Winter Gardening

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“I sit here Mama?”

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. -Proverbs 20:4 (KJV)

The weather outside is intolerably horrible, which means below 55 degrees. Winter has come. It’s 7:00am and still dark, the trees are grey and dull, there’s a thin layer of ice in the water buckets each morning, and Daisy the Pig won’t come out of her house. I hate winter.
I completely acknowledge that I have nothing legitimate to complain about. It’s a Kentucky winter. It’s going to be cold, wet, and muddy, but there probably won’t be any snow, and most days the temperature will come above freezing. We spent two years in Maine, that was winter. I didn’t complain about the water buckets being frozen then, I complained about having to hunt them once they were buried in snow.
As the Bible tells us though, winter is not a reason to lay off of your work. As horrible as I feel about the outdoors right now, in less than three months it will be time to start planting peas and greens again. I must get the garden ready. In addition, I really like being outside and so do the children. So we (the children and I) have resolved to spend one hour each day out in the garden. The children didn’t actually have a choice, but they enjoy the garden.

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Marshall overseeing the clearing of the mustard patch

We will prepare our garden, and get ready to expand it this year. We currently have an application put in for a High Tunnel, a sort of plastic hoop greenhouse that you can lift the sides up on. The government is granting them so long as your grow something in them for four years. Sort of a homesteading act for equipment. This would allow us to continue growing through winter, and create a more controlled environment in the summer. (Death to Japanese Beetles!) Part of the approval process is a farm inspection. I would die of embarrassment to have an inspection of my briery, weed garden right now.
So yesterday we worked at raking up some of the weeds, cutting back the asparagus patch, and digging up some parsley to bring in for winter. Today will hopefully involve mulching the strawberries, more raking, and clipping back the weeds along the fence.

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