Saturday, April 16, 2016


If yesterday was calm and methodical, today was bursting with growth and spring beauty.  When I come out to set the cheepers free, I am stunned by the perfection of it all.

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I stay out and clear some of the distant raspberry beds. I hadn't intended to clear them -- it's a far off item on my yard to do list. But I'm there, they're there and it just feels grand to work outside in the warmth of the rising sun.

 I see a sleepy Ed coming out of the farmhouse. Without asking, he joins in. This belongs to our best moments -- working together in the morning, in anticipation of a beautiful day ahead.

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It's noticeably warmer than yesterday, or the day before, or the week before. Warm enough for breakfast on the (cleaned up) porch? Yes! A thousand times yes!

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Our plan today was to head straight to the Flower Factory for their grand spring opening. For more than thirty years I have been falling in love with the perennials sold there. David and Nancy (the owners) have grown the business to become perhaps the best place in the Midwest to purchase plants and we're lucky enough to be a mere ten minute drive from where they are.

But, it's also the grand spring opening of the downtown farmers market and someone slipped me a message about one of our farmer friends who had had a rough few weeks recently and so Ed and I decide to pop over to the market first and spend time greeting some of the vendors there. Familiar faces...

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Lovely flowers and potted veggies for sale in so many stalls (though not for us this time -- we came on Ed's motorbike)...

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Cheese curds galore (an Ed favorite)...

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New vendors to get to know.

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Ed, try this! Sorrel or pine needle pesto! 
He tries it. Turpentine.
What do you mean turpentine? It's great!
Tastes like turpentine which makes sense because turpentine is made from pine.
Unbelievable! How can you not love it? And the sorrel?

I can't believe I live with a guy who basically doesn't like pesto. I mull over that one for a while: if you like each of the ingredients, is it possible to not love a combination of them? Taste: what a complicated thing it is!

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At home, Ed gives a hen a hug...

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... and now we're off to the Flower Factory.

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I take great care with what I buy. Ed and I have expanded old fields and created new ones and it would be so very easy to load up many carts with new acquisitions. But one has to take care. The farmette is large and could swallow a credit card limit of purchases in no time. So we pick up only the center pieces. The rest I'll fill in through divisions and seeds.

Still, it's always thrilling to bring home plants from the Flower Factory...

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... and to add them (a few each day) to the landscape here.

By late afternoon, if you'd ask me what's blooming at the farmette right now, I'd say (somewhat impishly, as all these are additions) --

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Primula, which I learned to love in the gardens of Scotland

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... and of course, the (finally!) emerging daffodils.

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Ed picks up the camera and catches me in the act of planting. I do this routine dozens (hundreds?) of times each season and every single placement of roots into the ground is special. Memorable.

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Grow well, little plant. I hope the cheepers steer clear of you and that the groundhog finds better shoots on which to graze. I so look forward to watching you thrive here. Welcome.