Well now, Ain’t that a kick in the pants…

Things have been bustling around the farm as we work like crazy starting, bumping, and feeding seeds and seedlings for all the wonderful people who will buy herbs from us this coming season.   The past two weeks or so have brought us very nice and warm weather, but then this…

herb farm under ice

We had a lovely time selling herbs at our first market of the season, the Athens, TX farmer’s market.  It was warm and pretty, I worked outside in shorts bumping seedlings after I returned home and even went to bed with the windows open in my bedroom.  Then it happened, the blue norther blew in, the winds shifted so hard the noise woke me up.  I shut the window.

The rain came and then the ice and all the way the temperature went down, down, down.

garden trellis in the ice

Now, I have lived here all my life and I never get used to the sudden changes- it just boggles my mind! At 6 pm on Saturday my thermometer registered 72’F by 6 pm on Sunday it was 21’F.  That is hard on every thing- plants, animals and humans. I also knew that while the weather was so warm and wonderful that it would be foolish to plant any thing that could be killed by a freeze, it is Texas after all and I knew we weren’t out of winters grasp just yet.  My head did understand this concept, but I just kept hoping the weathermen would be wrong,  you know considering that they are only right 30% of the time.   Well, no they got it right. We are in a very deep freeze with all the roads coated in a thick layer of ice.

garden box with cover

Did I mention that our well is not working?  We had water at 6:30 this morning and then it just stopped.  We have and have had a heater in the pump house to keep the pipes from freezing so at this time we are just waiting.  As it is still 18′ F outside, it may be a bit until we know exactly what is going on.

I am quite happy to report that the greenhouse never dropped below 45’F and it is quite pleasant in there right now.  All the thousands of seedlings are happy and bright, growing right along.  I am also happy to report that by weeks end, our highs will be in the 60’s again.  

green house march 2014

The average last frost date for my area is March 15th, but given the past spring, this winter and the Farmer’s Almanac- I don’t think it will be safe to put out tomatoes, basil, and such until Easter.  The old timers had “Good Friday Gardens” for a reason.  But there are plenty of gardening options from March to April- Kale, Spinach, Cilantro, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Cilantro, beets, radishes, carrots,  and such will do just fine, even with a light freeze.  If you can cover the plants, you can put out broccoli, green beans, and squash.

So stay warm and dream of large gardens!

The Winter Solstice, The Longest Night

The longest night has just passed.

Did you feel it?

We did, we kept noticing the time, thinking that it should be much later than it was in reality.  The evening wore on with cookies baking, gift baskets being stuffed, and herbed salts, salamoia bolognese, being prepared.  It was a quiet night, the rain that had poured from the heavens all the previous night and this day ceased just long enough for a few rays of sunshine to grace the landscapes before the dark crept over us.  It was not a darkness to be feared, but one that encouraged rest.

From here on out, the days will gradually grow longer and eventually bringing warmth but definitely bringing life refreshed.  Below the ground, the Narcissus bulbs are beginning to stir- soon little green spears will pierce the ground followed by buds that will one day show us their beautiful white and yellow faces.  Those are some of my favorite flowers because they tell me, “Cheer Up, spring is just around the corner.”

I always find parallels to life in my garden.  In life, we will walk through the longest nights, but spring will come.

“For his anger endures but for a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

 

daffodil