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June 1, 2016                                                                                          Vol. 1 Issue 3

Whew! Spring has been abundantly wonderful and wonderfully abundant. Most importantly for me has been the beautiful landscapes provided by Mother Nature with the help of man. And, the redbuds were magnificent this year.

Spring has brought on some wonderful gatherings and parties with family and friends
Our garden is witness to our abundant spring. It has been a lot work, but doesn’t feel like work until my back tells me so when I go to bed at night. The rewards of the garden outweigh any back ache. Each morning I wake up to the singing of birds and rise up to see them flit and flutter in our back yard. And each evening my wife and I enjoy that big outdoor room, listening and watching the birds as they prepare for the night.

And soon it will be summer. The current heat tells us so. I do like the heat, but I’m not gonna lie, I do suck up my share of air conditioning during the hot months. I suppose I’ll be down at the creek to beat the heat and catch some fish or photographs, whatever comes up first.

I started off this year thinking I would focus on gardens but found myself crawling in creeks. I also made my annual redbud pilgrimage to the mountains and photographed horse farms during racing season. Click on RECENT WORK to see these photographs.

I went to the Redbud Festival of Appalachian Culture in early April. It was the weekend that there was a dusting of snow overnight. My mission was to sell Kentucky 120 books, notecards and prints of redbuds. None of that happened but it was great to get to meet people from southeast Kentucky and learn about things like curing a country ham and harvesting grape vine (and not poison ivy). The weather was bitter cold on Friday, so on Saturday they moved the outside exhibitors inside, as well as the stage. I listened to local, unbelievably talented musicians all day, non-stop. This small festival is growing every year and I hope to see more people from central Kentucky visit in 2017.

Have you ever seen a walking taco? Either had I until the Redbud Festival. I kept getting these little cards from a vendor outside advertising them for $4 each, with a choice of beef, pork or chicken. Just text them with your order and booth number and they would bring the walking taco to you. It got my curiosity up, but I really wasn’t hungry since I had already had a full helping of chicken and dumplings. Then I looked up and to my amazement saw my first walking taco. This guy was walking around the festival with a bag of Cheetos cut off at the top, obviously filled with some variety of taco meat. He was walking and eating his taco with a plastic fork. Then I started noticing quite a few walking tacos. I’m still not sure whether this idea is ingenious or hilarious.

My oldest son and his longtime friends threw a Derby Party in Lexington. The main hosts James and Kate Vermillion named it  #vermillionairesrow. Check out the hashtag on social media. Seersucker suits and sundresses filled the back lawn and tents. No Tools Loaned gave us some wonderful traditional bluegrass music while we awaited the big race.

I was honored to be THE MAKER of the MINT JULEPS! Donning a MR. BOURBON t-shirt given to me by a friend for the occasion, I proudly served a real mint julep with a wide variety of bourbons. Then the big race! The only thing I remember is that I had my money on the 2 and 3 horses and neither of them came even close. I don’t even remember their names.

C’est la vie! It was a great party.

Abundant is the only word for our strawberry patch. Early spring was fairly dry and then the rains kicked in just at the right time. We made our first harvest in mid-May and I am still picking. I think we have probably had about three gallons so far. The first pickings were very flavorful but not so sweet. The sun and heat has really helped the berries get sweeter and more flavorful with each picking.

So far we’ve had strawberry shortcake and strawberry cheesecake. I see strawberry pie and strawberry ice cream in our future. Then the season will be over and we move into blackberries.

Not only will early July be time to gather wild blackberries, it will also be time to open the Chigger Ridge Blackberry Wine from last year’s harvest and wine making. Excited to think about it!

Before I start this story, I must tell you that when my family has gatherings they often request that I bring my potato salad.

The Thursday before Memorial Day, my hair dresser was looking for conversation and asked if was going to the cemetery. She is a country girl (my age) who probably was raised on a farm and so I figured out very quickly, she was talking about the tradition of families getting together on Memorial Day weekend and visiting family gravesites.

I just outright lied and said yes. I knew she was going to ask where and so I quickly added, “I don’t know where though. I have family in Carlisle, Paris and Lexington.” To which she replied, “Hmm,” and then asked “Are you making potato salad?” I was so stunned. The woman had no way to even know I cook.

On Friday, my sister came over to lunch in the garden and paint. I told her the story and from there we planned a visit to the Lexington cemetery to pay our aunts and uncle their due respect. Our cousin met us at the gravesites and then we went to my sister’s house to catch up with family news and eat potato salad, coleslaw and my aunt’s favorite thing to make for family gatherings—Kentucky Fried Chicken. I felt redeemed from my lie. And yes, I made the potato salad.

June 11
Celebration of Nature
with KENTUCKY 120 book signing at
Judy Geagley by Hand
Tollesboro, Ky.
August 7 – October 2
Group Photography Show
City Gallery at Downtown Arts Center
Lexington, Ky.
David Fitts/Tom Fielder/Becky LeCron/Ed Lawrence

Seeking 30 Kentucky landscape painters to participate in a coffee table book project that is currently in the concept stage with a publication schedule for late 2017. If you are an interested artist send an email to Pass this along to any artist who you may think may like to be a part of this project.

Even though I call this section of the newsletter “in my garden,” it is actually OUR garden. My wife and I share the work and the joy together. I’m happy to share my current garden photo journal entries with you in each edition of Edz Buzz.

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