Reasons for Hope

 First daffodils, old KY house

First daffodils, old KY house

Earliest spring is so easy to love. In my downtown yard, crocuses are blooming, but spring is so young no blooms have peaked and drooped yet. Tiny green leaves cover the old-fashioned bridal wreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia) transplanted from my parents' garden more than 20 years ago. Lettuce seeds are on the way, says my email, from several farms that sell sustainably grown seeds through Local Harvest. Even better, had I known it in time - a local garden ministry is selling a beautiful collection of heirloom vegetable seeds in Lexington on Saturday, March 7, and has made those seeds available by mail order as well.

Other new sprouts:

  • Getting local at the White House: Culinary students (and the rest of us, vicariously) visited the White House kitchen, where some local ingredients made it onto the menu for the Obama administration's first official dinner last week.
  • Growing our own experts: Seedleaf, Inc., central Kentucky's can-do, grow-our-own and feed ourselves experts, unveiled a new website last week, complete with an Upcoming Events section that's shooting up like a healthy pokeberry bush (Phytolacca, in case you wondered).
  • Planting urban orchards: On March 21, 2009, volunteers -- you can be one -- will plant three urban orchard sites in the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association, where I live. With grants from Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and other generous friends, with advice from many in the horticulture and orchard world, and with Seedleaf's help, volunteers -- you can be one and bring a friend! -- will plant more than 40 persimmon, pawpaw, shagbark hickory, Montmorency (tart) cherries, and other food-producing trees here in the heart of Lexington. I don't know details, so I'll make a guess (and I'll post again when I know more.) At 9:00 AM on Saturday, March 21, show up at the London Ferrell Community Garden, 250 W. Third Street, wearing garden clothes and carrying a shovel. (I'm guessing if the ground is not too wet, planting will proceed in any kind of weather from sunny and mild up/down to a light cool drizzle.)  People Who Know (or certainly know more than I) will put you to work for a good cause at one of three locations. More plantings will follow, including a berry/bramble "set out" on April 25.  The other two locations include the Living Arts and Science Center at 362 N. MLK, and a traffic island at the intersection of Fourth and Elm Tree Lane.
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