Cold snap

We’ve been silent for awhile. Sorry about that…but truthfully, there has been little to report.

We have accomplished a few projects in the farm house, garage and garden areas – yet our to-do list remains full.

We often find ourselves at odds with time and Mother Nature. But we have performed a little re-hab of the house, building of a cool room in the garage, and mulching of a quarter of the garden (small victories).

The recent cold snap last week and the coming rush of starting seeds; however, really have placed an emphasis on our need for more garden infrastructure. What do I mean? Well, here’s a photo to help illustrate…

Melted greens

Melted greens

All of my beautiful, delicious and hardy greens that we were enjoying (to this point) all have melted….how can you blame them?

Last Tuesday’s low was -4 degrees F (wind chill was something like -13 deg F…we shut up the farm house and stayed in town)! Even with two row covers as protection…the wet from earlier rain chased by the seriously sub-zero temps with high winds were too much for these plants to withstand. They froze solid then liquified when they thawed. Not much we could do about it as we didn’t have a plastic cover over them.

It is just proof that we need to try our best to erect some high/low tunnels to help protect our plants. So, stay tuned….construction may be imminent!

For now, records are being reviewed, crop/seed lists are being made, crop plan are being mentally mapped, and seed catalogs are being read from cover to cover…Despite the cold, January is still a fun and exciting month full of anticipate of what is coming! Hope you are keeping snug and enjoying this time of year, too.

Killing frost…

So, while we were away, our region had its first killing frost. Temperatures, I am told by friends and neighbors, dipped down into the low 20s….and all the way down to 17 degrees F! That is pretty stinkin’ cold. 

The days since have been pleasant, if not lovely. Last night, however, another cold front began its migration through the mountains. With this front came some pretty impressive wind gusts (house rattling) through the night followed by a rainy morning. The sun is out and a breeze remains, but temps are very nice.

We’ve been busy since returning home and only had a cursory check of the garden. So. This weekend, my tasks are set. I will be going through and taking stock of what survived or got damaged by the frost, and I will have several row covers to repair or replace. Photos may be forthcoming so stay tuned to see how our last minute, quick prep for vacation worked.

Fingers and toes are crossed we still have some produce to carry us through until spring.

Frosty receptions

Clearly, the change of seasons is progressing. The amount of day light is decreasing. Leaves are changing to vibrant colors and are beginning to fall. And the local weather station has issued our first frost advisory.

So…we worked hard yesterday to prepare for the cooler nights. What does that involve? Well, some cultivating (weeding), some mulching (straw mulch) and the covering of our plants with row covers (the spun polymeric fabrics that will offer some wind and frost protection while allowing light, moisture and air exchange to occur).

It made for a busy Sunday, but it will be worth it to have continued harvests of greens, cabbages, lettuces and the like.

As an aside, two more artichokes were harvested and the last of the pears were canned. Phew.

Frost protection

Frost protection

Rows nicely tucked in for the night as our daylight wanes….