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Happy Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2014

Love is in the air. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and if you’re anything like the rest of America, you’re probably scrambling for some last minute gift ideas — I know I am. So let me take a moment and enlighten you on a few Florida-inspired things that will show just how much you care.

The top three Valentine’s Gifts are usually sweets, flowers and cards – often accompanied by dinner at a restaurant. These things are great and there’s no sense in breaking tradition, but there is good chance that the stores are going to be very picked-over at this point and with no reservations, you’ll have to wait an hour and a half at a restaurant. Avoid bringing home the broken candy bar and wilted posies – lets mix things up a bit using Fresh from Florida products.

“Forget love – I’d rather fall in chocolate!” 

– Sandra J. Dykes

Chocolate – The perfect treat for men and women alike. Now when most of us give our loved ones chocolate, we just run to Walmart or Target and pick up a bag of Hershey’s Treasures, right? But this Valentine’s Day, go the extra mile and try making a sweet treat for your sweetie. You can even try making it together. I promise that all of these recipes are easy – and the best part – they ALL use Fresh from Florida products! 

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” 

– Jim Carrey

Flowers – This is the sure key to my heart. However, I always hate to toss the flowers after they’ve wilted. The solution: Potted flowers. Buy your other half flowers that they can not only enjoy during Valentine’s Day, but some that they can enjoy all year round. People who aren’t so skilled with a garden rake can leave the flowers in their pots. Professional green thumbs can transplant them wherever they like. This is something that I do for my mom every year because she is an avid gardener and Valentine’s Day is somewhat of a gateway into Spring. Flowers get her excited for the warm weather that is (hopefully) on the way!

Remember to check regularly for plant industry updates on the pests and diseases of Florida’s plants from DPI, here at our website. For example, impatiens have recently been battling the downy mildew disease, which has the potential to spread quickly and result in rapid destruction of this very popular bedding and pot plant. It’s very important to only purchase plants from registered nurseries to ensure the health of the plants your placing at your home.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, honey is sweet and so are you.

Cards – Valentine’s Day cards are so much more meaningful when they are from the heart. Rather than paying $5 for a card that millions of other people are giving their loved one, why not make one? Now you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull this off – I promise. Here are a few really simple options. The easiest option is a photo card. Print out your favorite photo of you and your Valentine and write a simple message on the back. You can even get a little wild and frame it, if you have time. This is a quick and easy way to show someone that you love them. And, rather than throwing away a typical Hallmark card, they can display their photo proudly at home or in the office. But what is more romantic than a love letter? Write your Valentine a letter to show just how much you care. Or, if you’re a bit more brave and incredibly romantic, make your Valentine an audio CD or a video of you expressing your love. Include a few of “your” songs to make it extra special.

I hope your Valentine’s Day is the best yet. If you decide to avoid the crowds and stay home tomorrow, here are some recipes for cooking with the one you love using Fresh from Florida products. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Editor’s Note: This is a reprise of the entry that garnered the most views of any ever posted on our blog. It originally ran February 13, 2012. We have updated the links as appropriate. We hope you enjoyed it.

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