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The advantages of muscadines and scuppernongs

When we moved to the Florida Panhandle in 1989 and bought a house in Wakulla County, my wife and I inherited a grape arbor that was planted by the original builder of the home many years previous. It consisted of three 4×4 posts with cross pieces at the top and a run of heavy gauge wire out near the ends of each cross piece. Maintenance had been lacking for some years so the vines had grown into a massive tangle...

A place called Eden: The Wesley home and Miss Maxon’s Estate at Eden Gardens State Park

By Marie Louise (Mickey) Wesley Swinford as told to Karen Schansman Note: This story was originally published in the historical book The Way We Were – Recollections of South Walton Pioneers; published in 1996 by South Walton Three Arts Alliance. Republished with permission. You may find a copy of the book that includes many short stories about our area’s colorful history at the Coastal Branch Library. You may also find its follow up book Of Days Gone By – Reflections...

DeFuniak Springs Home and Garden Show Sept. 12

The Second Annual DeFuniak Springs Home and Garden Show will take place on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at the Walton County Fairgrounds, 790 Hwy. 83, DeFuniak Springs. The show runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Dozens of vendors will be there with artwork, hand crafted jewelry, home décor, skincare products, honey and beeswax products, jarred and canned food items, garden décor, plants, fresh produce, clothing, crafts items and food vendors. In addition, contractors, fencing specialists, roofing representatives, painters, flooring...

Most anytime is good for growing sunflowers

Sunflowers, Helianthus spp., are a great choice for gardeners who are looking for some cheerful color in their landscape. Here in Florida, we have the main ingredient for success, lots of sunshine. Sunflowers are short-lived annuals. The average time between planting and bloom is roughly 65 days. You can typically plant sunflowers in Florida beginning in late winter until early fall. Only the coldest months cause problems, and for most years that’s only November – January. Sunflowers can be planted...

Walton Outdoors wishes you a happy Independence Day

Click here to listen to the Declaration of Independence IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions...

UF/IFAS Extension Office Gardening in the Panhandle seminars offered online

During these unusual times, the UF/IFAS Extension Office Gardening in the Panhandle Team has been working to bring you quality remote content through their online newsletter. In that vein, they have developed some new educational programming for their readers. The next Gardening in the Panhandle Live is on June 11th and will continue every two weeks throughout the months of June, July and August we are providing one hour “Gardening in the Panhandle LIVE!” sessions on Zoom. These will occur...

Walton County lifts burn ban; reinstates beach bonfire and special event permits

May 26, 2020 – During today’s Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting, held at the DeFuniak Springs Courthouse at 9:00 am on Tuesday, May 26, the BCC took several actions in regard to COVID-19. The first of these actions was to reinstate the following:  1. Reinstatement of beach bonfire permits as permitted by the South Walton Fire District. 2. Reinstatement of special event permitting as allowed in the Walton County Waterways and Beach Activities Ordinance. The reinstatement of both...

Remember our fallen service men and women this Memorial Day

Take a moment to remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives for the United States of America As many of us enjoy an extended Memorial Day weekend by firing up the grill, heading to the beach, watching the Indy 500, or simply enjoying an extra day off with family and friends; please take a moment to remember our brave soldiers who gave their lives for our country. Since 1868, we have set aside this special day of remembrance. Nearly...

It’s blueberry picking time in Northwest Florida

Where to find local sweet blueberries to pick or purchase  June and July is the time of year to head out and find tasty Florida blueberries. In addition to a great topping for cereal or salads, blueberry pancakes, muffins and coffee cakes are also a popular homemade treat for blueberry lovers. Many locals take advantage of the local pick-your-own farms and stock up by purchasing berries by the gallon from local growers. Since the fruit freezes well, many buy in...

Burn ban in effect for Walton County

May 12, 2020 – At today’s Walton County Board of County Commissioners meeting the board voted unanimously to enact a burn ban for all of Walton County. The ban goes into effect today and will last until rescinded by Walton County Board of County Commissioners. This ban includes beach bonfires and any other “open flame.” The only exceptions are authorized burns by Florida Forestry Service or for the cooking of food exclusively in a gas or charcoal grill. For more...

Fire weather warning issued for entire Panhandle

May 11, 2020 – SOUTHPORT, Fla. – The National Weather Service is issuing a Red Flag Warning for our area today. Critically low relative humidity percentages combined with sustained winds of 15 mph are predicted this afternoon. ‘These conditions, coupled with a lack of adequate rainfall, create an increased potential for wildfire activity. Any open fire will have the potential to escalate quickly causing catastrophic damage. Holmes and Washington counties have issued county wide burn bans in their local jurisdictions....