This season's Paper Farm Club Box, "The Sweetest Lemon Box", has everything you need to cultivate the community around you. It includes new designs for the farm Bible verse, birthday and blank cards, two new products, as well as some fun surprise gifts that will motivate you to grab the pen (also included!) and begin writing encouraging notes.
The farms within a 5-mile radius of our studio have been providing the next theme for our Paper Farm Club boxes since we began in Winter, 2019. This season was no different. When a neighbor farmer recently planted a few hundred acres of lemon trees, I knew it was going to be our next collection.
Reaching out to both Streamline Irrigation and The Sister's Market, I learned lemons, like oranges, are a fruit that can be used for many things. Cleaning, for one. Which makes lemons in high demand, and the price high. But, farmers also undertake unique risks when growing lemons. Lemon trees are particularly susceptible to freezing temperatures. If frozen, the entire tree can split in half! Farmers irrigate the trees and use wind machines during the freezing nights, but with the drought, ground water is hard to come by. Lemon trees also have thorns (seriously huge!), so it takes pickers longer to harvest and they have to wear protective gear. So though lemons are higher priced than oranges, the risk is also higher to grow them.
Lemons are a difficult tree to grow and harvest, which led me to Bible verses on seeds, light and gratitude. The Scripture Sticker this season reads, "from tiny mustard seeds, grow mighty trees" (Mark 4:31-32). We do not need a lot of begin our faith journey! And when you think about it, seeds begin in darkness, and need to get to light to grow. the Bible points out that we are born again not of perishable seed, but imperishable - through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). The Word will help us first learn of the Light and we will not perish. We may have droughts and thorns in our life that is difficult to harvest our fruit, like the lemon tree. But if we keep reaching for the Light, we can keep growing. And who is this Light? Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12).And for that, we are grateful (1 Chronicles 16:34) because His love endures forever. He will never let us go or give up on us! He is our Sweetest Lemon.
The cards include all three of the verses mentioned above, and I hope you can now see the amazing connection. The other three cards include a birthday card ("Happy Birthday to the Sweetest Lemon"), friendship card ("You're the Zest") and a blank card with two-color, ink - pressed lemon artwork.
Also included in the "The Sweetest Lemon" box is a smaller art print and recipe card. Both of the these items can slip into every paper farm press card for an added gift to the recipient of your encouraging notes. A sub-goal of Paper Farm Press is to inspire others to learn more about commercial farming, and a customer gave me the idea to create art prints that can also be mailed with the cards! Genius.
And who doesn't love a new recipe? Here's a recipe with lemons from a local chef, Jacque Baxley, author of Nourish The Book. Feel free to write this on your new recipe card or share with a friend!
Easy Lemon & Spinach Orzo
12 C Water
3 C Orzo
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 TBSP Butter, melted
2 C Spinach, chopped
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, shaved
Zest of 1 Lemon
Cook orzo in boiling salted water according to package directions and drain. In saute pan, add melted butter and garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add spinach, stir, and take off heat. Add garlic and spinach to the orzo. Top with parmesan cheese and zest of the lemon. Serve!
All of our cards are printed on our vintage printing presses, Willa and Heidi in our studio in Kingsburg, California. Letterpress printing is a relief printing process where each cotton paper card is pressed by hand using a photopolymer plate and hand-mixed ink on an 80-year old machine. It's quite the process and I encourage you to check out our instagram @paperfarmpress or our feature on ABC30 Action News for some videos.
The surprise gifts are meant to uplift you - the encouragers - to keep on encouraging! Enjoy a match box with "Jesus is the Light of the World" and a Citrus Tea Drop, referenced by The Sister's Market. Light a candle, pour some tea...and begin writing. Remember, you're sowing seeds (Mark 4:26-29)!
Feeling chatty? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on social @paperfarmpress.