Winter Prep

By the time I roll out of bed in the morning, the temp’s have been in the low 40’s. And since my animals eat before I do….burrr baby it’s cold outside! This morning the steam was rising from the bovine girls into the crisp cool air. They’re starting to grow their winter coats getting ready for snow and ice. The dew has been very heavy, so I think it’s time to put the row covers over my raised beds just in case. I’d hate to lose my lettuce at this point. It’s good for at least another 3 months before it freezes under cover.

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The mullein needs a trim to fit inside the hoop. The spinach, beets and kale are up. I love kale in the winter for soups. I’m hoping these cold temps will give it a nice sweet taste. I’ve spotted a few Harlequin Bugs and have been squishing them. I better make sure they are all gone before I cover things up or they will do a number on my kale like they did last year. They suck the juice right out of plants in the Brassica family until they kill them. A soapy spray or pytrethrin will do the trick. Last year I used a mixture of Neem Oil and kitchen soap.

Harliquin Bug

Harlequin Bug

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I pulled the rest of the carrots and have been very very slow about sowing more seed. We might and we might not have carrots this winter.

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Most of the peepers have been picked. Although there are still a few growing. I had 4 volunteer pepper plants in last years bed and they all seem to be HOT!

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I will cover my Rosemary plants and pray that they make it again this year. If I do get my greenhouse built, I’ll pot them along with my Holy Basil and move them into the greenhouse for the winter. I love having lots of fresh dried herbs on hand for winter cooking. I buy my sausage from a local farmer and it’s plain ground pork so I can add my own seasoning of black pepper, salt and lots of freshly dried sage. I dry my herbs hanging them upside down in the cool, dry basement. Then placing them in a paper bag whole. I crush them when I’m ready to use them to keep their essential oils in tact.

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I picked out my choicest garlic from last years crop. Planting only 1/3 of what I ordered last year and using 16 Elephant cloves and 16 ??? I’m not sure what the other is….I know….a short pencil is better than a long memory. I didn’t mark them and I couldn’t remember what went where. I thought I planted them by alphabetical order….to help me remember…..but that didn’t work. I’ve plum forgot! Whatever they were, they are a nice medium compact bulb. The small variety didn’t do quite as well and that might of been the German that the company said they had some issues with. I don’t really care, when I chop it up and put it in a sauce no one cares what it’s called. If I end up passing it down or along to a friend, I guess it will get a new name….Peaceful Acres Garlic or something of that sort.

I guess we’re ready for old man winter. The dark days are coming. But I’ll enjoy the beauty that surrounds me now.

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