Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reporting Frost Flowers

We wanted to share this nice letter...


Though I am a lover and an observer of nature I had never heard of ice flowers until I read the Lexington Herald-Leader piece about your video Frost Flowers. I just thought you might be interested in knowing that this morning when I was returning from my walk and noticed some strange white "debris" around some plants in our yard. On close inspection I recognized ice flowers! It was so thrilling and I just thought you might be interested in know that they appeared today in my little corner of western Scott County, Kentucky. Thanks so much for your dedication in bringing the wonders of nature to so many people.

Warm regards...

Note the next KET broadcast of the film will be:
KETKY: Saturday, December 11 at 8:00 am EST
KETKY: Saturday, December 11 at 5:00 pm EST

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Frost Flowers Press Release and Broadcast Schedule

Updated Spring 2013!
KET continues to air this program! Please visit their website for current broadcast schedule!
Or, click here to purchase the DVD!

November 3, 2010
For immediate release:

Burkesville, Kentucky filmmaker, Chris Korrow, has a second environmental documentary set to air on KET throughout November and December. Korrow takes the viewer on a journey into the fascinating phenomenon of Frost Flowers. Seen scattered through fields in winter, these spectacular icy “blooms” occur for just a few short days a year, with magnificent displays only occurring every six years or so. Frost Flowers is an educational environmental film that combines beautiful photographs and high definition footage with a narrative that explains what the formations are, and how and why they develop. Thousands of Korrow's photos, along with time-lapse photography and an original score, illustrate the fact the we are not the only ones who posses the ability of artistic expression. We often overlook the artistry that takes place in nature, and this film encourages us to take a closer look at our surroundings with fresh eyes.

Korrow is perhaps best known for his documentary, Garden Insects, which aired nationwide on PBS several times, reached an audience of an estimated 2.5 million viewers, and won two film festival awards. The film includes shot of over 125 insects, and details their role in the garden ecosystem in a lively, accessible way. Public schools and libraries around the country have embraced the film--it is now used in school curriculums from elementary grades through college. Korrow thanks the etymology department at the University of Kentucky for reviewing the film for accuracy.

Footage for both films was shot almost exclusively on Korrow’s Cumberland County farm. Korrow would like to thank KET and the program’s sponsors, Philip and Laura Lyvers and Judith Rausch, MD.

While many environmental filmmakers focus on what is going wrong with the planet, or highlight the spectacular or the extreme, Korrow chooses to show us how, by looking at nature with new eyes, we will inherently change our relationship with the natural world. Chris Korrow invites us to develop wonder, awe and appreciation for what goes largely unnoticed in the natural world around us. Future projects for Korrow include a full-color children’s book, The Organic Bug Book, due out in spring of 2011 (SteinerBooks, Bell Pond, New York).

Purchase the DVD.

Korrow is available for interviews.

Upcoming Airdates:

KETKY: Sunday, November 7 at 4:30 pm EST
KET: Sunday, November 7 at 10:30 pm EST
KETKY: Tuesday, November 9 at 5:00 am EST
KETKY: Tuesday, November 9 at 8:30 am EST
KET: Friday, November 12 at 2:30 am EST
KETKY: Friday, November 12 at 2:30 pm EST
KET2: Friday, November 12 at 10:32 pm EST
KETKY: Saturday, November 13 at 2:30 am EST
KET2: Tuesday, November 16 at 11:30 pm EST
KETKY: Monday, November 22 at 9:30 pm EST
KET: Friday, November 26 at 5:00 am EST
KETKY: Monday, December 6 at 6:30 pm EST
KETKY: Saturday, December 11 at 8:00 am EST
KETKY: Saturday, December 11 at 5:00 pm EST
KETKY: Tuesday, December 14 at 8:30 pm EST
KETKY: Saturday, December 25 at 9:30 am EST
KET2: Monday, December 27 at 9:30 am EST
KET: Thursday, December 30 at midnight EST

Thursday, August 5, 2010

River/Creek Photos

Chris has been spending quite a bit of time in the woods lately and came home with these two photos.

Cumberland River

A creek that feeds into the river

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gabbi's Farm Internship at a Biodynamic Farm

Gabbi helping Earl to get going

While we have lived on a farm for 20 years now, for about the last 9, we haven't been a "working farm"--meaning we do not generate income from our farm. So while we have 3 horses, chickens, and grow a large garden, we no longer milk a cow, raise animals for meat and grow a few acres of vegetables like we used to. So when our 16 year old daughter, Gabbi, thought she would like to visit a neighboring farm and be an "intern" for a week, we thought it was a great idea.

Paul and Robin run Hill and Hollow CSA, delivering vegetable twice a week to Nashville, TN and Glasgow, KY. They have a milk cow, raise pigs, sheep, chickens, a donkey named Earl, and a pet turkey named Manly. Plus they grow many acres of vegetables, make compost and biodynamic preparations. There is a crew of 3 interns, along with their family of 4 (which includes their daughter Madeline and their son Sasha who is a full-fledged farmer at age 11). They are your typical bright wide-eyed brilliant children who have never been to school, raised on home-grown food and no television.

Sasha and Earl

In addition, Paul and Robin host the Nashville and Louisville Waldorf schools for their thrid grade farm visit each year, and pioneered the KY CRAFT (Collaborative Alliance for Regional Farmer Training) program, a program where the interns on organic farms from around the state meet each other, and visit and learn from other farmers.

It's very cool bit of trivia that Paul and Robin met when they were themselves interns at John Peterson's Angelic Organics (Star of The Real Dirt on Farmer John).

Gabbi was up at 5:30 am each morning to milk Addy with Sasha. After that, they spent an hour working with Earl. After a full day of farm work, the day came to a close, with Gabe again milking with Sasha and another session with Earl at dusk. (Video from John Bela)

For the last 5 years or so, Gabbi has practiced Parreli Natural Horsemanship, and received her Level 2 certificate last year. Parreli teaches how to solve train a horse and solve horse problems without force or punishment. Part of the reason Gabe wanted to head to Hill and Hollow was to have the chance to work with Earl, to begin to teach him how to pull farm equipment. He was pretty much spooking when something was behind him, kicking and hadn;t tied to pull anything. On her last day, Earl was fully hooked up in his tack, and successfully pulled the harrow around a dirt area. It was a good start. She hopes to go back in August for another week.

Earl about ready to pull the harrow

Paul and Robin had a send-off celebration for Gabe with a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, and sent her home with a gallon of raw biodynamic milk and a 1/2 gallon of yogurt!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

30 Square Foot Garden Results

Our friend Pat Ritter created some garden beds using Chris’s instructions in his booklet, The 30 Square Foot Garden

She writes “...last year this was a large area we had to mow—and this year, well, see what I picked for a stir-fry dinner last night.  And will be better when it rains as I have a lot of little seedings just coming up—more greens.”

Thank you Pat, for sending the photos. 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden Insects to Air on PBS this Summer

Chris's award winning film is scheduled to air a number of times on PBS stations across the US during June and July. Check your local listings.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stay at Home Retreat: Health, Poetry and Spiritual Inquiry

When I told my friend, Caifornia-based poet Ellaraine Lockie that I had finished a four-day stay at home retreat, she suggested I write about it, that other writers might like to know how and what I did.

Well you can imagine that two things which inspired this kind retreat (as opposed to traveling somewhere) were time and money, or rather lack of it. In the last three months, I have already traveled to Mexico with family, and then to NYC with daughter for a college visit, therefore my travel time and budget were used up for the next few months at least.

Some aspects of my lifestyle worked in my favor. I have a creative and supportive family who understands the importance of pursuing art and spiritual contemplative study. This was important—I didn’t have lots of loud people in my periphery, people asking me to do things for them or meet their needs.

I live on a beautiful farm and especially this time of year the cherry tree in front of the house is in full bloom and the pastures around the house are bright green. Because I live here all the time, I think I forget, or take for granted, how beautiful Cumberland County Kentucky is. Often times I think about all of the places I would rather be. This time was an opportunity to settle in to a remembrance of the beauty of my own backyard.

Earlier in the year I posted photos of my beautiful new writing space, well-lit with big windows and bird feeders. So, while the beach is always calling me, my own humble home is also a place of tremendous inspiration. My muse is on call 24/7, it’s helpful to be reminded that I do not have to travel to exotic places or place myself in complete isolation to find her.

More or less the retreat, or any retreat for that matter, was more of a mindset, and in some ways even a form of clever trickery. An agreement perhaps, or a commitment of sorts. I scheduled the four-day block well-ahead of time. I wrote it on my calendar just as I would any other time important commitment, and I informed my family that this event would be taking place. I arranged my work schedule accordingly, and yes, I had to say no to a few things. For instance, a coworker who missed her usual work day offered to come later in the week, but instead, I rescheduled her to come the following week. I made arrangements with my husband to take up my usual day driving daughter to dance class. So, it did take a bit of effort. But a small price to pay. I can see how if I would have been more lax, life would certainly have seen to it that I didn’t have this time to dedicate to my art, my self-development, my health. Here I was faced with the question of worth and value of these sometimes diminished rights—and it felt right to place these pursuits in a place of importance, for this short block of time anyway. If I can’t say “no” to the onslaught of outside influences for only four days, how can I expect these aspects to thrive?

So—how did I spend my time? I spent long periods in the morning journaling, and in mediation.

I was able to edit large numbers of poems, and complied a new chapbook. I submitted the chapbook to some contests, and submitted additional poems to online literary magazines.

I sat outside and ate my lunch. I reinstated my daily brisk two mile walks, which had fallen by the wayside with cold wet winter weather (perfect excuses!).

I took the time to consult the I Ching on matters relating to the direction of my writing (#14—those who act out of a place of joy can’t help but gain followers).

I studied Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook” A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry, read quite a bit of Ezra Pound, and another book about Tolkien’s work on the Oxford English Dictionary, and his wonderful ability to adapt Old and Middle English words into his stories.

I ate a lot of raw foods (salads, fruits, smoothies). I find a noticeable increase in mental clarity and energy when I eat mostly fruits and salads.

I only checked email in order to look up contest and submission info (I did take one phone call from my friend Pat Ritter).

How did I feel on Monday? Well, as though I could use two weeks of this kind of life! But really, I reentered into a busy work day with a renewed sense of ease and appreciation. My thoughts had slowed, they had a chance to stretch, and feel free. I accomplished more that usual working at a slow and steady pace. I have a clear understanding of why this is—I have taken a bit of my retreat-ness with me into my week. Not having to transition back into home, and my “usual” life, saved me from having to experience a sense of feeling let down, having to give up a strong feeling of freedom. The stay at home retreat didn’t set up such a strong contrast between “retreat life” and “regular life.” Feeling this in my own home was empowering, I know I can encounter a sense of freedom that I once thought I could only access by getting away.

I highly recommend trying this. It’s affordable, it feeds your soul, and your muse will reward you for it.

—Christy Korrow

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tour of the LILIPOH editorial office

Tools of the trade: At LILIPOH we primarily use the AP Style Guide, but keep the Chicago Manual around for trickier issues.

We just repainted the office after eight years! A soft yellow with orange undertones fosters creativity (according to Feng Shui), and a soft sage green was used for trim. According to Feng Shui research, it is good to pair an earth color with a fire color, for grounding (in Feng Shui terms, wood feeds fire).

The desk for associate editor, Kaye Williams.

Books, papers, newsletters, misc office supplies.

Recent issues of LILIPOH are handy near the desk for quick reference.

The LILIPOH archives.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Detachment/Inner Peace

Om with laundry acting as prayer flags

Lately, Chris and I have been discussing the differences and similarities between an experience of “inner peace” and “detachment.” When we find inner peace, if only for a fleeting moment, we are detached. We are neither in the past, nor the future, but feet firmly planted in the present. We require the past to feel a loss, to lament that which has been and we require the future to yearn for what has not yet come to pass, to wish for what we are not, or what the moment isn’t. Detachment has a connotation of less warmth, it speaks of a singularity, where the moniker inner peace feels more pious, more at one with all. Yet by realizing the one in oursleves, we relaize the one in all, and by realizing the unity in all, we are greeted with our true self. Both inner peace and detachment can infuriate another by the sheer non-reactive response, the response that does not seek to please, to perform, to gain, but only to allow. Can one even disagree, without an inner rise, one can shun, love and accept, all from the state of pure detachment? There is an objective choice at play, a freedom of response from one who is married to the moment. The Mother once said, “Freedom from attachment does not mean avoiding all occasion for attachment.” This helped me to see that detachment in the sense of a spiritual aspirant does not mean aloof or cold-hearted. In fact there is a chance for a pure expression when not polluted by what we are attached to—including allowing others to feel the pain to which they are entitled. Nature is not attached, seems to be in a constant state of inner peace, and she does not seem to cry because we are cutting down so many of her trees and soiling the air she breathes--but this does not mean she is not taking action. I learn much from her in that way, I can align my identity with her’s by gazing into the woods, and suddenly, my problems seem to soften.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Winter/ A Two-Part Poem



Cold bones
bare as winter’s soil
Clenched jaw bone
teeth gnash against teeth
wondering streets
in search of a coat
to soften this icy curse
held in time, a naked
moment no deep
breath can satisfy

Stark trees hide no
embarrassment as they
reach out to touch
neighbors with whom they
share soil water and sunshine,
endure and even hold onto
each icy drop that falls
from the sky

Yesterday came around the
corner, and startled you,
in the middle of this
shivering mess, about to
use up your last match
in an attempt to light the
candle of remembrance
of deliverance
Prayer carried off by some
torrid gust extinguishing
the flame as penitence

You cry, not knowing that
flowers in spring sleep as seeds
in winter


Barns filled with hay
Round bales stacked two-high

Bibles on dashboards
Dusty trucks with no tailgates

Trees cover hillsides, impersonal
Passively waiting for signs of green

River makes a sharp turn
Inconspicuous, cows graze bare fields in the bottoms

More gray skies lie ahead
Threatening any cheerful sign of bird's return

Only this cemetery is not silent
One hundred-year-old corpses knocking

On graves, demanding to know
If spring has arrived

—Christy Korrow

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Each morning, Chris and I sit and have coffee, overlooking the empty winter fields. Often times, a flock of up to 25 turkeys emerges through the brambles and weeds that separate field from woods. Many know that Ben Franklin wanted to make these large foul the official bird of the United States. While not as majestic as the Bald Eagle, these wild turkeys certainly have a collective personality and are more commonly seen. Despite their size and awkward body shape, they can take flight to amazing heights, quickly flying into woods, somehow managing to navigate or crash through the thick lattice of branches.

Photos by Chris Korrow

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Instant Garden New Video from Chris

Chris created this little video as a companion to his booklet "The 30 Square Foot Garden." And look how much fun he is having! By creating a garden patch as he shows here in fall, you will have a spot ready to plant in spring. Or create one later in the winter and once the grass has dies back and most of the leaves have broken down, it should be ready to plant in. But for complete info, consult the booklet!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Late January Garden Harvest

These root crops are thriving in the garden despite sustained below freezing temps during the first weeks in January. They are covered with Reemay (agriculture fabric).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ravioli Making or Time Well Spent

Food has always been something to celebrate in our family. Even in our earlier years of farming, when, as a family of four, our income was $7,000 a year, we always ate better than most people we knew. Good food was a priority. Besides the vegetables we grew (and still do) we would source raw milk, local beef and chicken. Most of the time we had our own chickens for eggs and for many years we kept our own milk cow.

The fact that organic food was expensive never mattered. I am not sure how we did it, but we always stocked our pantry with organic food. I think we were able to budget so well for two reasons--one was that we grew most of the vegetables, and produced some of our own meats, dairy and eggs. But the other reason that we were able to afford to eat organic is that we cooked from scratch. Staples and whole food ingredients, even organic ones, will work out to be less expensive than buying prepackaged or processed foods.

To people who still complain that organic food is too expensive, I would point out that food is a reflection of our core values. It is one of our few central needs. So much of our life now revolves around nonessentials, to the point that food, exercise, quality time with those we love, and maintaining a healthy earth ecosystem don’t make it onto our “to-do” list of life. Is there a correlation between the fact that food spending has dropped from 25% of our income at the turn of the century, to now less than 10%, while spending on health care has risen from 5% to 18%? Our health, our desire for vitality, our ability to nurture and experience a sense of place are reflected back to us in our relationship with food. An additional aspect of this is the extent to which we are willing to invest both time and money into high-quality foods--aka fresh, local, organic or biodynamic. (Chances are if it is even one of those, there will be superior nutritional value and more life forces.)

Things have changed for our family, we are not so exclusively oriented towards a chop wood carry water lifestyle, although we do still do both of those activities. One thing that hasn’t changed it that we still love to cook from scratch. Sure, we sometimes eat out, especially when we are out late at night, keeping up with our two busy teenagers.

Last night we thought it would be fun to make raviolis. I am always amazed at how food and art can merge, and then, after all that preparation, it’s eaten and it’s over with. Spending time in the kitchen with my family, for me, doubles as entertainment, and it’s a tangible way to express love--and this doesn't cost anything at all, yet I couldn't put a price tag on it if I had to.

Flour water salt and eggs (from our neighbor Cynde) filled with some ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and viola! —Christy Korrow

Photos by Chris Korrow