|Beds of lettuce|
I visited Edwina and Selvin Harrell, of Crooked Cedar Farm in Blythewood to purchase my collards for New Year's Day. They were optimistic about the winter growing season and hoped that the weather would be kind to the garden this spring and summer. My visit was before the lows on several nights of near 12 degrees F°, torrential rain, and snow.
|View of the garden looking toward the chicken house|
I enjoy visiting their farm and seeing the neat beds of vegetables and flowers. Their enthusiasm for continuing to farm, in spite of adversity, inspires me. Mrs. Harrell always talks about the baby plants she is caring for, or soon will be caring for when they sprout, and Mr. Harrell discusses his latest construction project or the antics of the chickens.
Mr. Harrell has verdant patches of greens he feeds the flock of approximately 70 chickens to make sure they get greens in their diet. When I visited, Mrs. Harrell was slightly exasperated with her chickens, who weren’t laying as many eggs as she would have liked, but when I followed up to ask about both plants and chickens survived the cold, Mrs. Harrell said, “The chickens seemed to like the cold. We are getting almost five dozen eggs a day now.” She said they covered all the plants and most of them survived the weather.
This fall, they have had an abundant harvest of collards, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Kale is nearly ready, and I love their perfect beds of baby spinach and lettuce. They have had some difficulty getting the lettuce to grow this year, possibly due to bad seed, cold weather, or dry weather in the early fall, but they continue planting with the spirit of optimism every farmer must possess to succeed. The spinach and lettuce should be ready for harvest and customer’s tables soon.
Visit Crooked Cedar Farm at the Soda City Farmers Market in downtown Columbia on Saturday mornings, or contact them at their farm at 786-4841 and at 1464 Lawhorn Road in Blythewood. You may also email them at email@example.com; Mrs. Harrell emails customers about available produce.