Last week as we traveled across time zones for spring break, I started thinking about another kind of zone: hardiness zones. First developed by the USDA, hardiness zones help gardeners determine what plants will survive in their area, based on minimum temperatures and other conditions.
Denver is in zones 5-6, but the part of Florida where we spent a (soggy) few days is in zone 8, meaning warmer nighttime temperatures and a much earlier start on the growing season.
I thought it would also mean locally grown produce like chard and kale that we don’t have yet in Colorado. But it didn’t. At least not at the Winn-Dixie, Piggly-Wiggly and Bruno’s where we shopped. I couldn’t even find fresh organic spinach from anywhere, much less from within a hundred miles, at two of those stores. As a result, we ate a lot more canned and frozen produce than normal. Hey, it wasn’t local, but at least it was organic.
And then on the last day of our trip, as we wound our way from Florida to southeastern Alabama and then up through Georgia to get to the Atlanta airport, we saw signs for local produce. Pecans, direct from the grower! They didn’t help us with our recommended daily amounts of fruits and veggies, but they were certainly delicious.
And now that I’m home, I can share a favorite recipe for Southern Pecans, given to me by a friend with such a friendly Carolina accent that you wouldn’t mind if she talked all day.
PS Assuming you won’t be in Vienna, Georgia, anytime soon, you can buy pecans straight from the same family-owned company, Ellis Brothers Pecans, at werenuts.com.