Sunday, April 03, 2011

Weather Watching

Well, we've got another big red fox hanging around and I'm already missing three chickens.  Grrr!  That fox must be hungry.  He sat on a tree stump behind a bunch of balsam trees and just stared at me, bold as brass, while I shooed the chickens back inside the safety of the chicken run.  Egg Sucker ran around looking tough with the hair on her back up and her nose in the air.  The fox never even looked her way. 

When I got up this morning, it was snowing like crazy.  I heard on the weather that we may get another 11" of snow, but I don't think we'll get that much.  It is the heavy, wet snow that melts quickly and makes our "mud season" so delightful. As I write this, the temperature is dropping and the wind is picking up.  I'm glad the trees are not leafed out yet.  It feels more like Winter than Spring.

Tom and I are looking at an 8' x 16' greenhouse to replace the high tunnel we lost in last year's tornado.  We can't order it till the mud season road restrictions are lifted, but by then and with the two of us working, we should be able to build it in short order and just move the seedlings from the basement right into the greenhouse.  I think I'll put in a couple of black plastic garbage cans filled with water to add to the heat and make a growing bench over the the cans for additional container growing.  We'll work in alot of vertical growing with some grow bags and trellises.  I'm still going to add a garden box in front of the blackberries, and maybe another one next to the greenhouse.   That will pretty much take care of our available grassy area in back of the house.

The open pollinated Golden Bantam sweet corn seed came in the mail yesterday that I ordered from Shumway's to replace the Ashworth corn seed I couldn't get from Fedco, but now the onion sets I ordered are on backorder.   Don't know if I'll get those or not.  I hope to be able to buy some from the feed store as a last resort.  Boy, we ate all two bushels of onions we had left over from the farmers market season over this winter and that was a big help toward keeping our family food costs down.  I expect to plant double the onions I had last year.  I  just hope I don't have any trouble getting my new Red Cloud seed potatoes.

I've picked out a smallish maple tree to cut down and use for inoculating with shitake mushroom plugs, but I'll wait till after I attend the mushroom class at the Woodland Owners' Conference next Saturday before cutting it down.  I want to make sure I get growing these mushrooms right.  Lara and I are looking forward to going.   It will be good to get out of the house. 

I've been watching the radiation levels for Duluth, MN because we usually get the same weather as Duluth.  I check the radiation air flows here, here, here, and here.  On days when the levels are rising or there is to be precipitation, I just plan to keep everybody inside as much as possible.  There's not much else you can do.  Once the weather warms up I will be on the lookout for unusual plants.

Dad is doing well.  He got the doctor to take him off the Coumadin and a bunch of other medicines, so he is very pleased with himself.  Tom helped him yesterday to drag some logs out of the woods, but they couldn't do much because of the mud.  They are making a big pile of logs to split later.  I'm still going to order a logger's load of wood for him.  I agree with Tom that it's cheaper to buy the wood than kill yourself for weeks at a time doing it yourself.  We aren't getting any younger.

Well, that's about it for now.  Be well!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Mark Your Calendar

Wisconsinites, do remember to VOTE on April 5th. 

Please vote for JOANNE KLOPPENBURG for the Wisconsin Supreme Court if you believe that working people have a right to work with dignity in a safe workplace and for a fair wage.

Enough recall petition signatures have been gathered to recall Republican Dan Kapanke and will be filed in Madison this afternoon.  The recall process for the other seven Republicans continues!