Some days it seems hard to remember that we are all part of a large and thriving ecosystem.  Our to-do lists and commitments keep us tangled up in a web of technology and disengagement and we forget that we each have the capacity to contribute to and be a part of nature. Even though we interact with plants and animals daily on the farm, we try to be intentional about spending time with nature by setting aside afternoons for kayaking and hiking. These fleeting moments are delicate reminders that we are both stewards and observers in this thriving climate. At times we might be as big as old growth trees, or as small as ants, but it is our responsibility to both appreciate and respect plant and animal life.

Though this Spring has been quite the roller coaster of fluctuating weather and temperature, we have thoroughly enjoyed the magical experience of Kentucky’s natural gifts. Peach trees have been blooming early, the whippoorwills have already begun singing and the forest floor has been blanketed with beautiful wildflowers. Here at the farm, we are fortunate to live very close to such diverse ecosystems. Within 20 miles we can reach a number of hiking trails touching the Daniel Boone National Forest. This Spring we hiked both at a local spot and at Camp Blanton (in Harlan, KY) in search for nature’s forest floor magic and color. What we found were some common floral friends and a few new beauties, but mostly we enjoyed a chance to revel in the gifts from the soil.

Take a forest walk with us

Cypripedium acaule
(Pink Lady’s Slipper)

Panax trifolius 
(Dwarf Ginseng)

Allium tricoccum

Trillium erectum

Pedicularis canadensis 
(Lousewort or Wood Betony)

Hepatica nobilis

Hydrastis canadensis

Arisaema triphyllum 

Dicentra cucullaria 
(Dutchman’s Breeches)

Silene virginica 
(Fire Pink)

Sanguinaria canadensis 

Caulophyllum thalictroides 
(Blue Cohosh)

Cimicifuga racemosa 
(Black Cohosh)

Tiarella cordifolia

Iris cristata
(Dwarf Crested Iris)

Panax quinquefolius 

As with all natural life, please consider the vitality of plant species before picking or taking from its habitat. Remember, we are all stewards and it is our responsibility to give back more than we take. In the end, we will all rest under this soil peacefully together.