Well, it's a new year, my "batteries" are recharged, and I'm ready to do -- everything! Thank you to all my readers who commented on my end-of-the-year rant; I sincerely appreciate your sage advice, and I want to tell you that I very much enjoy reading your blogs. Some of the aspects of blogging I like are the easy fellowship it affords and the many great ideas that are freely exchanged. Makes me want to rephrase the old IWW (International Workers of the World) slogan to say, International Bloggers of the World Unite! I do think we are changing the world.
The temperature here has been up, down, up, and now down again. A few days ago we were close to the 40F range. That was warm enough for all the bedding in the chicken coop to thaw out so I took the opportunity to shovel out the coop and scrape the roosts down. The chickens were very pleased. They are actually laying a little better (about 3-5 eggs a day), but the eggs are mostly already cracked and frozen by the time I gather them so I still don't have enough to sell.
The warm spell brought rain with it that turned to ice when the temperatures later dropped leaving a treacherous ice glaze on everything. We could have gone ice skating on our driveway. Thankfully, now that we've had some more snow the traction is a little better.
The bad news is that all of my storage potatoes froze. That hurts because the Red Cloud potatoes were my third year of saved seed potatoes from certified organic stock, and Red Cloud seed potatoes are not that common. I think Red Cloud is a great all purpose potato: it's a great seller at the farmers market because it is a red potato; it stores beautifully all winter; and, it is just great cooked in any way -- baked, boiled, roasted, fried. I don't know if I can salvage them for seed; I guess I'll just have to wait and see if any of them sprout.
I have my seed lists whittled down quite a bit. I am still betting that it will be a cool and wet summer. The newspaper today had an article in it that says this summer should be droughty again -- at least according to projections based on weather records. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. I don't think the weather people have been all that accurate. I'll be planting heavily with root crops and greens.
Speaking of greens, last year Tom planted a mustard variety called Green Wave that grew monstrous. He didn't even want to eat it because eaten raw it tastes very hot and spicy. Well, I'm not one to waste food so I went out and gathered all of it and canned it. To my surprise, it entirely lost its hot and spicy taste once canned. In the field that mustard had absolutely no insect problems and was just beautiful. It is one of the greens I will be planting this year.
Thought I'd pass on a link to a web site: http://www.medicinecrow.com/. I buy seeds from Horizon Herbs (their link on on the right side of this blog under Useful and Favorite Links) and I received an invitation from Richo Cech to a free webinar tonight. If you are interested in medicinal herb gardening, you might want to check this site out. It certainly intrigues me.
Take care and be safe!