Winter is almost here

It’s that damp cold outside, but with Christmas sort of under control, we might go out and move some rock or put up some tree protection anyway. The two sheep appear to have eaten all the grass, and when the ladies come back from their visit with the ram, we’ll need to put them on the upper pasture. And since at least one will go into the freezer soon, we want them to be eating…

Last week there was a low of 19 degrees, so the garden is a bit sad looking. There’s still a lot growing; kale, lots of parsnips, turnips, beets, fennel, and carrots (for seed), plus parlsey and some odds and ends. Some of the lettuce doesn’t look bad but when you get it in there’s frost damage. But making dinner is much more work when you have to dig, scrub and peel roots. We have been enjoying the spaghetti squash very much. My expectations weren’t high, but put some sauce on and it’s actually quite good, and surprisingly satisfying. This was an excellent addition to our diet. This year I also starting making squash spoon-bread, which encourages us to eat squash, and oven-roasted tomato sauce, which is what we’ve been putting on the spaghetti squash.

The greenhouse is again really doing well. The floor isn’t done, but I’ll start back working on that… one of these days. With that cold spell, it did not give total protection; the basil and one pepper plant seems to be suffering from cold. But there must be 4 or 5 jalapeno plants (two from 2010 that overwintered last year) that are doing fine and covered with peppers, the bell has a pepper, the nardellos appear to be ripening, and even the tomato plant, although suffering, doesn’t seem to have given up. The ripe yuzus are hanging on and the one orange is sloooowly starting to turn orange.

Any day now I want to start some onions, since it seems like the more time they have to grow the better. I got some shallot seed so we’ll give that a try too. I keep forgetting about the daffodil bulbs (I don’t think it’s quite too late…) and it’s high time to order fruit/nut trees. Once the river rock is removed from the area in front of the house I’ll put in low-growing fruiting groundcovers, kinnikinnick and salal and wintergreen and wild blueberry.

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