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.
|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|
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|
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!
…and come back and visit us again real soon.