inspired

it was many, many years ago when the first moment of inspiration struck. my oldest was a child and we visited the folks at au naturel farm for the first time. there our mouths were agape with wonder at all going on, but i will keep focused on my current tale. we saw for the first time citrus growing in kentucky in a relatively small propane heated greenhouse. our hosts offered my children each a tangy, citrus treat and my son’s world view shifted. he would have this at home.

the first flowers nearly 2 years ago now

the first flowers nearly 2 years ago now

those of you that know this guy (then little guy, now big guy) understand his will and gumption. he did it. he worked and saved and worked more and saved more and went in halves on our farm’s 22′ x 45′ propane heated greenhouse. immediately planting his sacred citrus trees; some from seed saved, some purchased.

those first citrus trees in his bedroom the year before they were planted in the greenhouse

those first citrus trees in his bedroom the year before they were planted in the greenhouse

now, inspiration returns, for he has a huge crop of meyer lemons.  there are literally hundreds of lemons dangling from the trees. alas, we are not attending our usual farmers market now, we are in our “off season”. looking for a local venue to sell this bounty, i didn’t have to look far. invited as guest vendors at not one but two of our region’s finest markets, we will celebrate this saturday february 14th lemon love at the wondrous Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green, KY and the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market in Glasgow, KY.

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anyone near enough should come on by, taste the childhood dream of my son, enjoy the sweet and tart combination of the freshest meyer lemon found around these parts, and celebrate the love, kentucky style.

an early harvest

can do

since last we met in this space there has been a lovely series of sunny days. the return of the sun has helped me settle in to my spring groove.  spring holds with it a plethora of necessary tasks which can easily overwhelm. i chose to focus on what i can do: greenhouse work.

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here on the farm we have one 22′ x 45′ heated greenhouse. once we began using season extension in our high tunnels (we now have 2 of them, each 30′ x 96′), the support of a heated greenhouse became a critical component of the mix. generating plants the year round helped us utilize the tunnels more effectively. while far from perfection, these spaces are a true balm for the early and late season angst! not to mention it houses my son’s small but delightful citrus project.

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i am not sure if any of you have been so lucky to inhale the sweet fragrance of meyer lemon flowers. intoxicating and lovely, their scent surrounds me as i generate plants. the warmth of the greenhouse, the scent of citrus blossoms, the flats of newly emerging green. yep, i have found my spot.

this photo is actually from last year, i am still without camera

this photo is actually from last year, i am still without camera

our ground remains fairly soggy, field work now would be a mistake, one we have made many times over in the past and one we keep promising we won’t make again. working the fields too early leaves the soil structure cloddy for the entire season ahead, it seems only another deep frost and thaw cycle can mend those errors. so, with intention, and sometimes a bit of difficulty as i opt not to do many other tasks, i plant myself firmly at my post in the greenhouse. i sort through the seed packets, i make soil mix, i slow down and breathe deeply and head to my spot. with the sweet smell of citrus beside me, i sow seed after seed, filling flat after flat. i inhale and keep my daily watch as the seeds sprout, the first true leaves appear, the amazement of the promise that lies ahead.

and then there is paul. he too suffers the pressures of the emerging season, perhaps more so than me as he really plans the field work and executes the growing season here. luckily, while i focus on the greenhouse work,  he too has found the perfect place for his restless hands: he is framing the roof supports for the top of our nearly complete root cellar.

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in the windows of  opportunity that presented themselves during the past winter, we completed the foundation and laid the block for our cellar. now,  these have been lovely days for construction, sunny and mild, he can focus and execute a perfectly timed project

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we need this space complete.  during the hot summer months the earth will cool the area to house our harvests. as the season progresses, we can fill her to the brim with winter squash and potatoes and many other storage crops. you see now, before our daylight hours are consumed entirely in the gardens,  is the perfect time to finish this project.

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it can be all too easy to move through life clinging to the reminders of things not done, lamenting on tasks not complete. i am trying now to live daily life reminding myself of all that i have done, all that is complete. all that is possible. with each aspect of life, why not focus on the positive. the benefits are undeniable.  friends, join me, it’s fun!