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   Spring 2014


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Greetings:

                   Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let's party”

                                      Robin Williams

          At this writing there is 6 inches of snow outside our door. Usually, I’m not a big winter hater. I like the slower pace of not so many summer chores and never getting caught up. I enjoy the time to plan for warmer days and the belief that this year we’ll have the perfect garden. This winter has gone too far. I don’t know what this crazy weather is going to do to the plants. I’m afraid we’ll lose our huge  bay tree outside our glass house. She lost most of her leaves in the hail storm of 2011. If she makes it through this, I’ll not call her tender anymore .

          We’ve lost 2 more hives of bees. We’re not blaming the weather for this. They had plenty of honey. We’ll keep trying, but I told Jim we may have to start calling ourselves Rock Rock Herb Farm.

          Sorry to start this correspondence on a negative note. It’s been a long cold winter. Spring will come.          

          In the Garden 

          I’ve sent this little garden prayer before. It’s been a while. It’s worth repeating. 

A Gardener’s Prayer 

O Lord, grant that in some way it may rain every day. Say from about midnight until 3 o’clock in the morning. But, you see, it must be gentle and warm so that it can soak in; 

Grant at the same time it would not rain on the campion, alyssum, helianthus, lavender and others which You in Your infinite wisdom know are drought-loving plants- I will write their names down on a piece of paper if you like. 

And grant that the sun may shine the whole day long. But not everywhere (not, for instance, on the plantain lily, and rhododendron) and not too much; 

That there be plenty of dew and little wind, enough storms, no plant lice and snails, no mildew and that once a week a thin liquid manure and quano may fall from heaven. Amen.   
                                     
Karel Capek
 

          We enjoyed greens, lettuce, spinach, onions until the single digits days and night. We had row covers, but didn’t help. We were impressed to see all the beautiful produce at the Knoxville Winter Market; greens, squash, root crops, mushrooms (fresh and dried) can goods. I’m sure the more we eat with the seasons, and the closer to home the better off we’d be.

          I found these guidelines in Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening…

Planting by the Thermometer 

Soil Temp.      45 -60 degrees   Sow beets, carrots, garden peas, lettuce, parsley, radishes and spinach. 

Soil Temp.      65-80 degrees    Sow beans, corn, cucumbers, melons and squash. 

Soil Temp.      85- 90 degrees    Sow field peas, okra, peanuts and shell beans. 

In the Kitchen

          Kale has been the “in vegetable” for a while. You’ll find beautiful kale at the farmer’s market or maybe grow your own. Either way you’ve got to try this.  

Kale Chips 

          De-stem kale leaves. If the leaves are large tear them into bite sized pieces. Toss leaves in a little olive oil to coat or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake in pre-heated oven at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. You’ll have to check. You want the leaves crunchy but not burnt. These chips are delicious like this or with grated parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle the chips on any savory dish for a little crunch. 

The Bee Yard

            As I said at the start our bees are not doing well and haven’t for the last several years. We don’t know what the problem is, but have some ideas. We’re not the only beekeepers struggling. If you would like to help the honey bees you can use these guideline principles given by Honey Bee Haven.

1.     Protect bee from pesticides

2.     Provide a variety of food for bees

3.     Provide a year round source of water for bees

4.     Provide shelter for bees

 I would add to these guidelines, to become a beekeeper and by buying honey from local beekeepers. For more information go to www.honeybeehaven.org. Remember more than 1/3 of our food supply depends on the pollination of honeybees. This is a problem for all of us.

Herb of the Year 2014, Artemisia

                Artemisia is such a diverse herb. There are the silver foliage plants, such as Silver King, Silver Queen, and Powis Castle that are valued in the landscape and for decorations and crafts. Some were once used medicinally, and to repel insects. My favorite Artemisia is Artemisia dracunculus or French Tarragon. I love the sweet anise flavor of tarragon with fish, egg dishes and sauces. I don’t care for the taste of dried tarragon, so I usually preserve the flavor by making and freezing butter or tarragon vinegar (my favorite.) I hate when I see tarragon seeds sold. French tarragon does not set viable seed and should only be propagated by divisions or cuttings. The best way to start French tarragon is to by a plant from us! Tarragon doesn’t always like our hot summers. You might try planting it in the shady part of your garden or in a container you could move when the weather warms up. 

In the Cottage 

          We hope you’ll think of us when you’re ready to purchase your organic gardening needs. We have several Espoma products to enrich garden soil. You’ll find Safer 3-1 Garden Spray to control insects and Neptune’s Harvest fish and seaweed concentrate to feed your plants. For your potted plants you’ll want our Fafard Organic Potting Soil, or as we call it “Potty Soil.” There’s much more in our Herb Cottage. Come see for yourself. 

Conclusion 

          We’re excited to start another year at Honey Rock. As always we appreciate your support and for making it possible for us to continue to do what we love.  

          We heard somewhere; Successful gardening is doing what needs to be done, when it should be done, the way it ought to be done, whether you feel like doing it or not. 

          Peace & Plenty

D. & Jim

“Growing The Good Life”

(download the pdf of our newsletter which includes our Happenings by clicking on Newsletter in the sidebar to the left.)
 

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Welcome to Honey Rock Herb Farm via our web site!

We'd love to have you visit us at our farm in Louisville, TN, where you'll find hundreds of organically grown herbs, flowers and vegetables.  We also have topiaries, planters and "gardens in a pot." 

Inside the Herbal Cottage you'll see dried flowers, herbs, potpourri supplies, herbal soaps, books, and gifts for the gardener and good cook.  We've chosen the best gardening tools, gloves and organic gardening supplies.  You'll love our own "3 B Honey" named for my father (Gerald Bailey,) us (the Browns), and of course, the Bees!

The Little House on the hill is our meeting room where we have classes, workshops and celebrate special days such as "Lavender Day" and "Christmas at Honey Rock."

Stroll through our "always in progress" Display Gardens.  Feel free to touch, smell and (if edible) nibble as you go.

We've been growing and enjoying herbs for nearly 30 years.  We'd love to share the joy of herbs with you!

 
"If the day and the night are such that
you greet them with joy, and life emits
a fragrance like flowers and sweet
scented herbs...That is your success."   
Thoreau
 
Celebrating our 26th season......

    

 

 

Honey Rock Herb Farm,
PO Box 23, Louisville, TN 37777
 865-984-0954
email
  Location: 113 Honey Rock Way

 

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