Spring is in the air

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We are officially in pollen season in Northwest Arkansas. The birds and the bees are busy spreading it tree to tree and flower to flower. Our cars and windows are covered in a thin layer of yellow dust. It’s a symbol of this wonderful season of renewal. I have been busy in my garden. I am determined to stay on top of the weed control this year.

I have hesitated to plant more than potatoes, onions and a few other cold weather crops. Each time I jump the gun and plant flowers and tomatoes too early, we get a little late season frost. There are low temperatures predicted again this weekend as I share this story with you.

During the Easter season, my oldest daughter took me to a local tulip farm outside of Fayetteville. When we pulled up, the parking lot was packed. I made a comment to her as we approached the front gate, this was the kind of farm city people come to when they wanted to feel like they were in the country. It was such a pretty place with several rows of beautiful tulips.

 The operation was diversified with berries, a fruit orchard and beehives. The gift shop touted local honey and other items. My favorite feature was an old combine that had been gutted and made into a major part of the slide and playground area. It was a fun, local experience and also quite expensive.

After realizing the cost of visiting a local tulip farm for cut flowers, we are now determined to grow more cut flowers in and around our family vegetable garden this year. I enjoy working on and adding to all the flower beds adorning our family farm. My youngest daughter and I have plans to add layers of more staggered bulb flowers this year. We have been researching all colors of tulip bulbs under the sun. We have created a whole bed of flowers to attract hummingbirds. 

Recently, I had an opportunity to visit with a couple of friends from the Chester area over lunch. They have a lot of experience with beekeeping. I have not braved starting any beehives at our farm yet. I was wide-eyed as he told me how he catches a swarm to get a queen bee into the beehive. It is fascinating and terrifying. I really want to try out a beekeeper’s suit and watch someone gather honey. I am a big patron of local honey because I have been told it helps with allergies. There is an entire section of our local library dedicated to beekeeping, including hives. I just might surprise myself and get into it soon.

Hopefully the danger of frost will pass soon so we can get busy with more flowers and vegetables. Until then, there are track meets, baseball games and our oldest daughter’s first high school prom to tend to. There is no shortage of things to do this spring. Our family seems like a bunch of busy birds and bees this year and always. I hope you are having a lovely spring. 

Pollen season is just about over, bless you neighbor. 

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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