Sleepy Bee Lavender Farm

  (South Glastonbury, Connecticut)
Connecticut Grown, Artisan Distilled Lavender
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Longer Days Promise Bright Beginnings

We've had the coldest January in Connecticut since 1994 (15 years). Now the calendar flips to February and I can see the daylight glow in the horizon sky after 5 o'clock when I leave the office. Hello, sunshine! Welcome back!

After two months with the onset of darkness between 4 and 5 pm, the incremental difference in day length is more noticeable at this time of year, especially on Monday's when you come outside at your normal departure time after two days away and suddenly there's the Sun, or the hint of it. Ya-hoo!! The days are getting longer and warmer temperatures will follow. The promise is palpable.

December is the darkest month here at 41° 45? 57? N, 72° 41? 0? W and after the 21st, when sunset happens at about 4:15 pm and the globe turns the corner, there's not much noticeable change in day length until the last week of January. Last night I drove the first part of my commute home in a "brilliant dusk", a fading glow of skylight that progressed from a warm, golden color to Robin's Egg Blue, to cobalt to black. Soon I will leave my office building to be greeted by a Sun that is hovering above the horizon! Then, after a few more weeks, it will follow me all the way home.

This "promise" is the fuel that fires a gardener's passion and keeps one hopeful during the winter dormant season. Seed catalogs arrive in the mail and thoughts of this year's planting selection and layout fill our minds with sunshine daydreams of green and yellow and orange and red. The longer days promise to melt the stark and frozen landscape and reveal the rich, workable soil once again. Which leads me to specifics here at Sleepy Bee Lavender Farm where a foot of frozen slush has cemented everything in place since New Year's Day.

A permanent snow cover during winter is desirable for lavender plants because it insulates them from severe cold and dessication. We've had single-digit temperatures and some mornings below zero so the cover of snow (well, ...cement) has been a welcome natural mulch for us during the coldest January we've had in 15 years. Without it, the plants can be stressed beyond the limit of their hardiness tolerance and the leaves could dry out or freeze causing lethal damage. Nature didn't intend for lavender to live in Connecticut but it does, with human intervention, if all goes well, according to plan, if we're lucky.

I'm feeling lucky. My CT Grown lavender is tucked away under cover of.... "snow".... and we've made it out of January. The Sun is on its way back but we're not out of the woods yet. February and March are full of Nor'easters, if not sub-zero temps, and disaster is a breath away and comes in the form of heavy rain. Lavender hates rain. But, with any luck, we'll dodge the storms and the gardens will green up slowly. 2009 is promising to be a good year.

 
 

Sleepy Cat

Meet Bing, the sleepy cat who loves lavender. Bing lives in Vermont at my sister's farm where he holds the title of Official Barn Cat and Rodent Eradicator. According to Deb, Bing prefers being an outside cat and he follows her around on all of her chores. Here he is taking a break from all of the supervising. It's a tough job, so he needed some R & R with lavender!

I had given Deb some lavender starter plants for her scenic property. Bing found them to his liking and with a photographer's eye, Deb got out the camera right quick. He realized that he was being filmed so he hammed it up by rolling around on the picnic table and nuzzling the little pot. Lavender seems to have that effect.

Contact me and I will send you another image of Bing relaxing with the lavender this summer in Vermont.

 

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Thanks

Wow, this is really something great. An authentic, professional blog of my very own! Two thoughts come to my mind. I can't believe I'm doing this so easily, and the opportunity to do so would not be possible without the vision, generosity, and hard work of Mr. Guillermo Payet.

My first blog post..... (Is that redundant?) It feels both exhilarating and humbling as I consider the implications and possibilities for self-expression about things that are important to me and can share with the world. Thank you, Mr. Payet, for the opportunity to participate in the local community paradigm that you created with localharvest.org. Thank you for creating awareness and support for the importance of locally grown food and community supported agriculture. Thank you for sharing your passion with folks like me so that I can carry the torch around my neck of the woods.

I look forward to posting here as often as possible about my small farm lavender growing and related experiences that others may find interesting. Thanks again, localharvest.org, and Happy Thanksgiving!

 
 
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