February Wrap-Up

We had another snow a few weeks ago in our little corner of the world.  Winter is still with us, for now.

a light in the darkness

The night-time picture above was after a long day putting the ground posts in concrete, snow falling all around and the temperature hovering around freezing.

another snow

Another pretty snow.

first bow up

Next the bows went up, all in a morning, with my Dad’s help.

bows up

Gavin spent a few days stabilizing the structure with baseboards and a few rows of purlins.

the bows up, a few purlin rows on

Another project underway is moving this huge pile of sawdust onto our blueberry rows.  We planted the blueberries last spring and they have been mostly neglected since then, so it was time to show them some TLC.  I have found it hard to allocate time to a crop that won’t produce for many years yet.

sawdust pile

We spread about a 4″ deep layer of sawdust on the bushes.  Dumped it onto a tarp with the front end loader, dragged the tarp over to the row, and dumped the contents around the bushes.  This system worked well enough, but I would be curious to know if anyone has any ideas for easier ways to spread lots of bulky material like this.

mulching with sawdust

I hope I will never have to weed these beds again.  We’ll see.

mulching blueberries

We were able to cover several of the beds in an afternoon, but there is still another full day of work there.

drilling holes for shiitake spawn

So far we have inoculated over 100 logs with shiitake spawn.  This year we are using an angle grinder with a special attachment to drill the holes, which makes the drilling much more speedy.  However, filling all the holes with spawn is still tedious work.  We did not cut enough logs for all the spawn we ordered, so we were up in the woods again this evening cutting a few more stump-sprouted trees.

inoculated logs

I have been cleaning up the remains of the fall crops in the garden.  These are freeze-dried celery leaves.  And a ladybug.

freeze-dried celery

Very little remains alive from the fall crops.  This little radicchio rosette has held on throughout the winter, and I am tempted to grow it out for seed because it is so beautiful (and cold hardy!).  The tiny leaves would be perfect for salad mix.  They are about 2-3″ long.

very hardy radicchio plant

Our compost pile has doubled in size over the past week from all the weeding and bed clean-out.  Here are the stalks of okra plants.  They are like trees, about 8′ tall with 1-2″ thick trunks and deep roots.  One of the last reminders of how vertical the garden becomes in summer!

cleaning up old okra

We were able to till a few of the beds in the upper garden during a very brief window of dryness last week.  The lower garden will take much longer to dry out, but I am glad to have a few beds available to start seeding early crops.  The green in the first and third rows is our garlic crop.


The greenhouse is full of flat after flat of wee seedlings.  Gavin has made it a priority to install the wood stove so that we will someday soon have a HEATED greenhouse.  I’m sure the seedlings will approve.

pea tendrils

These are leaves from potatoes peeking out of the soil in the high tunnel.  Growing is magic, I tell you.  These little happenings fill me with joy (especially since there are always failures to go along with the successes).

potatoes peeking out

On these overcast chilly days it is sometimes hard to believe spring will be here in just a few short weeks.  We’re ready for some warmth and light!