Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lettuce be happy

A frosty, misty morning.
Sunshine and temperatures in the mid-40s early this week have cause a lot of thaw.
Glaciers of snow slide down our metal roof, hanging over the edge, dripping icicles and threatening all who walk outdoors. Then they slide more and wet snow lands with a fwump on the ground.
A snow glacier curls over the edge of the porch roof.
On Monday I pushed snow away from the rocks anchoring the edge of the plastic covering the lettuce bed, so the sun could thaw the frozen snow sticking the stones to the ground. Then I went for a long walk through the woods, down the rocky hill, through a waterway and back up and through the redcedar grove.
I saw many things and took many photos.
But that is not the tale I will tell today.
A lavendar flower stalk bristles with icy crystals.
Tuesday morning brought a frozen fog that coated trees and plants with frost. When I stepped outdoors after sunrise, most of the fog had cleared from our hilltop, but still lurked in the woods and lay in the valley below us. The morning had an extra spell of enchantment over it.
Later that day, while the sun shone and the thermometer read 46 degrees, I ventured out into the slushy snow with baskets in hand.
Yes. That was the day I finally opened the lettuce house.
I shoved back the blankets that had been thrown over the top of the house.
I moved the now bare stones from the edge of the plastic.
I pulled the plastic back.
Then I dragged out the old comforter that lay directly on top of the lettuce.
What did I find?
Some definitely frozen mush of lettuce....
My late January lettuce harvest!!!
And some beautiful fresh, perky lettuce.
I harvested what was good and hauled the mush to the compost heap.
Last night we had salads made from our own lettuce, picked in late January after weathering a few nights of below zero temps.
All of the lettuce has been harvested now, but this is not the end of the story. Yesterday and during previous harvests I saw where some of the lettuce plants that had been cut were beginning to grow back. In the bed I opened yesterday is some lettuce that has not yet reached a harvestable size, but which was happy and healthy looking.
In a few weeks I will pull away the heavy hay mulch and let the sun warm the soil and tickle the little lettuces into growth beneath the plastic shelter.
And so the story continues...
What is this thing I found in the woods? All will be reveal in my next picture blog.

No comments: