunning herb garden centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table! Use the fresh herbs in your kitchen, then move it to the table for a fragrant and beautiful decoration. Cost is $35, which includes a selection of herbs, soil, decorative dried goods, and a terra cotta bowl container and saucer. Space is limited, pre-registration required; call 321.636.7662 or register online at Brown Paper Tickets.


The Farm at Rockledge Gardens is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.

  • 3rd Wednesday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 5th Friday : 6 to 8 pm—Lights, Wine & Cheese. Join us at the Gardens for an evening of music and magically lit festive fun. We’ll be serving wine and cheese, roasting s’mores around the fire pit, and staying open two hours later to listen to the sounds of the season as performed by Rockledge High School’s orchestra students. This is a great time to pick out your poinsettias and Christmas trees!
  • 6th Saturday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 6th Saturday : 10 am—Make-n-Take: Holiday Evergreen Wreaths. Learn to create a stunning and fragrant wreath for your home using cuttings from fresh Fraser firs. This workshop includes everything you need to make a festive decoration for your door or mantle. Cost is $20. Pre-registration and payment required; call 321.636.7662 or register online at Brown Paper Tickets.
  • 10th Wednesday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 13th Saturday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 13th Saturday : Tour of the Farm at Rockledge Gardens. Take a tour of our hydroponic vegetable farm. Learn about hydroponic gardening on a large scale, and how you can create a smaller version to grow your own food at home!
  • 13th Saturday : 10 am—Make-n-Take: Terrariums. Join Holly and Susan to create a gorgeous terrarium! These miniature eco-systems make a wonderful gift for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones on your list. Cost is $25 and includes an 8″ bowl made from recycled glass, a selection of small terrarium plants, and everything you will need to make a self-sustaining world in miniature. Pre-registration and payment required; call 321.636.7662 or register online at Brown Paper Tickets.
  • 17th Wednesday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 20th Saturday : Farmer’s Market, 10 am – 2 pm
  • 20th Saturday : 10 am—Make-n-Take: Holiday Centerpieces. Join Lin Beckett from Rockledge Roses and Wines to make a stunning holiday centerpiece! $30 includes all your materials. Pre-registration and payment required; call 321.636.7662 or register online at Brown Paper Tickets.
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Dehydrating oranges

Welcome to my new website, Jams by Vi.

What a great day at the market today at The Farm in Rockledge Gardens where my dehydrated (Florida’s best Harvey’s Groves) oranges were a big hit.


I did a little research while I was waiting for the oranges to dry and was surprised to discover all the uses for dehydrated oranges from snacking to camp fires. Yep, that’s right, a fire starter with a good smell. You can also grate dehydrated oranges for your own orange zest, hang a couple slices on a package with a pretty bow, or simply drop a slice in a cup of hot tea with a cinnamon stick, relax and enjoy.

I have a fresh batch in the dehydrator right now to be ready for the next market.

Until next time, check out what’s happening at Rockledge Gardens and come by The Farm to try my awesome Apple Butter!

See you next Saturday at The Farm in Rockledge Gardens between 10 am and 2 pm.

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