Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Can you believe today is the last day of March? Yikes. First quarter of the year is stick-a-fork-in-it DONE.
Oh, deer! Here in northwest Arkansas, the deer population has become a real problem. In my neighborhood, they come down from Mt. Sequoyah and feast all night on tender hostas and tulip greens. We can’t blame the deer, though. With a shrinking habitat, they visit ours. With less young people taking up the sport of hunting, the deer population has exploded.
But I’m happy to say THIS spring, I’ve found a sure fire way to keep the deer from eating the hostas in my front bed.
I moved them!
Yes, I dug them up and moved them to the fenced backyard where so far (knock on wood) they haven’t trespassed. Ok, a deer did visit the very, very back part of our lot one time, but I’m crossing my fingers that was a fluke thing.
The moral of this story: the best solution to battling deer is to resist the temptation altogether. Where the hostas were growing in the front yard, I transplanted a few salvia plants. Deer don’t like salvia. This same principle works for me. Don’t buy kettle corn in the first place, and you won’t have any to eat while watching This is Us.
Spring Gardening Advice
Already certain large garden centers are selling flats of hot pink impatiens and lovely caladiums, blooms that will awaken your very bone marrow to spring. I saw them Friday!
Sure, it’s perfectly fine to walk the aisles, admiring and planning. It might even lower your blood pressure and boost your endorphins by simply being around all that beauty. But my advice to you? If you live in northwest Arkansas, hold tight to your money and don’t be tempted by the siren song of corporate spring marketing. Keep walking to the birdseed or light bulbs or whatever you stopped to buy in the first place.
Those flats of begonias and geraniums were grown in a greenhouse. Probably in the San Joaquin Valley or some other Garden of Eden-like place.
Large garden centers are counting on you to roll the dice and buy early. Then, unless you have your own greenhouse and plan to store them rather than plant them now, you’ll have to re-buy in a few weeks. And a few weeks later.
Sure, if you live in Planting Zones 9 or 10+ you can go ahead and plant whatever you like. But here in Zone 6b and all points north, we still have a few more nights of below freezing temps to content with, and soil that isn’t quite warm enough. (The temperature this morning is 29!)
Soon, though. Very soon.
Remember, they’ll be selling those annual flats until Labor Day.
Look what I harvested this week! Morels are rock stars of the mushroom world, selling for upwards of $20/pound. Evidently the growing conditions are perfect for morels this spring in the woods of Northwest Arkansas. I must have harvested two pounds in two minutes.
I’ll be serving these up soon and sharing a blog post about morels later in the week.
They smell so rich and earthy and woodsy and mushroom-y.
Foodies, stay tuned!
Delta Arts Festival
Save the date! On June 7 – 8, I’ll be participating in the 11th Annual Delta Arts Festival in Newport, Ar. Since my book debuted, several people have suggested I attend this event, but this is the first chance I’ve had. I’m looking forward to it because a) it seems like a well-organized, fun event, and b) Newport is only an hour and a half from our farm. So, not only will it be like going home for me, but while there, I’ll be surrounded by farmland. That does my soul good.
I say all this hoping that you’ll let your friends know. And maybe you’ll attend too.
According to the Delta Arts Festival Facebook page, the event will include 170+ fine artists, 35+ function artists, 30+ craft artists, 17+ authors and 29+ bands and musicians.
On Friday night, Memphis band Seeing Red will provide a free outdoor concert at the new city part. There will be food trucks (yay!) and you are allowed to bring a cooler with adult beverages (double yay!).
Bring a lawn chair and come hang out with me!
On Saturday afternoon at 2:45, I’ll be doing a reading from The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee in the Jackson County Library (triple yay!). Don’t make me read to an empty room…
Things Momma Says
I’d rather have nails driven under my fingernails than go to the gym.
So there you have it. Another Sunday Letter in the books. Reminder: tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. Don’t fall for anything sketchy.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.