What? It’s Winter again?

Our 2 hoop houses arrived (also called caterpillar tunnels, or “cat tunnels” for short, which I like) as expected, and we broke down the pallet as it started to snow. More rain the next day, and the next, and then on Saturday more snow. But we were up against a deadline and 8 hands were needed, so we pushed through. We managed to get most of the bones assembled before succumbing to the mud and cold and wind. That was a weekend ago.

The following week promised nicer weather, so the girls were able to finish the bones during the week, cover one of the cat tunnels, and work at forming beds in it. Observed plenty of worms when we pulled up the plastic and cardboard we’d had on the ground. We all pitched in on Saturday to finish the second tunnel, finish beds in it, cover the aisles with wood chips and install trellising for the very leggy tomatoes that are anxious to get in the ground. And we’re happy to see the soil inside drying out! Obligatory sunrise pic from this morning:

The ends still need finished, but we all had other stuff to do after lunch Saturday, so that will wait for nicer weather too. You can still see the remains of yesterday’s snow on the sides. Will it ever stop??

That baby tunnel above is the chicken coop, housing our birds and a broody hen that’s a week or so away from hatching her eggs. She’ll be installed in her own condo this week, so she can raise her chicks in peace, and we’ll slowly integrate them into the rest of the flock as they get bigger. I’m sure the chickens are eying those two mansions, thinking they’d sure like to upgrade their housing for next winter. Maybe we’ll build another this summer.

Flats of tomatoes, cabbages, and bok choi, and lettuce are growing well. All of which should be going in the cat tunnels this week, so they’re ready for June 4… the Farmers Markets begin! This is the reason we’re using cat tunnels. They extend the growing season as much as a month on each end, so we can get veg to market sooner, and continue to grow into the late fall. We’ll hopefully be able to grow some cold-hardy greens over the winter as well, there and in our greenhouse. We hope to experiment with wood chip / compost piles as heat sources for the tunnels next winter.

Both Mike and I had to commute into work last week, and evening activities left little time to get caught up here. Hopefully things are back to normal now. Whatever that is, lol. Around here there’s no shortage of fires to put out, we’re learning. Over time, I expect we’ll settle into more of a routine. Last year we were somewhat overwhelmed by all that needed done; this year we’re quite a bit more organized, but so far weather has played havoc with schedules. We’re learning to take it all in stride and adapt. It’s dance we do every day.


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