Mike has often told of stories of his Grandma and what he remembers growing up on the farm. One story had to do with poppies. Grandma was known for her poppyseed cake. It was a cross between a coffee cake and a jelly roll. A firm cake was needed to hold a thick slathering of her secret poppyseed filling recipe while still being pliable enough to roll and create that signature pinwheel look with each slice.
She did not go to the store for the seed. She cultivated the showy poppies in order to harvest the special ingredient, and law enforcement was involved.
Grandma had rows and rows of beautiful poppies growing in the garden each year. In summer the multi-shades of pinks, oranges and reds would erupt from the plants creating a riot of color next to rows of potatoes, beets, carrots and cabbages.
Now this is where the story becomes a bit hazy where validation is only hearsay…
Come harvest time, Grandma would get visits from Federal Agents who supervised the gathering process. Once the seeds were collected, the remaining plant material was gathered and burned right there next to the garden by law enforcement. When the spent plants were nothing more than a pile of smoldering ash, the Agents were invited in for a cup of coffee and a slice of delicious poppyseed cake. It was the highlight of the harvest for both Grandma and the Officers.
Here on the farm this year we have been reminded that poppies were a crop that Grandma had so lovingly attended because a side pasture next to the show barn has erupted in color. About a week ago, as I walked out to the barn I noticed a pink something growing in the weeds so I climbed over the fence to investigate thinking that maybe a lost balloon had burst on its way across the sky but it was a bud on a very skinny poppy stalk.
This little pasture has not had anything new happen to it in the last ten years that is any different than any other area of the farm. No new soil, or amendments. No new critters that were only confined to this one pasture. Nothing that we can attribute to this onslaught of blooms. Yet these beautiful flowers are thriving in this little corner wedged in-between the show barn and the old shop. And there is not a single plant like this kind growing anywhere else on the farm.
When Mike walked by he commented that he was surprised I found opium seeds to plant in the pasture. I did not find or plant any seeds nor do I know how this one spot is now growing some amazing beauty.
The riot of color is a mystery but I am secretly believing it is simply, Grandma On The Breeze.