b'Greetings from the Garden,I n the spirit of online learning and because Ive been thinking about doing this for a long time, here you have your very first Garden Newsletter! This weekly update will share with you the goings-on of our garden and its gardener (with an occasional cameo by our favorite mascot, Cholla). Wondering how those lettuce transplants are doing? Wishing you could see the calendula flowers in all their glory? Hoping to get a glimpse of the tulips we planted November before last? Well, buckle up. M ost importantly, the lettuce is doing amazing. At this point we are providing 100% of the schools lettuce. Harvesting with a mask and gloves feels a little weird, but Ill do whatever it takes to get risk-free delicious lettuce to the people. Almost all of the lettuce this year has been grown with seed we saved from last year. Some of you may remember pro-cessing this seed or doing the tedious but rewarding work of transplanting the tiny lettuce sprouts. We all thank you for your hard work, because this stuff is delicious!T he illustrious orchard is doing amazing already this spring. Most of the trees are busy setting fruit (except for those early apricots that suffered too much frost damage). My favorites to watch are the peaches. As they shed their delicate pink petals, a fuzzy little bump of silvery fruit emerges and slowly balloons into the plump peaches promised at the end of the summer. Some trees were too successful and will have to be thinnedone of my least favorite activities. Yet we all need room to grow and peaches are no exception. Apples are swelling, too, and the pears are in full glorious flower. Bees are returning daily in hungry hoards to enjoy the fruits of their labors, the pollen and nectar that will fuel their next generations. Isnt the coevolution of insects and flowering plants fascinating?A nother favorite activity has been cuttingThough chores at Orme may not be going calendula flowers and drying them foron, that doesnt mean I dont have to do later use. The flowers have a resin that canthem. Bermuda grass season is back in be helpful if infused into oil and used forswing and yours truly is busy every day dry, cracked skin among other things. Some- trying to beat it back and create defen-times I sprinkle the petals on salads or othersible borders around our growing space. foods to give them a pretty pop of color andMore mulching projects are about to a little bit of vitamins, or toss them into anensue. I am also using the handheld weed-herbal tea. If you are interested, I highlywacker more than usual. None of these suggest doing a Google search for Calendulathings are as much fun without all of and checking out the scientific studies andyou. I hope you are finding ways to help herbalist expertise surrounding this beauti- your family inside and outside the house. ful inflorescence. Bonus points to Sequoia who sent me photos of him taking care of his familys house plants! T hank you for reading the first installment of what Im sure will become your most highly anticipated piece of news each week (because this is likely the only news that is not centered exclusively on you-know-what)! I hope you all have a marvelous weekend and get outside to enjoy the tiny explosions of spring happening all over the world (er, well, northern hemisphere). With Gratitude,J. Wolfe'