Posted in Behind the Scenes, Indoor Musings

The year is already getting away from me.

Just came in from dumping scraps in the compost.  Everything is frosty, and wow the ground under my wellie booted feet was hard as rocks when I did a quick walk around.  I just checked as I was writing this, and the temperature had just risen to 32°F.  I also saw some interesting and rather beautiful ice where water had pushed out of the ground along the east slope off the driveway.  I’m debating as I write this if it’s worth going back out to try to get a picture, but while examining it I broke off quite a bit of it which wouldn’t make the best representation of what I saw.  Perhaps tomorrow I will check and see if it happened again, though I’m thinking it’s possible this morning was special due to the rains we had yesterday.

Speaking of that bit of the slope, we had a heck of a lot more frost heave all over the yard this year than I remember prior.  It was mostly evident where we had beds last year, as well as the east side of the front yard slope (next to the driveway where I saw the ice) where we had a bit of the slope collapse this winter.  At first, I thought the collapsed bit was from a tunneling creature, given what seemed evident holes in one section, but now I don’t know which came first–the holes or the heave fall off.

I have lost track of the number of times when I’ve said to myself this year, “I really need to try to catch up on the garden site.”  I even realized as I came here to post I managed to miss the anniversary of the site this year.  (Not sure if it’s worth doing a catch up on that or not.  Time will tell.)  I also have loads of pictures either still in the camera, or still awaiting transport from my computer folders to this site.

Welp, this certainly has been an unusual year in my time on this planet.  Not that it’s any excuse to not posting much, mind you.  It’s just perspective on my part for when I look back and read this entry again whenever down the road.

If I take anything away from this year, it’s the knowledge that a pandemic made ordering seeds in my usual fashion a wee bit more difficult than I’ve been apparently luxuriously used to the last few years.  Who knew so many folks would be scrambling towards food security or planned boredom or needing a new at home hobby, and that greenhouses and warehouses would be having difficulty staffing as usual.

Although my twice maternal great-grandmother had a Depression Garden, and my maternal grandparents continued to keep an abundant garden until their twilight years based on growing up during the Depression (they never called theirs a Liberty nor Victory Garden), there were never any stories shared in my family about Spanish Flu Gardens.

The one bright spot is we still had quite a few seeds left over even in cases where we could not save seeds from actual grown crops.  My only concern is quite a bit of them were mostly stored in a less than optimal fashion because I forget to move my seed tin to the cellar for the winter.  I see that’s Two Notes to Future Me I should write up later after I’ve slept a bit.  (Still plagued by insomnia of late.)

Due to my poor discipline in taking care of what seeds we had means this week and next I’ll start germinating some to see what’s worth anything.  I am keenly aware that some seeds may not take kindly of my expecting them to grow, given how warm they spent the winter.

Some of our root crops, on the other hand, decided they were tired of waiting and started sprouting once their storage temperatures crept up during a few warm spells we’ve had.  Given how poorly we managed last year when we started seeds indoors way too early for our area, I cringed a bit as I watched many of them whither and die.  There’s a few I might still manage to encourage to grow more that were late to the “I want to grow now” game.  Time will tell on that as well.

We are still getting night snows and have many nights where the temps are at or below freezing.  So I am also glad I did not listen to my partner during the last warm break when he said, “Shouldn’t be putting out the rain barrels yet?”  Although during most mornings after snow it didn’t last very long (I have some pics I need to post up), we definitely could have had more damage due to freezing.  On one of the barrels, the plastic overflow pipe gave up the ghost last year before we even put it away for the year.  We had put it away a bit late, so I’m not sure if water froze and caused it, or we mis-handled it at some point and the brittle plastic couldn’t take what abuse it was given.  This is why I’m not a fan of plastic, but it’s what came with the barrel (also plastic, hence my concern about freezing), so the replacement will be rubber.

I’ve been watching with concern each time myself or both of us have done a walk around on our property.  Quite a few things greeted the early warm spells with shoots and buds, and I’m not yet certain what’s going to weather the last of the frosty nights and mornings just yet.  I had spied what looks to be one of the garlics we had planted pushing up greens about a month ago, but I buried it then with a handful of then warm dirt, knowing the frosts yet to come.  We’ve also had a few onions leaf out that I am not entirely sure are seeds that just weren’t ready to grow last year, but at least two are near where we planted sprouted onions last year (that we had harvested–so maybe a bit was left behind?  They didn’t flower!  So confused.)

This fall/winter/early spring has also been much windier overall.  Our brush pile is already twice what it usually is due to fallen branches, and I spied more that need gathering as I did my walk around.  Normally, I pick some up when I do a walk around, but even with a jacket and cardigan over my sweater and turtleneck I was already feeling the bite of the still brisk light wind this morning.  So my pace was hurried as a result, the better to get inside for the tea brewing.

Speaking of, time for another cup.  I hope this post finds folks as well as can be in this interesting year.  More will follow as time and focus allows.

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