Greens for the win

Though it was still slightly below freezing this morning, the day is warming and tonight staying above freezing, so very tentatively, the greenhouse was opened. All of the spinach and Komatsuma look great! It never got quite as cold as they predicted, staying above 25 f. The next 10 days of forecast only drop the temperature barely below freezing one night. With rain due on Thursday, the peas, sugar snap peas, and potatoes were planted today. The lettuce starts will go in the greenhouse and it will get watered again.

The potatoes that I had left from last year’s crop looked like Medusa on the shelf in the basement. This is what is left after filling the bed with some small sprouting Russets, some variety of gold (Vivaldi, I think), and these Kennebecks.

Now we wait. Nothing else but the lettuce starts and maybe some radishes can be sown until early May. There is still some clean up to do, moving trellis fence posts out of the paths where they were dumped when the beds were cleaned up a couple of weeks ago. Removing the parts of the last cedar box that was in the corner around and under the compost pile. The pile needs to be turned and the coop cleaned and added to the pile. It is beginning. The bee hive parts are on a wooden pallet. If a couple more can be located, the compost can be in a bin, not just a pile. Hopefully, soon there will be asparagus.

The bee set up is planned for Easter weekend. Son 1 is coming to assist Son 2 in the project and I will do what I can to assist and learn. The charger post will be purchased soon and if I can’t find the ground rod that was here, one will be purchased as well. An inventory of insulators made to be sure there are enough to do the job. It is exciting that we will have hives on the farm.

With both men here and daughter living nearby, we can have a dinner with the whole gang.

Not What We Expected

We knew last night was going to be colder than the past couple of weeks, but didn’t expect to wake this morning to this:

Since the road was clear, we went on to the Farmer’s Market for weekly supplies and it was so cold and windy. A quick trip to Michaels to get embroidery floss to do a visible repair on my favorite WoolX zip up hoodie, and then to brave the cold wind, blowing snow sideways to take our walk. The snow on the ground is already gone, but it is still snowing parallel to the ground due to the strong wind.

Since there was already wood in the rack in the garage, a fire to burn some papers we didn’t want to throw out and to provide warmth and ambience on this cold and windy day, seemed to be in order.

The old guy loves to be near the fire when it is burning.

Except to try to figure out how to further protect the greens in the low ground greenhouse, we will stay hunkered down in the house for the remainder of the day.

They Are Here

A 24 foot box truck backed down our 2/10 mile curvy gravel driveway and unloaded a 394 lb pallet into our garage.

The pallet contains the 2 bee hives, assembled and hive bodies and supers, frames, and accessory boards all in assorted cardboard boxes. The bases are coming separately according to Son 2. The bees will follow in a few weeks. There will be a lot of cardboard that can be used to create a ground layer under the hives that can be heavily mulched so mowing won’t have to happen under them. The position of the hives will be behind or below a cistern system we have for rainwater runoff that runs to a yard hydrant and that area is heavy with vetch all spring and summer long that the bees will love. There is an area near the proposed placement that isn’t mowed because of large rocks, but excess bearded Iris have been dumped there a few times, so in addition to wildflowers, wild berries, there are Iris flowers very close by. In front of the cistern system not too far away is the walled garden full of perennials, annuals, and herbs. The back and side of the garage have beds that are full of flowers, the vegetable garden with it’s blooms nearby, and 30 acres of wild flowers between hay mowings. Lots of pollen producers for the bees.

For now, it is still wrapped on the wooden pallet it arrived on.

This morning was sunny and mild, so the potted herbs went outside for a few hours. Then it clouded and chilled off, so back in for the next 5 nights that vary from 21 f to 33 f. The little ground greenhouse stayed closed today, but will be opened during the sunny days and closed at night. Tomorrow is cold with rain and possible snow showers off and on all day, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are slightly milder during the daylight hours, but bitter at night. The last frost date is still a few weeks off, but temperatures in the 20’s should be about to end. This comes just as the peach, plum, and one of the pears have bloomed, so there may be little or no fruit from them. The apples and other pear haven’t bloomed yet. The lilacs are heavily budded, but not open and the Forsythia will probably tolerate it, if not, we have had several days of pretty yellow to enjoy.

Spring takes 3 steps forward and 1 or 2 backward this time of year, but it is moving toward garden season.