Ithaca, NY (home of Cornell and Ithaca College) is about a pleasant hour's drive from the Binghamton area. I am ashamed to say that I mocked Ithaca (actually, Cornell) as a child growing up in the Bronx, singing the ditty that begins
"High above Cayuga's waters, there's an awful smell...."
(I was astounded to discover that my spouse learned the same song, sung to the tune of the the Cornell song, growing up a few miles north of me in Yonkers, NY).
Still, something in me ached to visit the Finger Lakes one day. I never made it there until I moved to Binghamton in the mid 1980's. I am so glad that I have had the pleasure of visiting Ithaca many times over the past 20 plus years.
High above Cayuga's water is....a fascinating college town.
It's an event. A "happening", if you will. Or, as the locals say, "Ithaca is Gorges". If only Binghamton could pull these same things off. We have an excellent university, too, but somehow....we just aren't a college town.
What does Ithaca feature, besides Cornell? The greatest library book sale ever. (a bit pricey, but just imagine....an entire WAREHOUSE of books. I could live out my life in there.) A great food co-op, Greenstar. A fascinating Farmers Market (if you can find parking, that is.) And....the greatest annual plant sale on earth.
Last year, I was privileged to be able to visit Ithaca's annual plant sale, as I blogged about. I was disappointed to hear that this year's plant sale was going to be in a different location . The good news is, the location is near a wonderful natural foods store called Ludgate Farms, and a mecca for birders, Sapsucker Woods.
I can't wait. I'm like a little child, jumping up and down, already dreaming of my purchases to come.
I should report on how I made out with last year's purchases. A variegated basil, Pesto Perpetuo, did nicely in a pot. (we tried to overwinter it, but it didn't last long.) Sadly, the heirloom tomato plants we bought (Black Rainbow) did not do all that well in our Earthboxes. They didn't get late blight (as I feared they would) but just somewhat languished.
This year? I don't care if it was in the 40's yesterday. I don't care if we keep getting rain. I've reviewed the list of vendors. They include a couple of my favorite Ithaca nurseries. I am bubbling over. I can hardly wait.