It does not look like winter where I live but I know our family to the North have been having extreme weather. Either flooding or blizzards depending which states while we reached 86 degrees this past week, a beautiful weekend and then back to the 40s this morning. It is all over the place.
The trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming, the birds are nesting and it is difficult to tell the season.
Now I am concerned because our local weather is talking about possible very cold weather for March.
We have seasons in the home no matter what is going on outside. In the winter we are eating root crops and and those canned goods we put up last year. Or at least this is the way it was in the past, the season that we do these thing.
Charles has been busy in the yard. He has been repairing fences and still cleaning up from Hurricane Michael last year. We lost a peach tree and now have planted a new one. This is a Sam Houston Peach and it is okay to plant this tree at this time of year.
Charles put up a solid bar across the center of the clothesline for large rugs. I took advantage of the warm spell we have been having and washed this rug and another and let it sun dry.
Now a little about the garden. The cattle troughs are working out very well. I planted turnips in the fall in two different cattle troughs. One was inside the covered arbor and kept warm when the temperatures dropped below freezing. The other left out with no protection except one time when it went into the 20's and I tossed some loose hay over it.
The turnips left in the open during winter have done the best. We are zone 8 B here where we live.
I also planted some carrots and onions and also garlic in the outside cattle troughs and the outside ones have done better than the ones in the greenhouse.
We are harvesting carrots now in the outside tank. This is a Danver carrot, they are not as large as some of the other types of carrots and if they were not grown so close together they might be a little fatter. Danvers are a short carrot.
This is late February now while doing this post and this past fall I decided to go for it and plant fall plants and let them go through winter to see what they would do I do not normally do much fall gardening but I will from now on because the fall plants are doing well all through the winter. Our summers are getting almost intolerable for me to garden so I will do a lot of planning this summer for this next fall.
This is the garlic trough. and you see it is doing well for being winter but this is suppose to do well when fall planting and now we see what fall planting looks like in February.
But I cannot help myself and I am putting in some early spring plants. I know I am taking a chance and it will most likely freeze or frost a few times but when they are still small a bucket over them or surround them with hay is enough to get them through the short cold snaps. .
I put a few early veggies out here too. The good thing about this area is I can take the pots inside during cold snaps and back out in the sun during the warm days.
You can see the weeds growing up around the troughs, this normally does not get like this until late march or later.
The Coneflowers (Echinacea) are way off track and In our yard these have never been this early. Coneflowers are an herb and are just beautiful with their long lasting blooms. I don't have any control over these since they are perennial. There was a beautiful on like this at about this stage several weeks ago and a cold snap came. My gut said to cover it and I did not because it had made it this far in the cold but the cold did a lot of damage so I will most likely cover these the best I can. They should know that they should still be resting under the ground.
This is dill growing in one of the cages that Charles built. There would be more of this but we have used it for cooking through the winter and I am getting anxious to get some more growing soon.
With the nice weather Charles started ripping out the rotten wood on the potting shed.
I harvested the last of the turnip roots and it is a wonderful treat for us to eat this time of year.
Saturday tank is now planted with turmeric and ginger. Now that I have heard the weather forecast for next week I will pile up hay on top of the soil but will leave it this week because we will be in the 70's.
My concerns are last year I waited until normal time to plant and many of the plants burned up because it was so hot. Our cucumbers literally turned an odd orange color from the heat. I have shade cloth for this year if this happens again.
This is how the rug pole works. It does not affect the clothesline because the pole is above the center clothesline. There are 5 clotheslines and one pole that attaches to each post. The tablecloths are hanging clear of the pole above.
I mentioned we named our grow tanks, this is the Sunday tank. It has carrots and onions. They are both actually growing well but when these harvest I will grow the next onions and carrots separate because they get so jumbled up. I was just trying to get the most use of the space.
The good thing as I am harvesting the carrots little by little now, this is making more space for the onions. It is not time for the onions or the garlic to harvest, they have a lot longer time to grow and then to bulb I will still plant them separate next time so they are not so tangled up. It is even more tangled looking because we moved the trellis here and it disturbed one side.
The weeds around the tanks and paths are surprisingly tall and thick to be February.
We are trying to set our yard where we have some type of food growing all year around. Much is permaculture with fruit trees, fig, plum, pears, peaches and blueberries. These just need to be kept pruned and fed during the proper times.
We went to the nursery to talk with a man to help us figure out how to get more fruit. He advised us to spread chicken manure around our fruit trees and bushes and then top it with pine straw. So we did this and the trees apparently loved this because even as early as it is they are looking very well this year. He said we could still prune back and remove the suckers that come out below the grafts and such as long as we did it on a cold day where the sap would not run. So we did this too and it seemed to have given energy to the trees for they are blooming!
We want our backyard to be an extension of our home. You have read and seen in my posts the changes, the outdoor bath, the outdoor laundry area, the moving of the clothesline so the mulberry tree could remain. The addition of the blueberry patch where we once grew a small garden.
We should never quit trying to learn new things or improve on the things we do know. We can make wherever we are a special place.
Just a bit on how we are doing with our 1932 history project. I keep sharing my thoughts as we go along this journey.
As I was out at the clothesline today I was thinking about the ads in the 20s and 30s newspaper. Their ads really bother me because as modern machinery started coming out they started telling women how hard they had it without whatever it was they were trying to sell. They actually worded the ads to make women feel lesser if they did not or could not purchase one of whatever it was they were selling.
When you have lived without something and know nothing of any other way you just do it. You don't go around complaining or wishing for that something better because there was no something better. But little by little by little by a lot, everything changed.
They turned a switch instead of lighting the lamp. They turned the faucet instead of drawing the well or pumping the pump. They used the telephone instead of going over to visit.
The iceman stopped delivering and little by little the shoe repair shop closed and the seamstress in town no longer had orders.
Slowly jobs started going away as machinery took over.
Now it is becoming clear to me that one thing leads to another until we have so much that it is exhausting us. We have so many things that we truly do not "need" because we were convinced in some way that it would make our life easier or more enjoyable when it actually just burdens us.
I enjoy all the diaries because it is almost like driving by a house in the evening and they have their lights on and their curtains open and you can see glimpses of the family home. But the diaries show us those homes would look different as we read about their quilting or canning.
We read about who came by for a visit or who they visited that day. In the diaries we know that when they say that Vera called they mean Vera came for a visit. later on those that get a telephone will say Vera Telephoned so there is a difference in called and telephoned. We read about what they planted in the garden or the dress that they are sewing. We read they tied a quilt and often they help each other. The diaries show us that it would look much different than today.