When I arrive to work earlier than anyone else the stroll to the processing center is alive with sleepy birds fluffing wings and hopping about the thick bushes. Guinea hens plummet from high in the pines amid a lot of chatter until they land and scoot around. Before the cold front the morning sky showed deep shades of pink as far as we could see through the swamp. Then the sun eased over the tree line and cast a yellow gold upon the horizon line of winter trees. The cardinals began to flit among the garden rows and the red-shouldered hawks announced their territorial borders. The absolute beauty of the marshland touched my spirit.
Our celery plants topped out at about 2 ½ feet with long vibrant lime green stalks, it had an amazing year. Rows and rows of collards and kale survived the first couple of frosts under the sweep of overheard sprinklers which freeze the leaves at 32 degrees. The water creates a winter wonderland of shapes. I admire a leaf of dinosaur kale made of ice in my hand. We stack wood in the greenhouse to fuel the barrel stoves. The next series of frosts is expected mid week, so we hope to be able to pull all the freeze cloth before the weekend.
On Saturdays we now offer farm made cookies or pastries in the farm store pastry bar. We also serve a simple lunch. You can see the menu on our Thursday Farm Flash if you are on our mailing list. Call 352-595-3377 to add your name.
Stop by, have a cup of coffee, a breakfast bar or cookie and share a story with me. See you then!
Lee Solomon—Chief Gardener