Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Farm in Winter

I have definitely neglected my blog in the last couple of months.  It seems the farm in winter is quite an empty topic.  However, looking back on the happenings of November, December and January, I find there are quite a lot of things to say.  The first is that the Irish Spring soap bars we hung on our Cherry and Apple trees kept the deer at bay long enough for winter to set in and shed the leaves those pesky critters were happily munching.We will certainly be hanging soap again in the spring along with a little better caging system, because I truly want these trees to survive.  Thirty-two trees are big investments, and the goal this year is to protect the investment.

Our Handmade Garden Gate
The second is that all the hard work we put into making blackberry jam, freezing apples, pureeing pumpkin, freezing green beans and freezing berries has really paid off.  I have experimented with all kinds of ways to use my harvest.  Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins.  Berry cobbler, berry sauce, berry muffins, berry swirl poundcake.  Green bean casserole, soups and stews.  Apple pie, apple bread, apple crumble.  The freezer is still stuffed, and we are well into winter now.  I truly regret not having frozen summer squash. 
Cheyenne in the Snow

It is now mid January and our first seed catalogs are in.  The number one plant on my list this year is celery.  I've never tried to grow it, but I sure love to eat it.  I am in the throes of planning the upcoming garden season.  I have my little template drawn out and have begun filling it in with possible plants to grow.  The garlic is already planted, and the potato patch has been scheduled to move to the other side of the garden to prevent tater pests from getting too comfortable.  All the rest of the space is up for grabs.  I'll post a picture once I get it all arranged.

In the meantime, however, I tell you in all honesty that our three horses have been busy, busy this winter making serious compost - all of which is magically creating a rich mix for my upcoming planting season along with the hay we piled and piled in the chicken house to keep them warm and cozy.  The compost from last year is already ready to be added to the garden beds.  Bring on the spring!