"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Salads and Ice Skates

Not much going on around here, took a picture of some salad greens I picked late yesterday afternoon. It never ceases to amaze me how resilient some of these plants can be to the cold weather. The snow has come and gone a couple times now, the weather has been as low as 10°F (-12.22°C) with most of the month's lows being in the 20° and under range yet we are still able to pick fresh salads from the garden on a daily basis. The amazing part is that nothing pictured above was from under our row covers, but from the outside garden. I'm like a little kid in a candy store, even after all these years it still surprises me so much that I show my wife particular greens as I go through and clean them and we marvel at their tenacity.

In other "exciting" news, the grandson is learning to ice skate...or was, it has since warmed and started raining so the 4" of ice is now covered with another of water. That's OK, we noticed a flaw in our plan as the boy obviously is in need of a full hockey mask lest he knock all his front teeth out...after all, two of those teeth are permanent now.:)


47 comments:

Mark Willis said...

Looks like the dog was having a good time too! Is the thing on which they are skating a ditch, or a canal, or what?

kelli said...

cute videos! ahh, remember the days when we could fall and get back up without a serious injury or a week-long recovery?=)

i could really go for a homegrown salad right now.

Anonymous said...

Nice blind side tackle. LOL

All the best in the New Year from us to you.

Regards,
Mike

MikeH said...

Oops. Didn't mean to be anonymous.

Stefaneener said...

At least his noggin is protected. Teeth, eh, they can do great things with dentistry these days.

Lrong said...

Mr. H... belated Merry Christmas to you and may 2012 brings you and your loved ones much happiness, good health, and prosperity... and lots of goodies from the garden as well...

Drew Rinella said...

Hey that looks like hoodoo creek. How do you water your greenhouse tunnels without your watering system freezing?

I don't think I have the dedication to shovel the snow off so many tunnels, but I may try some sort of dome structure with a door. Your story is interesting and inspiring; I didn't think this could be done in N Idaho.

Liz said...

The ice skating made me smile! Those salad greens are quite amazing. Can I just say though that -12 degrees is quite ridiculously cold - it makes me realise just how mild our weather here really is...

Mavis said...

Hmmm. I wonder if Amazon sells ice skates for dogs.

:) Merry belated Christmas.

GrafixMuse said...

The winter salad looks so pretty with all the contrasting colors.

Loved the videos of your grandson learning how to skate. Especially the dog tackle. LOL!

granny said...

LOVED watching the vidoes of your gorgeous Granson Mr H ! Funny how he is learning to ice skate in December,while my Grandsons are learning to surf !
A belated Merry Christmas!! To you and the family..and wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year !With a bumper crop :0)

Mr. H. said...

Mark Willis - They were skating on the creek that runs out of a lake we live next to. It froze solid in late November and is a nice area for both the dog and boy to play in.

Kelli - It's getting harder to remember those days.:)

Mike - All the best to you and yours as well. I'm plotting and planning for all sorts of new plants this next year and am really looking forward to the 2012 growing season.

Stefaneener - Yes, we didn't realize that he would be falling forward so much...ouch. He is not quite ready for quadruple jumps that's for sure.:)

Lrong - May this next year be a good one for you and your family as well and with any luck bring with it the best gardening season ever.:)

Drew - During the coldest parts of winter the plants are pretty much dormant and do not require any watering as the soil under the row covers does not dry out. In early spring we are normally able to rely upon natural rain and don't do much watering until the first part of June - August. Not a lot of snow to shovel so far this year, but yes, keeping the snow off the row covers can be quite a task at times...last year this was very challenging.

Liz - January is the coldest month for us so once we get it out of the way everything will start to warm up again...I am looking forward to that.:)

Mavis - We of course bought the skates off Craiglist but didn't think to look for a pair, or I guess that would be a couple pairs, for the dog.:) Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too.

Grafixmuse - The dog does indeed like to get in on the action any chance he can.:) Surprisingly, it has warmed up quite a bit the past couple days and I am having fun wandering about in the snowless garden seeing just what has survived the cold so far.

Granny - I have a feeling he would prefer to be learning how to surf. The boy loves the water and spends every moment possible swimming during the warm months. May 2012 be the best year ever for you and your family as well.

Bev said...

Skating and salad at the same time? Who woulda thunk it? It's great to see, and I'm not sure which is more impressive - the beautiful salad or the amazing ice!

Buttons said...

I love your food veggie pics they always make me happy. It is nice to see ice skating even though I did not see the video (I am still working on that) I am sure he had a blast. Awesome place to skate.
Happy New Year Mr and Mrs H and family. B

kitsapFG said...

Gorgeous basket of greens - the radicchio particularly adds such a nice splash or red to the mix of greens and purple hues. Tasty!

Absolutely love the videos of your grandson and the dog "helping" was a hoot! I have great admiration for anyone that can ice skate as I just SUCK at it! LOL! He is getting it down quite well - despite the face first crashes. :D

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

So much fun there!Happy New Year!

Mr. H. said...

Bev - It is quite an interesting concept to be pulling food from the garden one minute and watching the grandson ice skating the next isn't it.:) Wish me luck, he wants to go ice fishing today.

Buttons - Happy New Year to you as well. All of our snow has melted, it almost feels like spring...what's up with that?:) It will be interesting to see what January is like.

Laura - I have never ice skated and am pretty sure that I would suck too.:) They are trying to talk me into trying though...one of these days. Happy 2012, may it be an excellent year for gardening.

Malay-Kadazan girl - Happy New Year to you as well. The grandson is having a wonderful time with his new skates...and hopefully will not break any bones.:)

cathy@home said...

Lovely videos I think the dog needs a hockey mask as well.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Mr. H. said...

Cathy - I think you might be right.:) Have a very Happy New Year.

AJK said...

Hi Mr. H! Merry Belated Christmas and a Happy New Year! Your winter greens look very colorful and full of vitality! We were growing potatoes under cover, but you may have seen, we lost our crop to a crazy wind chill. I trimmed the frost killed parts and now we're seeing some recovering new growth. Let's see if we get some kind of harvest! We're also trying to grow some nappa cabbage, Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, and lots of Chinese greens, Lettuces, Garlic, Carrots and Onions. We've been trying to grow Burdock bought from Kitazawa and learned that they really favor the cooler weather here in our climate.
Your grandson looks like he's getting the hang of those skates. My son is learning on some inline skates since ice is scarce here in Southern California. It's too bad, the boys would get along grand, if it weren't for the distance.

Mr. H. said...

AJK - It's really too bad about your potatoes but I'm glad to hear that they are making a comeback and with any luck will still provide you with a decent future harvest. I ordered a different variety of burdock from Kitazawa as well so it looks as though we will both be trying that out this next season. Yes, the boys would have a great time together.:) Happy New Year.

JoyceP said...

All my best to you and yours, Mr. H, on this New Year's Day. Thank you for the wealth of knowledge you have shared with so many people like myself on your wonderful blog!

Kimberly said...

It has been warm here. All the snow has melted. But it still is cold enough at night to freeze the water in the horses water trough when I put 2 heaters on the same circuit.:(

My daughters have been asking ME to take them ice fishing...or at least see what all the people are doing on the lake.

We are liking it up here.

Nice greens you're growing.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

Mr. H. said...

Joyce - Thank you for your kind words and I hope 2012 be a terrific year for you and your family and may your forest gardens flourish this next season.

Kimberly - It truly has been a mild winter around these parts and we have been enjoying it immensly. It's nice to have an almost snow free November and December...guess we got all our snow last year. May 2012 be a great year for you and your family in this new home.

foodgardenkitchen said...

Rowdy is precious! He apparently has much experience dealing with ice.

It truly is astounding that those greens came from plants that aren't even under row cover. Amazing.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

That was a lot of fun for me just watching :o) took me back a long way...who had the most fun! you or the boy? or maybe me :o)

Carolemc said...

Very envious of that salad. I MUST organise myself better this year, so that I have salad right through.

Happy New Year.

Mr. H. said...

Foodgardenkitchen - Both this year and 2009 have been interesting experiments in how well cold hardy greens do with no protection at all. Noramlly we have lots of snow this time of year and I can only get greens from under the covered rows.

Ginny - Sometimes I think perhaps I have the most fun just laughing at their anitics.:)

Carolemc - It really is worth it, the cold weather greens have such a nice flavor this time of year.

Greenside Up said...

Lovely salad treat for this time of year, all the best for 2012 and looking forward to reading about your garden.

contadina said...

Your colourful salad, grandson and obliging dog have made me smile. Thanks Mr H :-)

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Beautiful salad...and absolutely brilliant considering the temperatures you've been having. Happy New Year :)

Lynn said...

Great videos! Rowdy did his thing! HA! The boy's moments of choppy skating reminded me of my own boys learning to skate. My youngest took the longest time to go from choppy runs to gliding. But then, maybe that was my fault -- evil woman that I am, they learned in a rink where the ice is VERY slick and unforgiving. Guess it's about time to get the granddaughter laced up! It's 13-degrees right now (we're colder than you!) and everything has frozen up.

Like those greens. The reds too! :-)

Happy New Year!

Mr. H. said...

Greenside Up - I'm looking forward to reading about your 2012 gardening as well, may it be a good year for growing food.

Contandina - Well then my job here is complete and now I'm smiling too.:) Happy 2012.

Tanya - Happy New Year to you as well, may your gardens flourish and your pantry remain full.

Lynn - Wow, only 13°, you are indeed colder than us. We are having a surprisingly mild winter (so far) and I can not remember ever seeing so many sunny days this time of year, it has definitely been a nice change from last winter. Now Mrs. H likes her figure skating and I my boxing so we compromised and bought the boy hocky skates. So far so good, no broken noses or missing teeth...fingers crossed that is stays that way. Your grandaughter will no doubt love learning to ice skate...I need to learn how as well. Happy New Year, 2012 should prove to be an interesting year.

weekendfarmer said...

Lovely...nice!! Enjoyed it. Green and skating both. Does the endive tase sweeter now?

Do you think Rudy was thinking the little one is in danger and trying to get him off the slippery stuff?

Mr. H. said...

Weekendfarmer - The endive does have a milder flavor this time of year making it a really nice addition to ones salad. The dog and boy have a special relationship...they take turns picking on each other. While the dog is very protective of our grandson I don't think he was trying to save him but simply wanted to play.:)

Heiko said...

Me and my cousin Bart I the only Dutch people we know who can't skate. And I sure wouldn't try with Rowdy around... or Eddie for that matter. Not that we have ice to skate on around here.

Mr. H. said...

Heiko - I have never ice skated either but might have to take it up one of these days to see what I have been missing out on...I'll probably end up with a cracked skull.:)

Anonymous said...

We lived with our backyard to that field and creek for several years--(I won't give away your location) My boys used to play in that big cottonwood tree at the outlet to the lake and fish for trout in the spring--also ice skated when it would freeze over. Good memories.

Mr. H. said...

Anonymous - Good memories indeed, what a great place for your boys to grow up. That old cottonwood tree certainly has stood the test of time. Unfortunatly for our grandson the creek has now thawed out so he will have to take up skating on the edge of the lake instead.

chicken coops said...

It's amazing that you can grow some of those vegetables in such frigid temperatures. All the best to you this coming year!

Robbyn said...

LOL!! I love the flourish nosedive at the very end...looks like everyone was having fun. Wow, Rowdy is full grown and gorgeous! Those videos were great :)

Robbyn said...

oops, just erased my comment, here's a second try...looks like he and Rowdy were having fun. loved that little flourish nosedive at the very end, ha! I remember when both Rowdy and your grandson were so much smaller...look how much they've both grown, wow :)

Mr. H. said...

Robbyn - They are both growing fast aren't they. The grandson is getting pretty good at skating and can do quick turns without falling down now. We have had a perfect year for skating with just enough cold to keep the lake frozen but hardly any snow...yet.:)

Steve S. said...

I wonder if you would tell me the general area of North Idaho in which you reside. I'm in the Twin Lakes area and the ground is froze solid with `18" of snow. I couldn't grow anything in the winter if my life depended on it.

Steve

Mr. H. said...

Steve - We live in the Hauser lake area. Our ground is also quite frozen and is finally covered in a decent amount of snow. The plants we are harvesting lie dormant during the winter months and don't actually do much growing but their leaves are still available for harvesting.

Silke said...

Love it!! That looks like it was most fun!! :) Silke

Wendy said...

wow, he's going so fast! Your dog sure looks like he has some fun out there (just saw the digging video). Those greens (and reds!) look gorgeous.

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