Sunday, February 7, 2010

Getting ready for Spring, extraordinary weather conditions

A few moons have passed since the last time I posted. Largely this is due in part to the fact that there hasn't been a whole lot going on. It's winter and things have mostly shut down. I am happy to report that we did harvest some kale from the cold frames about 3 weeks ago or so. Katie made 2 big batches of some ridiculously delicious bean soup with it. There is still kale, spinach and swiss chard out there, too! We lost a good deal of spinach, though. :( Not sure how well the radishes are doing, although there is still green above the ground.

So, this weekend I will begin planting seeds to get ready for the Spring green house season. There has been plenty of discussion of what to plant, how to arrange the green house, etc. For starters, we will be planting heirloom varieties exclusively.

Here is one of the infamous 'Garden In A Can' cans. It is loaded with many many many different kinds of seeds, many many many of each kind. We plan to collect seeds each year to store and use the following year, so planting heirlooms is the most reliable way to go.

Check out their website:

We are chicken psychologists. It is a growing field. The chickens we're unhappy. We deduced finally that they had cabin fever. Jason was thus sent out to make a place for chickens to get out and exercise. These chickens we're picky about the snow, so Jason spread out hay for them to walk on. Now everybody is happy, no fighting, and we have happy chicken eggs as a result.

The weather outside has been frightful. And fascinating! Sometimes, very beautiful. Check this out: we had a couple of days that we're very foggy, which was preceded by a significant melt. The air was literally saturated with moisture - no more moisture could be dissolved into the air. As this condition was setup, the average temperature was settling just under the freezing mark. The product of these perfect physical conditions? Ice crystals! Everywhere! And they we're HUGE!

This happened over an evening. The chicken wire is carpeted with a complex network of crystals.

Here is a close up. You can click the photo to get the bigger version.

That's it for now. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll have some good news about tender young seedlings whose progress we will be tracking. We are also considering experimenting with aquaponics on a small scale so as to (get ready for bad pun) "test the waters" ! =) BWAHAHA!

Aquaponics video:

Aquaponics search:


  1. Great little essay Greg! So cool to stay up to date with your wonderful country life. I miss you and hope to collaborate soon on some music!!! Thanks for sharing your writing.

  2. Those ice crystals are CRAZY! I'm so glad your stints as chicken shrinks have been successful. :)