We had visitors to the garden this week. First let me introduce you to Chad Wilt, from Creation Gardens in Compton, Arkansas.
|Chad Wilt, Creation Gardens, Compton, AR|
Chad called a few days ago saying he and his family had been away over the Holidays. They'd left their greenhouse in the care of neighbors. The greenhouse contained all of their stock plants that Chad takes cuttings from, to grow on for their spring plant sales. They sell at the Baker Creek Spring Festival and at the Herbal Affair in Sand Springs, OK, places we also always attend. His greenhouse is heated with a wood stove and the neighbors had filled the stove too full of wood. The stove overheated, setting a wood pile just a few feet away, on fire, too. Well, actually the greenhouse is so tight that air didn't get in, so the hot stove and the lack of air flow, turned the wood pile into charcoal! That was a lot of heat and a wonder the greenhouse didn't burn, too. All of their stock plants were just baked to death.
Chad called to ask if he could come up and take some cuttings from my plants. He got several kinds of sage plants, a couple of varieties of rosemary, some Mountain Mint (Pycanthium), both Mexican and Sicilian oregano, a honey eucalyptus (which hadn't been hurt by the cold) and a few others. Then we went over to our friend, Brent's, who had a African blue basil for Chad. Then on up to Ozark, MO where our friend, Olee at Spring Fever Greenhouse had a small stock plant of Vietnamese cilantro, which is always a good seller for Chad. Olee had special empathy for Chad even though they'd never met. Olee's greenhouse burned down a few years back from a similar issue.
In case you want to email Chad to see if there are other herb plant starts he's missing, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm sure he'd appreciate any unusual herb cuttings you might have to share. You can mail them to him at Creation Gardens, HC 33, Box 75, Compton, AR 72624.
|Austin Jones, heading to Florida to capture oysters.|
Our second visitor this week was Austin Jones, a young man who has a passion for antique fruit tree varieties. He's been running a trial of about 100 heirloom fruit varieties at Bear Creek Farm (which I've written about before here - they're the ones doing the experiments with acres and acres of grafted tomatoes). He works there on their 11 acre produce garden. They sell to Whole Foods in Kansas City and at area farmers markets.
Austin stopped by for a visit and tour of the garden, on his way south. He's not been here before and we enjoyed getting to visit. He's off on an adventure, hoping to learn about oyster and shrimp harvesting off the coast of Florida for the next month or two. He doesn't have any contacts there, just plans to head to the coast and offer his labor in exchange for learning how oysters are harvested. We told him we expect good stories when he comes back.
|Bluet (Houstonia caerulea)|
For today at least, we have fabulous weather and the garden thinks spring is on the way!