Chive Save the spring. It seems like I spend a lot of time willing spring to arrive. And then when it finally does, I want it to hurry up and slow down. The colors, flavors, and smells of spring are dizzying, and I love it so much that I want to bottle it. So this past weekend, I did.
You are here
Nothing makes me happier than to see fat, happy toads in my garden (or elsewhere in the yard). Mr.
I get excited each year when the weather gets warm to jump out in my garden and start planting all the things: vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, annuals, and perennials. For the first time this year, I planted lettuce, radishes, sugar snap peas and beets out in the garden early this year, and everything is already getting so big! My peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and so much more are still in the safety of my home, even though it might be time to plant some of them outside, but a good hardening off is in order.
It's that time of year again! The trees and grass and gardens are exploding with green. The weather has warmed up (kind of), and we can feel summer rapping at the door. And the best part of all this just might be the anticipation of juicy berries, crisp asparagus, flavorful tomatoes, gorgeous greens, and all the other delicious, energizing favorites we can soon expect to find at the farmers' market.
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a demonstration garden at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Michael Biehl gave me a tour of the plants in their exhibit, and though it is still early spring, they are numerous and vibrant. This demonstration garden is not just any old collection of pretty plants, it is unique among the gardens that line Lincoln Avenue at the U of I campus, it contains POISONOUS plants!
Spring, the way I see it, is best enjoyed naked. When the first flowers burst through the soil, or explode out of their buds, they often appear in an instantaneous blaze of color, and with no--or at least quite simple--leaves.
Welcome to this week's bee-log! Last time we focused on the gentlemen who frequent our property, this time let's take a look at the girls, all ~50,000 of them (not counting Fuzzy)!
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Farm Beginnings Collaborative meeting last week in Portland. Maine with our Executive Director, Cara Cummings. Farm Beginnings Collaborative is the national alliance of regional groups who are offering Farm Beginnings programs. The Collaborative is growing and now includes ten organizations with programs serving beginning farmers in 13 states. The Land Connection was one of the founding organizations of this collaborative back in 2004.
We're entering our critical third season at the Champaign Farmers' Market. Critical third season is a phrase I'll be using a lot in the coming weeks and months. Research shows that farmers' markets who make it through 3 seasons are far more likely to succeed and truly become a part of the community.
The 2016-17 Central Illinois Farm Beginnings class has concluded their classroom sessions! Congratulations to our students who made it through 63 hours of rigorous learning on topics ranging from enterprise budgets to legal liability management to whole farm planning. Starting in October, our students traveled from up to three hours away to learn from fellow farmers and industry experts. It was such a pleasure to get to know the students, help guide them through writing their business plans, and listen to the evolution of their ideas in their final presentations.