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When: FRIDAY, AUGUST 18
Where: ORLANDO WORLD CENTER MARRIOTT
Indulge in tasting portions of signature dishes, accompanied by fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails. Remember, every bit of the proceeds from Taste! Central Florida remains in our community, helping families get the meals they desperately need.
Want to be a part of this? Grab your tickets now and join us! For more details, please visit TasteCFL.org.
Source: UF/IFAS 2023
Did you know that nobody knew what kind of worm was in mezcal? Recently, UF entomologists chased the worm all the way to the agave farms making mezcal in Mexico.
Mezcal is a growing industry, and while it has been consumed for hundreds of years, the lingering worm at the bottom of the bottle was added in the 1940s. This mostly niche, small batch craft product continues to increase in popularity as craft cocktails remain a craze. That worm though, we need a lot more of them!
Known as gusanos de maguey, aka worms of agave, UF scientists realized the actual species of insect responsible for the larval stage “worm” was unknown. The researchers suspected that the mezcal worms must be a variety of different species. Were different farmers putting different worms in their bottles? Did everyone use the same species while it remained unknown to science? Could any worm work?
All 18 farms in the study used the same caterpillar from the same moth species, Comadia redtenbacheri, commonly known as the agave redworm moth. This caterpillar larvae burrows deep into agave plants, so with the increase in popularity of mezcal, the wild harvested worms are in short supply. Plus, harvesting the larvae often kills the agave. Farmers may actually start farming agaves for THE WORMS!
While most caterpillars receiving a lot of attention in...
Source: UF/IFAS 2023
Agave is generally tolerant of Florida’s climate with its succulent leaves showcasing different shades of greens and blues. The shape of the plant generates interest, and it makes a great statement in the landscape. A plant can and should resemble so much more. Plants and gardens weave the stories of human experience.
Mezcal represents a fantastic group of spirits distilled from roasted and crushed agaves from specific regions of Mexico. While not as ancient as wine, mezcal has likely been distilled and consumed since the Spanish brought techniques to the New World in the 1500s. Prior to that, the indigenous preferred hallucinogenic excursions, truly spiritual, using mescaline containing cacti among other powerful local herbs (read One River by Wade Davis to learn more). The similarity of terminology, mezcal and mescaline, is likely to blame for people incorrectly assuming “mezcal” has hallucinogenic effects–it does not–it just takes you from sippy, to tipsy, to drunk like many other alcoholic distillates predictably do.
More like wine, different types of mezcal come from different species of agave struggling in different climates developing unique complex flavors! Furthermore, those different species of agave grow in different regions and soil types; some are more rare, others take decades to mature. Then, there is the...
Source: UF/IFAS 2023
How often do you see something that makes you go “Hmmmm…?”
How often do you actually look it up to learn more?
I am curious, especially when it comes to critters. Recently, I noticed an abundance of perfectly rolled oak leaf pieces spread about the sidewalk. First thought, POOP! Next thought, why is fertilizer on the sidewalk? Of course I picked it up! It was neither poop nor fertilizer.
It looked like a tiny cigar factory or little grape leaves tightly rolled and ready to be sold. Less than ¼ inch, what on earth could be the impressive oak leaf roller?
A quick google search of “oak leaf roller UF” and BAM! Results. That is a great way to do a quick search for science based information in Florida.
As my fellow curious cats know, you cannot just stop at picking it up… now we have to see what is inside the tiny gift packet. Unfurling what seemed like a message tightly wrapped in a bottle, the unfurled oak leaf was protecting a tiny egg.
The details of the host oak tree, rolled leaves, and visible egg were enough to confirm the critter is a Leaf-rolling Weevil, Homoeolabus analis.
While the weevil does cause minor damage to oak leaves, it is not considered a pest issue. In fact, the way the weevil works is quite impressive.
It is active during spring when there is an abundance of new, soft growth. The weevil has a favorite 16 species of oak and chestnut. It starts by biting the...
Source: UF/IFAS 2021
Why Flowering Trees?
Most trees, like pines, oaks, elms, hickories, ashes, and maples, produce relatively inconspicuous flowers. If you have room for another tree and want to add a splash of seasonal color, there are many options at your disposal in Central Florida. These trees also give a sense of seasonality in an environment that is relatively verdant throughout most of the year.
Where Temperate Meets Tropic
The climate of Central Florida presents an interesting problem for those seeking to liven their landscapes with flowering plants – the location is juxtaposed between temperate and tropical climates. In USDA Hardiness Zone 9b, it is just cold enough for frosts to remove most tropical flowering trees from consideration, but too warm and physiologically stressful for most of the intense flowering species used throughout the rest of the country. When people think of temperate flowering trees, it is the cherries, pears, crabapples, and other members of the rose family that tend to come to mind. In 9b, some of their relatives like flatwoods plum and Carolina laurel-cherry are still potential candidates for landscaping, but the cold-hardiest members of the tropics are often all that can be used here without heavy wind or frost protection.
Flowers Don’t Last Forever
Seasonality of flowering is highly linked to plant origin. Plants from temperate areas will usually begin flowering in the spring....
Vale East, is an off-campus student housing development that we provided landscaping and hardscaping work to give students an exceptional living experience. We believe the project turned out great! If you have a large project and need help, please give us a call.
Source: UF/IFAS 2021
Diseases are problematic when all three conditions are satisfied:
Large Patch, also known as Brown Patch, is a disease of warm season turfgrasses that rears its ugly head during the most beautiful time of the year, Florida Fall. The cooler conditions below 80 degrees combined with prolonged wetness encourages Large Patch growth in the turf.
Think about things that you can and cannot control. Temperature is managed by nature. Rain, also nature. But irrigation and fertilization, those are things completely within your control and how you manage these things will influence how well you can manage disease. Reduce irrigation as the season slows and the days become shorter and cooler. Stick to balanced fertilizers with a slow-release nitrogen source. Too much nitrogen will focus on pushing new growth resulting in a stressed-out plant less capable of preventing diseases.
Keep records! The history of a site will help to predict potential problems and develop management strategies such as reducing irrigation. Even the best fungicides have limited ability to cure fungal issues. Fungicides stop the spread of the disease or prevent the disease from spreading. That is why recordkeeping is one of the best ways to know what to expect, how to prevent, and what to prepare if conditions are ripe for disease development....
A property in Central Florida is never complete without an inviting and easy-to-maintain patio/walkway to enjoy the great weather. The question is, what type of material is best for your outdoor space?
Your choice will be the difference between enjoying your outdoors or stressing out with maintenance and repair. We certainly do not want to have a patio or walkway that is hard to maintain, or one that is unappealing nor unreliable for heavy use. To make it easier for you to decide, we are comparing concrete pavers vs natural stone pavers in the Orlando and The Villages areas.
Why concrete or natural stone pavers? Compared to solid concrete slabs that tend to crack in extreme weather, both concrete and natural stone pavers are great materials for patios, walkways, and driveways because of their durability and low maintenance.
Both can take extreme weather swings and can stand the test of time for decades to come. Even if a piece breaks, it will be easy and relatively inexpensive to replace just that piece.
Another common advantage of both pavers is that being built with individual pieces, such flooring can disperse or distribute the pressure during heavy use. This prevents the tendency to crack.
There are, however, other things to consider such as versatility, style, budget, and color. These are some aspects where we can see some differences...
Brick pavers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles. Visit Royal Landscape Nursery in Gotha and browse the area's largest pvaer display. Choose from a big selection and pick out pavers to match or enhance your existing features, or start a completely new paver project.
Brick pavers on your driveway will greatly improve the curb appeal and the value of your home, and it offers an inviting appearance each time you come home. We use only thick pavers to support vehicle use. Add to existing driveways to increase your parking areas, or create an entirely new driveway of your dreams.
Patios can be created in all shapes and sizes to enhance your outdoor living space. Added to the back yard, they provide space for entertaining guests, outdoor kitchens, and grilling areas. Consider building small retaining walls to double as seating areas.
As summer heats up, enjoy the look and feel of a new pool deck as you cool off.
All manufacturers offer a warranty and Royal offers a warranty on labor and installation services. When Royal Landscape provides a proposal for your project you can feel confident that all aspects of the project will be included in the bid....
When you own a home in central Florida, you often need to make key decisions when it comes to improving your property or adding on new features. Some features may add to your home's value, while others could potentially detract from it. One feature that you may consider adding is a paver patio.
Learn if a paver patio can help increase your home's value in The Villages, Orlando, Clermont, and nearby areas of central Florida.
If you decide to create a large full outdoor living space, it is possible you will not see a full return on that investment. Larger patios that have extensive work done on them may only recoup about 50 percent of their initial investment, according to Remodeling magazine.
In southern states such as Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, you may see a slightly higher return on investment when you install a large patio area with all the bells and whistles such as an outdoor kitchen, custom fire pit, and more, but that's only because the warmer climate leads more people to spend time outside.
In other words, the scope of your project will directly affect the amount you may get back upon selling your home. Consider things such as: