I’ve picked up and put down this Winter article a gazillion times now. But today, I saw snow-free grass on the ground, and felt inspired by what’s to come this season. Between the sleepy mornings and tucking myself in under layers of blankets sipping on coffee, we kept on moving full steam ahead. Here’s are a few of our winter activities:
Restoring our indoor plant supply. The lack of green really is a real downer after a season of seeing it all around for months and months. We replanted all our indoor plants, and set up an indoor growing area. I’ve changed my tune as I do a casual clean around the house, because I get to check on my little plantings. It’s fun to see how their leaves change their bend to match the lighting that’s around.
Building, and more importantly, planning for building. In the past, it seemed like we never had enough time to properly think through and execute projects. This winter, we’ve enjoyed numerous conversations about how best to build x, y, or z. As a result, I’m happy to say that our new stairs in the barn, greenhouse doors, and second propagation house are built to last! Nothing’s perfect though, cause not everything can be tackled in cold weather—our half-blown off chicken coop roof and caulk on our cooler (that never dried!) door are proof of that!
Dog love. After nine months of infrequent pets and walks, our dogs (yay to our new Australian cattle dog/retriever mutt) are now reaping the benefits of our stay-inside lifestyle. All the belly rubs.
Seed ordering. They say there are supply chain issues. Then they say there are shortages. There are shipping issues, price increases, failed crops… so. much. Which led us to really amp up our process for field planning and planting. Getting this in ordered allowed for a much better seed ordering experience. Now they are nicely sorted and labeled in the coolest part of the basement. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m not the most organized person (mainly because I find the act of “organizing” to be a time-sucking step in the long list of steps to accomplish a task), so doing this was quite an accomplishment.
Seed saving. We had a handful of leftover, dried flowers in our flower shed. We made sifting frames and saved a handful of seeds in order to try out the seed saving process before the season begins. A big goal is to save about half our own seeds next season! I did a germination test on the seeds (you’ll see a picture of that below), and it worked! The green tails amaranth and poppies did great! Still working out the kinks. My dream would be to work on a seed farm one summer!
Learning. This past week was the MOSES Organic Vegetable Growers Conference. We attend every year, and so far, I’m STOKED about sweet potatoes. We hope to add a new tractor implement so that we can grow sweet tates for Farm Share members! We also learned about growing broccoli, lettuce varieties, and task management systems. I also spent time taking financial training classes, but, I’ll spare you the borefest because I know you’re not reading this article to hear about spreadsheets.
Flowers. Still on the topic of learning, we’re hoping to have more quality stems during the season. That’s all well and good, but if we don’t know how to arrange and make bouquets quickly it won’t do any good! So I’ve been practicing my floral skills with a few different floral studios. It’s been fun, but also has been pretty eye opening as to how flowers are sourced, purchased and stored. For example, did you know Valentine’s Day Roses are grown oversees, harvested months prior, and then put into cold storage until they are sold to wholesale buyers in the States? Giving a whole new meaning to “fresh” flowers from your Valentine’s date.
Friyay Pizzas. We’ve enjoyed our fair share of pizzas this winter—especially from Old Germantown, a tasty tasty place in our area that makes their own dough and uses a wood-burning oven for cooking. I mean, when you can’t eat fresh veg, pizza it is.