This time of year is always incredibly hectic. There are the festivals, market starts up, gardening groups have programs and need speakers, and then there are the plants and gardens. This year I have a child preparing for graduation as well, so there's a ton of stuff happening here. I open my eyes in the morning, swing out of bed, and don't stop until my head hits the pillow 16 or 18 hours later. Only a few more weeks of this pace, thank goodness.
Last week was the Landis Valley Herb Faire. Susanna Reppert and I hatched a scheme over the winter to have speakers there. Susanna did the work and scheduled talks every 1/2 hour in 2 different locations for almost all of the hours of the 2 day festival! She did an amazing job of it and up until about mid-afternoon on the second day, the talks were a huge success. The faire itself winds down a few hours early on Saturday, so it wasn't a surprise. Even so, my last talk (wild food plants) at 3 on Sat. still had 5 or 6 rapt listeners. So Kudos to Susanna for the hard work!
I managed to get a couple of pictures of The Essential Herbal magazine readers. Barb King came right up and introduced herself (I LOVE subscribers who let me know who they are :-), and then Susan Hess and Jen Stradling appeared together. It is really so much fun to see and meet TEH folks. I wasn't quick enough with the camera to capture many of the others who stopped in to visit. This is the view from our side of the booth.
The gardens are coming along too. Our "safe to plant" date is May 15. Last night the news guy said there was a chance of frost, but it looks like that didn't happen here. I got some veggies planted the other day. The perennial plants are starting to really pay off. The blueberries (below) are responding to the fence I built around them and the lack of vermin nibbling off their tender tips. Look at the blossoms! The elderberry is enormous and there are three delicious mints all making their way across the yard - lol. Perennial culinary herbs like thyme, chives (top picture), tarragon, mountain mint, sage, and oregano are enormous, apparently happy to have been well mulched last year.Out front, the bleeding hearts are giving way to some of the more summery flowers. This one below *I think* is called batchelor's buttons. My mom adored it and called it "bluet", but bluets that I know are small dainty four petaled posies that scatter across the lawn like stars.Our famers market has started and we are heading into the 4th week now. We have some regulars sniffing the Yuzu salt spa bars below. So far it has been a blast. We are doing a short (2 page) newsletter every couple of weeks for Main Street Mount Joy, and that means interviewing vendors and customers along with photographing them. It's a lot of fun. Toss in a recipe or two that highlights the ripe produce, and there it is!
J and J Plants from Conestoga is a vendor at our market. They bring some awesome, unusual stuff. This broom came from them last year. I notice he has scarlet this year. The blooms are about triple the size of the typical pale yellow broom. It is gorgeous. See ya soon! We're working on the Jul/Aug issue of the magazine right now. Hang on - it's going to be another great issue with a big surprise right up front.