US: Southwest Virginia organic farm blossoming

The sights and smells tell that spring is in the air on the farm of Deni and Tom Peterson. Just about everywhere you look, the manicured landscape of the Abingdon organic farm, Blue Door Garden, has come alive with greenery and bursts of color.

The couple is up as soon as the morning sun creeps through the windows and the birds begin their songs. After a cup of chocolate milk, the growers retreat to the gardens where the day’s jobs await them. Deni plants and harvests seasonal flowers and herbs while Tom prepares the ground for planting, mulches, and keeps weeds at bay.
Nurturing the acreage around their home is a year-round job, with every season demanding close attention from the garden caregivers.
Just last week, Deni gathered and delivered to Blue Hills Market mini bundles of mixed blooms of seasonal flowers, including mock orange, sweet William, snapdragons, foxglove, sweet peas, bells of Ireland, and nigella — floral arrangements that may find a place on someone’s kitchen table.

The farm is a place where visitors can slow down and appreciate the seasons, but for the Petersons, spring is one of the busiest times of the year; planting seeds and transplants, weeding, harvesting, and designing arrangements with whatever flowers happen to bloom that week, some of which grow in the farm’s three hoop houses.


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