I didn’t see any groundhogs on February 2nd. There are about a half a dozen of them living in the field behind my house, and I see them in the mornings when I go out to uncoop the chickens, or hang laundry. Sometimes I see them emerging through our fence, and I chase them out of the yard – they will eat plants right down to a stub. And on February 2nd, I was paying particular attention to see if any of them poked their little furry heads out of their burrows. They didn’t.
But according to Puxatawny Phil, there would be 6 more weeks of winter. As far as weather forecasters go, Phil is about as accurate as any of them. I remember a “Major Snowstorm” that all of the forecasters were going on about. Eventually all of the forecasters, save one, had down-graded to a minor dusting. That guy stuck to his weather-guns. He was released from his contract not long after! And, yes, things have gotten better with all of the radar equipment and advanced computer modeling. But whenever I think of weather forecasting, I think of a line from an old TV show, Twin Peaks, when Agent Cooper said, “If you could get paid that kind of money for being wrong sixty percent of the time, it’d beat working.”
I looked at our weather forecast yesterday, and they are calling for snow showers on St. Patrick’s Day. Enough already! Two years ago, there was a day in March that was about 80° F. I was out working in the yard and got sunburnt! This year it is snow for pea-planting. Crazy.
But I am going a little winter-bonkers. So I took a little risk.
We planted out our cold frame yesterday. We brought a couple of chickens around to dig things up, turn things over and eat the weed sprouts that were coming up. We chose a lettuce, a kale, and a Mizuno green. The soil temp was about 50° F, and that was with the lid up, so I am hoping with the lid down, things will warm up sufficiently for germination. If nothing else, even if nothing sprouts, just getting out there and getting dirt under my nails was pretty awesome.
I also found the leek plants that I buried to see if they would over-winter and they seem to have. Now we will find out if they will grow some more.
The bad news is that my rosemary shrubbery seems to have bit the dust. The extremely cold temperatures may have done it in. I am going to cut it way back and see if it comes back. It started as a plant about the size of my index finger and grew into a shrub that I kept trimmed back to three feet high, by two feet wide, by three feet long. Every year, at the beginning of the CSA season, I would walk into the distribution area and hand one of the apprentices two huge armfuls of rosemary. But I am keeping my fingers crossed!
So here’s to better weather, soon on the way?