Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snow- a dusting.

Forget about the El Nino/Climate Change perpetual fallish winter we've been enjoying. It's now Winter. Having never had roosters and winter together before I feel like I've failed miserably and been a crappy animal protector. The Roos both got frostbite. Papi has only had a couple of points on his comb injured, but Mattilda took it bad. Both comb and wattles are significantly burned. I suspect he will lose his points and wattle skin (whatever it is officially called, I have no idea). I would take a picture, but I'm horrified. Hubs and I reinforced the coop by surrounding it with straw bales. The inside of the coop was about 10 degrees warmer than outside temp and no drafts this morn, so I am happy with that. Tonight it is suppose to get down to 5F. Hens are much hardier than Roos. Lesson learned. I've never had a problem with my girls.

Not the best pic., but what is in the black plastic pot on the other side of the chicken-fence is a Aristolochia (Dutchman's Pipevine-native) I am tempting to propagate. Fill pot with dirt, rest nodes of vines on top of soil, top with a brick. Hopefully roots will grow from the node and I will have some new plants come spring.

I've really been babying these cuttings along. They are now in a ziplock bag (in this pot). I'm not sure if they will ever root, but they are hanging on. Scarlet Honeysuckle (native)

 Sea Oats/ River Oats collected from yard. Tossed on top of soil in this cat litter container.

Lid isn't completely cut off, creating a mini-greenhouse for
the seedlings. Stored outside for cold-moist stratification. 

 These sweets started to sprout so I potted them up.
Put soil on top. I will use these in the summer garden. 
I haven't bought sweet potato starts in 3 years. These
are Georgia Jet, which seem to do well for me. Growing
in the basement under shop lights.

Have thought on and off about doing this- bottle edging. It's begun. I guess I'll need to drink more.

Hubs made me some "new" planters from old tires. 
I fell in love with these when I first saw them in
a school garden in South Africa. They had a bunch of different
shapes and sizes- all painted in bright colors.

Made a few trellises from collected sticks & wild grape vine.

What else do you do when winter begins and you're stuck indoors? 
Mile High Blackberry Muffins

Black Raspberry-Lime Muffin Cookies

Eggplant Pad Phet
w/eggplant & peppers (frozen) and chard (fresh)

Hen of the Woods Mushroom Soup
Peaches canned in honey
Spinach salad

This is a must keep peach recipe! 
I thought canned peaches surely would be awful,
but that's just not true! Plus the syrup makes
for a nice cocktail mixer. ; )

Thank you dear chickens for continuing
to give me breakfast throughout this horrible cold. 
Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms.

Final notes
Raised beds have extra blankets and I am leaving them covered on the coldest days. Inside the geohoop all is lovely and green. I'm harvesting corn salad for the ladies. I'm waiting to start picking a lot from the other greens when the days start getting over 10 hours long ~ Jan 24th I believe. Then growth should start picking up. Started 4 kinds of Milkweed in tall pots outside- Showy, Common, Poke and Sullivant's. Pepper seedlings are coming up. I started a few perennials- yarrow, P coneflowers, blanket flower, dianthus- no germination yet. Kale & Bok Choy started in the garage have germinated. The new "Pollinator Palooza" seed mix was sown on 1/14/16 in the new compost/bed. I need to take pics of that and post. 
If things stay this cold there won't be a lot going on outside for me. I don't mind working outside in the cold, but when the ground is frozen, it's cold AND gray or cold and windy- then I am stuck indoors. Cold and sunny or cold and not windy- I'm all good. 

We've been having a lot of wonderful sunrises. I'll just have to enjoy those for now.

No comments: