Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Winter, right?

We were all outdoors this weekend.  It was a balmy 60+ degrees and sunny so what better way to use a "Winter" day than to work outside?

I finally pruned most of the fruit trees, which is an agonizing task for me as I don't have the greenest of thumbs and it just drives me nuts to cut off a perfectly fine living branch.  But I managed through it, the entire time chanting to myself, "Pruning is necessary, pruning is good".

Rhiannon and I raked up the "really" wasted goat hay (as opposed to just wasted goat hay, which becomes animal bedding) and put it into the compost heap.  Those hay-snob goats drive me nuts.  All that perfectly good hay, spit out in spite and trampled on.  But I managed through it, the entire time chanting to myself, "This will make great compost, compost is good".  I do a lot of chanting around here.

I also cleaned out the raised beds in the front yard.  Yes, I know, it's the middle of winter and it should have been done in the fall.  But honestly, I think the covering of leaves did the cabbages a favor.  I still have most of them that weren't harvested in the fall.  I planted a late fall crop figuring what the heak, and although they didn't get to full maturity, if I picked them now I'd have tiny heads of cabbage.  I just can't believe they are still alive!

Some of them have frost damage to the outer leaves, but all in all, they are doing pretty well for the end of January.  I probably could have harvested larger heads had I got my sloth of a self into the shed and put the plastic tarp over the hoops.  And I still may cover them up  hoping for a little more growth since it's supposed to be in the 60's all this week.  Crazy warm winter we've been having.  But I guess it's about time; the past several winters have been pretty harsh.  Call it Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever you want, but if it means it's warmer in the winter and I get a longer growing season, be damned the ice caps!

So now that I've semi-cleaned up the cabbage patch (I hate saying "cabbage patch", visions of those gawd-awful-ugly 80's dolls always pop into my head....and yes, I had one) and have a clean and fluffy (yes, fluffy) second bed just screaming to be planted, I think I'm going to do it.  I'm going to plant something.

Paul threatened me if I did any planting, mumbling something about everything getting just about ready to harvest and a freeze will kill it all, but I don't care.  I'm going to plant some lettuce, and spinach seeds in the empty bed and cover the hoops with plastic.  I have several packages of unknown-dated lettuce and spinach seeds so if they make it, great, if not, no big loss.  And I will have somewhat satisfied my cravings for dirt in my fingernails and the smell of earth in my nostrils.


  1. It is rather mild here, too, Carolyn. 34 degrees and very windy.... no gardening in sight but at least we aren't buried in snow!

  2. You go girl! My 95 year old great uncle always plants earlier than everyone. The way he sees it, if it doesn't freeze you're ahead, and if it does freeze you just start over and you're in the same place as everyone else. Doesn't matter to him either way!

    Your pictures make me hopeful for spring! I want to sniff some dirt!

  3. Off on Vacation and the temps will be like this for the next three days...Monday, 54....Tuesday, 66....And Wednesday, 71!!! If it's not Spring, Someone needs to tell the Garlic and bulb flowers! They are all coming up and the crocus are in bloom!
    Night time temps are still in the 30's to 40's and frost on the ground each AM. But the sun comes up and the temps start to climb.
    Go Figure!

  4. I would plant the lettuce and spinach too, especially since you can cover the beds.

    The cabbages look great!

  5. Listen to the garden, don't listen to Paul. I can say that because he doesn't know where I live. Our weather is pretty wild, too, but it doesn't get near 60. So, does chanting help?

  6. Go with Mama Tea's great uncle! If you have a chance of getting some fresh, homegrown lettuce and spinach . . . well, why not?!

  7. Nice cabbages! I would plant the lettuce and spinach too and cover them if you need to. With such nice days, it can't hurt! :)

  8. Gorgeous weather and cabbages! I just bought 2 heads at the store and now I'm jealous. Counting down til I can plant!

  9. "hay snob goats", LOL!!!! Your greens are looking great!

  10. I know!! This weather thing in Central Illinois is freaking me out too. I did plants some seeds that should've gone in the fall and now afraid they will start sprouting and then die with the next frost. My Iris's are up about 3 inches as well. But then again the animals on our farm are having a great time putting on weight this winter as not using it to stay warm.

  11. Mooberry, 34 is mild, hugh? :) It's all relative, isn't it?

    Mama Tea, I'm siding with your Uncle....and do you think they have "dirt" scented air freshener??

    Tom, the weather has been like that here also; I'm just afraid it's going to screw up the fruit trees.

    gld, going to plant something, anything!

    Susan, the chanting only helps in as it keeps me from yelling.

    Mama Pea, I'm just CRAVING lettuce & spinach....and if any gets harvested, NONE for Paul!

    Candy C., that's what I figure. If they die, well the chickens will get the wilted stuff.

    Hoosier Girl, I wouldn't be too jealous, those cabbages are more like brussel sprout sized!

    Erin, those goats drive me INSANE with the hay. It's a never-ending battle to keep as much hay from not being wasted.

    Donna, you're right about the animals putting on more weight, I didn't really think of that. And that's pretty good since one of my does was getting a bit thin this spring.

  12. What, no chanting while cleaning up those raised beds? ;)

    Honestly, I think climate change is the norm and has been for as many years as the earth is old. Look at Antarctica. There's coal down there which means it must have had lots of vegetation at one time. I think the problem is that folks don't want to move away from their beach front homes or other areas of geologic peril, like living over fault lines. It's easier to make climate a political issue than move! Sorry if that sounds oversimplified, but there is something in human nature that likes to be in control.