30 March 2014

Another boring post about snow

I apologise - you  must be utterly sick of all the snow pictures by now. (Although not as much as I am, I suspect.)

As you can see, there's still a lot to left to melt - and guess what? It's snowing again as I type.

The depth of snow around the gate is back to about where it was in late-January.

It's funny to think that I entitled a post 'Relentless winter' back on January 7th. Little did I know...

My seedlings are keeping me (mostly) sane. Here are those little asparagus plants, growing away well.

22 March 2014

Snowing and going

When I woke up today, it was snowing again, but only enough to turn the world completely white for a few hours ('English snow', I thought to myself). By lunchtime the morning coating had melted.

The day warmed up a bit more and now there is some serious melting of the big snow banks going on. The ditch on the western side of the farm is visible again for the first time in months as the drifts have collapsed into it.

And the gate is a bit more visible than it has been of late.

The softening snow brings new perils, however. This next picture is the deep hole my right leg descended into as I walked back from taking the two photos above. The hole that made me tumble forward, flat on my face.

With a pocket full of eggs.

15 March 2014

First (or last?) harvest

The snow is slowly, slowly melting away as the sun gets stronger. The days are still pretty cold, but at least they are longer now. In the greenhouse the warmth has finally unfrozen the raised beds and I was able to dig up the remainder of my 2013 parsnip crop today. I thought there were only one or two parsnips out there - but I gathered nearly four pounds of them (1.7kg)! Some are on the slender side, but they look pretty good, considering the winter we've had (some nearby carrots had completely rotted away). If it's true that frost makes them taste better, they should be amazing!  

I've been slow to start seeds indoors because I've been so demoralised by the winter, but I did sow a few asparagus seeds a couple of weeks ago and was pleased to see that they've bravely surfaced.

Today I've set up the propagator and sown eight different varieties of peppers and one Cosmos (bipinnatus 'Rubenza' - which I don't remember buying but which looks pretty in the pictures I've found of it online).

I've finally got around to sowing the onions and leeks indoors as well, which my calendar has been reminding me about since late January. I kept hitting 'snooze' on the reminder, telling it to remind me again in a week. I've finally caught up with that one, but the trouble is, I've got reminders for sowing lots of other seeds popping up now as well. It seemed such a good idea last year to set all those reminders up, but I have a feeling that I will never catch up with where I think I should be this year.

06 March 2014


The average temperature so far this month has been -13°C. A pathetic 8.5° in Fahrenheit. The newspapers are full of advertisements for Spring products, the weather people are proclaiming that we're in meteorological spring, and yet the view from the window is determinedly wintry.

The garden gate is still comprehensively buried in its deep snow drifts.

And fences and barns are still sporting picturesque snowy highlights.

There is a chance that the temperature will edge above the freezing mark tomorrow, for the first time in nearly two weeks. The poor chickens have not been out of the barn since mid-December and they've probably forgotten that there even is an outside. In the kitchen I'm sprouting some green lentils - ostensibly to give the chickens something fresh to eat, but really to give myself something green to look at!

02 March 2014

Seedy Saturday 2014

Last year I wrote about how I'd become a vendor at the Picton Seedy Saturday event just two years after attending my first one. This year I became one of the organisers of a new Seedy Saturday in Trenton. I feel as though I've been on some sort of apprentice-training scheme with these events, with my involvement gradually escalating.

This event was a scion of the Picton one, with one of the Picton organisers encouraging our efforts and coming to the first meeting of the Seedy Saturday Quinte West committee.

We applied for start-up funds for the event from the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security - and were fortunate enough to receive $350. Thirteen vendors from a range of farm and seed-related businesses paid a small sum for tables on the day and we received enough contributions in kind to fill four raffle baskets, which proved a good fund-raiser. Around 80 people came through the doors on the day, which we were really pleased about. Donations for the book table and seed swap table brought in additional money, ensuring that we have enough in our bank account to pay for the hire of a venue in 2015. This means that the event should be self-sustaining after this first year.

If you get a chance to go along to a Seedy Saturday or to get involved in one, I can highly recommend it. There's always an interesting range of people to talk to and seeds to pick up. I was relatively restrained this year and only came away with four new packets of seed: one bean, two tomatoes and one pepper.