Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More snow. It snowed heavily for a while today and now it is clear and the stars are out. It's going to be cold tonight and tomorrow night. Oh, well, everything in the garden that isn't truly hardy was killed by the last freeze.

We had a good Christmas. A series of gales almost kept us from going to the mainland to our daughter's house but the day before Christmas the wind had dropped a bit and Joel said let's go for it. It was an exciting trip to Friday Harbor. But we had a wonderful Christmas and now that we are back again it is our time of year to laze about a bit. The seed catalogues are all here and Joel is sitting by the stove with a bunch in his lap. I wander into the studio and weave a bit now and then. All the looms have warps and projects on them, but I am mostly reading English detective novels and eating Christmas cookies. It is a peaceful time of year here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lots of Rain

It has been raining hard for about the last 24 hours and the low parts of the garden are inundated. First the freeze and now the floods.
So are the lower parts of the fields. Joel has been out opening up ditches directing the water toward the pond.
Which is now full and flowing out the overflow. We'll be grateful for all this water net summer when we need it for irrigation.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Design by Tidying

The selling season is just about over for me. I will set up my fiber things at the last Farmers Market of the year the 18th but otherwise I won't be doing any crafts fair type things until next May. So it is time to clean out the studio. That involves dragging out my collection of old sheets for rag rugs, and the bits and pieces of leftover yarn. Best of all is designing rugs and placemats based on what I have left with the rule that I can't buy anymore yarn or sheets for these projects. So today I sorted sheets in boxes of colors for projects and wound warps out of the bits and pieces of yarn. I made several warps, none very long as that would have meant ordering more yarn, but interesting. These match several plaid flannel sheets that will be basis for the rugs. I don't know how tidy I got things but I sure had fun.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Kill

When it goes down to 10 degrees F this early in the season it is hard on the garden. Not only is that colder than we usually get, but the plants haven't had time to really adjust to winter. The above is our chard patch. Chard is only marginally hardy at those temperatures. Some of these plants will survive and start regrowing but not for quite a while. We will save seed from any that do survive and thus increase the hardiness of our own home grown strain of chard.
One reason for planting several varieties of a plant (other than just for the fun of the different colors and leaf types) is that that increases the chance of one or more varieties handing whatever stress the year throws at the garden. In this case our Savoy kale, came through the storm virtually untouched. In front of it is one called Russian Hunger gap which, in spite of its name, did not come through well. Time will tell if the roots are dead or not.
Most of the cabbage also survived as did the overwintering purple sprouting broccoli, the Brussels sprouts and all the collards. the Romanesco broccoli didn't nor did the early fall cauliflower. The overwintering varieties of cauliflower look better. They have lost outer leaves and so will probably make smaller heads but they look like they will make it.
The carrots were under enough snow to survive and the potatoes were covered with a mulch of maple leaves and are fine. The big Three Root Grex beets originally looked like they had gotten frozen but after a few days look perfectly normal.

So we take note for future winter gardens, harvest what we can for market this weekend and wonder what else winter will throw at us this year.