Deep Winter Chill

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  • February 24, 2015

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Long dark days of winter have begun to lengthen and brighten, despite the deep chill of the air. I went out to examine one of the hoop houses this morning and was greeted with a strong icy wind that took my breath away. I found one of the ropes holding a side tightly closed had snapped or rotted apart.  Luckily the hoop sides are tucked under a layer of crusty snow that will help keep them from flailing in the gusty winds. I will have to replace the rope soon before the snow melts and the spring winds come on. The temperature looks to be rising a bit by the end of the week which will allow me to get more done outside.

This cold and snow makes maneuvering around much more challenging. Andrew made a pathway to the hoops and the compost pile (frozen but I covered it with plastic to help it to thaw on a sunny day) but after 30MPH winds they are starting to fill back in.

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The chickens don’t seem to mind the cold much. They are definitely more cautious about venturing out of the coop in the wind, but you can find them pecking around the snow even on single-digit days. They give the phrase ‘cooped up’ an entirely new meaning. I hang little aluminium plates in the coop for them to peck at (they like shiny things) and added a large seed block to keep them entertained. Despite the cold, we’re still collecting 5-6 eggs out of the coop most days!

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Next week we fire up the stove in the transplant house. We are staring our own onions this year because I was unable to find certified organic onion transplants. They require a long season of growth so we must start them very early to allow them enough time before moving them to the field. In two weeks we’ll start kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc, etc and we’re off to the races!

Soon I’ll be thinking back to this time of year wishing for the quiet and rest. For now though, I’m ready for the earthy smell, dirt covered hands, crisp lettuces, long days, warm winds and all the rest!

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