By Billy Joe Fudge
Near the end of the last century, my oldest daughter asked me to perform the marriage blessing and prayer at her reception. This was to be my first foray into the wonderful world of marriage blessings and prayers. Given that lack of experience, I set out immediately to petition the Lord Almighty to send Divine inspiration and soon. Well, as is His nature or should I say His Super Nature, He took what I considered to be an immoderate amount of time in downloading it to me. Thankfully it arrived just in time. You may not be in the market for a marriage blessing and prayer but just in case you are, here are the first four lines of mine.
“May your springs be green with renewal,
May your summers be cooled by a soft breeze,
May your autumns be filled with color and
May your winters be warmed by your love for each other”…
Yes, it is March, the first month of spring, and spring is indeed a time of renewal. The first plants to go green in spring are perennials. Perennials have roots that have held sugars and nutrients all winter long while waiting patiently for spring to arrive. Sunlight, warming temperatures, and spring rains trigger the movement of sugar and nutrient ladened liquids from the roots up through the stems of plants that do not suffer winter dieback such as trees. The sap travels to the end of twigs and limbs where the buds and leaf meristems use this super juice to grow new and longer stems, leaves, and flowers. Those perennials that die back such as clovers, grasses, and plants that come back from underground stems and bulbs such as onions, crocuses, etc. will usually respond earlier in the spring than woody-stemmed plants.
In our WINTER 2021 NEWSLETTER I made the following statement or promise. I said, “winter is going to be chocked full of planning and growing the Homeplace on Green River/Kentucky’s Outdoor Classroom brand” and that has certainly been the case. The planning is ongoing with a couple of grants applied for, the appointment of five new energetic, talented and creative board members, and the table is set for hundreds and hundreds of students to attend educational field days this year. Also, the seeds are planted for expanding existing events like our Plow Day Spring Festival on April 30th, the Fall Heritage Festival on September 10th and Family Farm Day on November 5th. Additionally, we are working on other events for the Fall, the likes of which have yet to come to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We are still in planning, but we look forward to sharing the particulars of these when we have them sorted and are ready to unveil our plans.
We have also been increasing our outreach to get the word out about our facility for rentals, and are on track to book more events this year than ever before. Our beautiful and historic campus carries the stories of countless families from our region who have celebrated life’s moments at Homeplace in Green River, and we are so proud to be an integral part of people’s special days. Our rental income supports our operational expenses and our Kentucky’s Outdoor Classroom programming.
So, we have sap already running up the stems of perennials, and seeds are planted in good soil and will soon be germinating and producing for all to see. We are excited. The future of your Homeplace on Green River/Kentucky’s Outdoor Classroom is bright. It is true that it is going to be a busy spring. It is true that we need much help. It is true that you have done much and we thank each and every individual, business, or organization that has invested time and talent, and treasure to assist us in our efforts “to protect and promote rural American culture through the sustainability of agriculture and natural resources, utilizing education, conservation and the economic opportunities of agritourism”.