Expanding community interest in gardening through educational activities.

Far Reaches China, Report #1

Whatcom Horticultural Society supports Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken (Far Reaches Farm) plant exploration and their current trip to China.  This is their first correspondence.

Hi Folks!  We are in Hubei where we have spent the last two days at higher elevations in a bit of snow before being chased down to lower and richer elevations.  The last two days have been spot on gorgeous with crisp sunny weather but that will change tomorrow and be more like our first day in the field with light rain made wetter by wading through waist to head height dripping bamboo for hours.  No such conditions would be right without mention of leeches and Kelly landed a good one.  Pretty much hate the low bamboo that colonizes vast areas at the expense of all but a few trees and shrubs but had some small measure of revenge at dinner tonight when we had steamed bamboo seed – think buckwheat/farro in a sort of pilaf.  Really tasty.  Now if we can have goat tomorrow night and exact some retribution upon the semi-feral grazers, all will be right in our world.

This has been a terrible seed year in China.  Earlier reports Sent from my iPad and there have been some good ones.  There is no doubt that we are gaining much from observation in the field and what a moment today to see Acer griseum growing on a huge boulder shoulder above a stream with a waterfall in the background.  This was one of those moments in life for all of us.

Things are going well and despite the poor year, we have no complaints as we are making some very fine lemonade out of lemons including some first-time introductions.  We are going to have a very good day tomorrow we are quite sure.  Much work to do yet and it is 9:45 at night having just finished field notes.  Thanks for helping us do this work!

Kelly & Sue