Friday, December 6, 2013

Arctic Blast

The sun hangs frozen in the sky and I shiver, even while standing next to the fire.

A trek outdoors is no longer something to look forward to. I hunker down, steeling myself against the weather forecast, as if I were a sailor facing a gale.

Yes, single-digit lows are common to Kansas winters, but not in December. That's January weather. But Kansas weather doesn't look at the list of norms and does what it does when it damn well pleases. So I look at the weather forecast and sigh.

Later today, I will pull back the blankets and sheets, lift the plastic over the low tunnels, pull back more sheets and some row cover to see whether the lettuce has survived the last couple of days. Right now it is just 9 degrees Fahrenheit (that's NINE degrees, and it's not the coldest low in the forecast). I will harvest whatever looks edible, put all of the coverings back and hope for the best.

Golden days of Autumn.
On Tuesday, when the high was in the upper 60s, I harvested kale and collard greens, just in case the visit from Arctic winds put everything into dormant mode until spring (I hope it all comes back, anyway). However, we still had lots of lettuce in the refrigerator, so I covered it all and hoped for the best. Now I'm not so sure that "the best" will mean the lettuce survives. So I will don about 20 pounds of warm clothing and bring the lettuce in.

First, however, I'll head to the post office to pick up a package, then buy a couple of gallons of diesel fuel so my husband can fuel the tractor and get it prepared for possibly pushing snow on Sunday.

Rosemary Gladstar, herbalism guru, giving one of several presentations at the
Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence, Kansas.
Tomorrow morning, we'll head into Lawrence to check out the Christmas parade, which features decorated, horse drawn modes of transportation and nothing else. The temperature will likely be in the single digits, even by 11 a.m., since the high is forecast at 19 for the day (18 today). So we'll be in our insulated overalls, heavy work coats and MuckMaster boots, with various clothing layers underneath to watch the parade, IF they don't call it on account of cold.

I've been absent here for some time. Summer got extra busy in August, with a flood of green beans and tomatoes, along with my starting the Extension Master Gardeners program. No homework, but a full day away from the farm from mid-August through mid-November. And Other Things. But I am here today, with a few photos from my absent time.

St. John's Wort covered in frozen dew in late November. This herb is trying to take over the nursery bed where I started it.
I am taking that into consideration while trying determine where to transplant it to.