Update from the Greenhouse & Farm

 In General

About this time of year, our phones and emails start burning up. People ordered tropical plants last month and they haven’t received them yet.

Most winters we have a backlog of maybe 100 plants, because we keep a close watch on the weather and ship as much as we can during those brief warm periods. This year, we’re shipping from a backlog that dates back to November, when temperatures started freezing in Memphis and Chicago (the big shipping hubs) and looking at a stack of paper inches high.

Unlike previous years, there were no warm periods — or at least not long enough for us to trust UPSP to get them across the country in time. We’ve been shipping north to Virginia and west to Texas, but other than that, we’ve just been taking care of plants here. (We know, it’s been warm in California, but we can’t ship through freezing temperatures and expect tropical plants to arrive alive.)

It’s actually been pretty rough here, even though it never dropped to that terrible 32 degrees, we had several nights in the mid-30s and the wettest February on record. All that water (in a closed up greenhouse where the humidity literally fogged over your reading glasses) caused neem trees to turn yellow so we had to trim them back again.

Right now, we can ship to most of the country and to southern California, but we’re literally looking at a stack of orders several inches thick. The trees are covered with new growth, but they’re not going to be the big happy neem leaves you expect — they’re still small and reddish but very happy (we promise!)

The betel, gotu kola and tulsi thrived in wet, relatively warm weather so they look fabulous. The ashwagandha got pushed back out of sight and came down with scale so we’re spraying it with neem now and expect to put it back online soon.

It’s only fair that we ship first-come, first-served, and it’s not easy to train someone to pack a tree that may have to travel thousands of miles, so it’s also time-consuming. Please be assured we’re running the greenhouse at full staff and getting plants out as fast as possible.

If you absolutely, positively need your plant immediately, please let us know. We’ll do our very best to get it out as soon as we can!

Ugadi update

It doesn’t help that the trees in the ground have turned yellow from too much rain, but it’s been warm enough here that they’ve decided it’s summer and should start putting out new growth. Fresh leaf is still listed as backordered so that it gets a chance to grow, but if you want fresh leaf for Ugadi, it would be a good idea to order shortly. We also have really nice dried flowers this year (and it looks like some of the new growth will have flowers since Ugadi is so late this year.)

Be sure to include a note in the comment section to let us know what day you’ll be celebrating so we can get your leaf there on time and looking great! (If you just order flowers, we’ll ship them immediately, but otherwise we’ll hold onto them to ship with the fresh leaf.)

Soap Special

We’re still trying to figure out which soap people like most, so the soap special continues. Try all six varieties and save $10. Then, let us know which is your favorite and we’ll send a free bar with your next order!

“World’s Most Versatile Herb”

We’re working away on the update to the booklet “A Guide to One of the World’s Most Versatile Herbs,” and hope to publish one or two updated chapters monthly. If you have a story you’d like included — or a full PDF of the 2014 document — email us at info@neemtreefarms.com

Open Greenhouse

Mark your calendar for April 6 — nearly everything is blooming and ready to be trimmed so you can grow your own cuttings. We also have a great selection of free seeds online we’ll be delighted to send with an order. Hopefully, we’ll start shipping some of our most popular plants already rooted and in pots in April (except to California and New Mexico) but we’re working on that too.

Thank you for reading our newsletter and have a wonderful weekend!

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