Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 4-20

It’s been a long, hard week here on the hill.  Actually, it’s been a long, hard, COLD week here on the hill.  Maybe it was just the cold that made it seem so long and hard. Everybody has been talking about the cold lately…and honestly, it’s getting more than a little tiresome.

We had an inch of rain on Tuesday, followed by cold winds that got colder and colder. 

However, we did beat the rain and got the Spring potatoes planted. (finally!)

But by Wednesday, we were definitely On Pins and Needles because of the weather.
even the dandelions were frozen solid!

The temperature finally bottomed out at 24* here on the hill. (others reported even colder temps) The moisture from Monday’s rain made the ground heave into weird “ice-crystally” formations that would have been incredibly cool…if I hadn’t been so concerned about the plants.
ice crystal formations in the broccoli garden

1/2 inch ice on the stocktank

cold, cold broccoli plant
Once the sun came up, the temperature warmed and the winds died down. The plants seemed to have faired well. We managed to get some row cover placed, because although it looked like we escaped much damage…the cold wasn’t over yet.  Two more nights of sub-freezing temperatures were to follow.  It is often the cumulative effects that damage the plants. Thankfully, the cold wasn’t quite as severe.  (27* and 31*)

The cold and wet weather allowed time to get to the farm paperwork completed, balance the bank statement and do some filing.  The Boss did some repair work and cleared out a portion of one hoophouse in preparation for some upcoming planting. My desk was actually clear for about five minutes, so I guess it’s all good.

see the cold damage to the leaves?

onions are showing good root development
that's a good sign
While most all of our transplants survived the cold, we won’t know the extent of the damage for quite some time.  It is possible that severe cold will cause the broccoli to “button”. That means that instead of big, gorgeous heads of broccoli, we will just get little tiny ones. It is also possible that the cold will cause the onions to “bolt” and send up a seedstalk from the center of the plant.  This makes a hard core and renders the onions useless of anything except onion rings (or chopped onions).  We’re in a wait and see mode. The Good Lord has always provided for our needs, and I’m certain that He will continue to do so…but, I won’t kid you…sometimes it’s really hard to have faith.

a sampling of what we had for Market on 4-19

The weather moderated and Saturday’s Market was beautiful.  It’s nice to finally have a little more variety (and that should increase every week). Lots of folks came out, Brian Buchanan provided some well-received music and the bubbles floating in the breeze from the very popular Pufferbellies toystore across the street added to the festive feel of the morning. Blondie took the old folks to lunch, too. (thank you!)  All in all, it was a very good day!

this may have been the most photographed spot in all of Staunton
so pretty!

The upcoming week looks promising for “potting up”  (moving to bigger pots) the tomato plants, planting out the squash and cucumbers,
squash and cucumber plants

tomato plants
 sowing some bean seeds, planting more greens in the hoophouses (and doing our succession seeding), moving the sheep to greener pastures in preparation for the long-delayed weaning process…and maybe, just maybe getting that box of strawberry plants off the kitchen floor!

Have a 
               Happy Sunday!

Spring is coming to our Valley...

…and come back and visit us again real soon.  


  1. Happy Eastertide, Barbara -to you and yours. And your plants.

    1. Thank you, Maureen! I'll pass your greetings the plants. (lol)
      Hope things have thawed out in your neck of the woods!

  2. Keep up these blogs and pics! They are great!

  3. The farmer has just leaned over my shoulder to read your post today Barbara and is horrified at the degree of frost your plants suffered. Hope they turn out OK in the end. Happy Easter to you both.

    1. Thanks for your concern. We're hoping everything will turn out OK in the end, too. If not, well...there's always the late season crop. (we hope)
      Hope you're having a lovely spring day!

  4. Keeping my fingers crossed for your plants... that's terrible to hear about the cold front coming in from nowhere!

    1. Thanks, Caitlin! Spring weather is always unpredictable, so you just take your chances. The plants are looking pretty good, all things considered. Unbelievably, now we could really use some rain!
      I'll keep you posted.