Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plastic on the cold frames

Our cold frames have donned their winter coats and are keeping toasty. Today, with the help of some willing volunteers and my intern Breanna, the row cover fabric that was covering them has been replaced with a thick plastic. The plastic will help keep temperatures inside the tunnels a good 10 degrees warmer, ensuring a good growing environment. We chose today to put on the plastic when the forecast called for -10 to -20 temperatures tonite. Yikes. Bundle up everyone, here comes the deep chill.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First snow of the year

Ahhh...the true onset of winter has come, snow flurries are twirling around outside. As much as winter makes us grumble and forces us to take cover under many layers of wool, I love it. I love the down time. The warm stews and hearty breads, casseroles and hot tea. Lots of hot tea. It's the best time of year for baking. Which means that breads and cookies and pies all get made often, with the residual benefit of heating the house. I love watching quiet snow. It's meditative and reminds me to take my time when completing tasks. And I love blizzards. Which help remind me that sometimes to you just have stay inside and take advantage of all the benefits of home.

Maybe it is because I was raised in the mountains of Colorado, where winter starts in September and doesn't end until June, and where snow coming 3 feet deep over night qualifies as a reason to rejoice. (And where the Fourth of July parade is commonly snowed upon.) Whatever the reason, I think snow is fantastic.

Needless to say winter is here and the farm is feeling the chill. I had two great volunteers today who helped me mulch the rooftop beds with hay (generously donated by Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse!). And they helped finish mulching the downstairs beds too, with wood chips. We mulched our cold frames, now that temperatures are reaching below freezing (28 degrees tonight!) and the lettuces will soon need a plastic cover instead of the row fabric that is over them now.

I hope all of you are loving the seasons as much as I am. I know it's hard in Chicago when everyone gets all miserable over a little cold weather, but take the time to enjoy the season with warm activities and hot tea.