Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post Holiday Season

Our first winter in our house has proved successful both in hosting guests and gardening!  There hasn't been much to do outside other than keeping up with the mache in the cold frame and our nine broccoli plants.  The abundance of food scraps has built up our compost pile just a little bit and warm week just before Christmas caused the garlic and onion bulbs to sprout.  Al and I hosted the holidays at our house this year, a first for us both.  All in all it was a good time and very low key.

I learned some things this winter and holiday season:  2 pints jars of mincemeat will make 48 pies (plenty), my Linzer cookies were delish, whatever I did to the Christmas pudding didn't work, we need an unlimited supply of fire wood, winter mache and broccoli is easy to grow, "Project Cold Frame" has been a success, tillage radish don't grow as tall as I imagined.

The broccoli has started producing small heads which I hope will continue to get bigger so we can eat them soon.  The mache, which I seeded back in September is looking really fresh and is growing slowly but surely.  The cold spells we have had the past couple of weeks haven't affected them either!  Although the onion and garlic bulbs began to sprout, I covered them with a load of straw at the advice of our gardening gurus and all seems to be well.

January has arrived and Al and I have begun planning our garden.  We currently have three beds that have been home to tillage radish, a cover crop that helps to nourish the soil and break it up with it's deep roots.  Soon we will be tilling the radish into soil, incorporating some manure from our neighbor's lovely llamas and donkeys, and compost from our meager supply.  Al also requested the Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue so we can order our seeds and get them into the ground or in flats.  I'm really excited about the spring and seeing what successes and failures we will have.  For now it's all about planning, preparing, and trying not to be too ambitious.