Some of my blog posts might seem a little odd at times, perhaps a bit on the rambling side. The reason for this is that, in part, I try to use this blog as a journal of sorts, finding that it helps me/us to keep track of what we have been doing on a monthly basis making for a good reference of past events. That said, our temperatures of late have ranged from pretty darn cold (-9) to not too bad (mid 20's) and the winter has been more than manageable thus far, nothing like the terrible weather some of you have been facing in other parts of the U.S. and world. We have received around 45" of snow thus far but it has not all come at once as it did in 2008/09 and has provided a nice insulating blanket for our winter garden. It is snowing out as I type this, they are predicting over 9o" of snow for this winter...Rowdy sure likes it.↓
It was so cold the other day his brown fur started turning white, our hair did the same thing...made us all look kind of ghostly in the early morning hours.:)
In the root cellar we have been able to maintain an average of between 34-39° the past couple weeks, ideal conditions for our produce. Unfortunately, before our latest cold spell we had a bit of a warming trend that caused some of our stored vegetables to return to life and start sprouting a bit. This is pretty normal but not usually something we have to deal with until early March. So last week I spent a few hours going through 6 totes of beets and gave them all a much needed trim before re-packing. The carrots look fine, but the turnips also needed a shave. This should keep everything in good condition for a couple more months at which point I may or may not have to repeat the process...routine root cellar maintenance. See also trimming carrots and parsnips.
Sometimes we pack a few of these beets into pots that are placed on an upstairs window cell and "Forced" to provide us with a nice bunch of fresh greens.
At the same time I took the opportunity to cut back any dead stalks of celery and water all of the pots well. We want the celery to keep growing and it sucks up a surprising amount of water each week, some of the plants are even starting to send new shoots.
A couple pots of endive were brought upstairs to be used in our salads. We will replace these weekly and give the remaining soil to our chickens to play in...they love it and sometimes even find a few worms. Speaking of chickens, the girls have started laying again and we once again have a plentiful supply of eggs. We are proud to have only had to purchase exactly one carton of eggs in the past 3 years.
Green and red endive along with a few speckled ones that have obviously crossed with each other.