Blacken tips and exploding plants

Another Cold One

No we aren’t talking beer. It was another brutally cold night once again. That makes it three nights in a row with temperatures hovering near or below 20 degrees. In a span of a week temperatures went from an 88 degree high to a 20 degree low. Record Lows Set Across Southern California

Even though we had a sunny day yesterday, there were places in the yard where the ice didn’t even melt. The yard still looks like blue tarp city – why bother taking them down when there’s another night of cold temperatures.

We have to keep a sense of humor. We were joking with each other that before our new website was even a few hours old we were already out of business. Makes us chuckle at the irony of it all.   Can’t really do much now, but try to make the best of the situation. It’s not like everything is lost, it’s just a huge setback.   All we can do is pray that this was the only hard freeze for the year and if so we are blessed that it came early. If this sort of thing would have happened in March, boy o boy, would we be in trouble.   With our relying on our garden for our sustenance where we try our best to cut ties to the grocery store as back up, we are praying for rain and not so cold temperatures, knowing that our stomachs rely on the earth to give us daily sustenance.

When you are tied with the land for its daily bread, you realize how truly vulnerable you are to the whims of nature and implications from the effects of global warming. You can’t get this experience of being so helpless and vulnerablefrom reading a book or lecturing about how to change the world; you have to experience first hand this dynamic kinship with nature, the weather and the soil. This life lesson is not found in hearing or reading someone’s words or thoughts, we are taught by being on our knees, toiling the earth with dirty hands and a sweaty brow.  

Taking stock this morning on the extent of the damage: plants that were even close to the house which normally are protected got a touch of frost; the African Blue Basils are goners (they exploded from the inside out overnight – the water inside the plant didn’t have anywhere else to go); the nasturtiums crop is set back months and we’ll probably have to reseed the green crops (broccoli, chard, lettuces, etc) though touched by frost, will recover in a few weeks time; the avocado and citrus look to be holding up; the other stone fruits and apples are dormant and enjoying the chilly hours; the perennial herbs were slightly affected but should rebound in by Spring; the snow peas are still touch and go – they may pull through.

At dinner last night, we were talking about the frost damage, how even with our bulk food supply, we are still so unprepared for any disruption in our fresh produce supply. We take for granted our 365 day growing season.   Thankfully, we do have an ample supply of bulk staples, winter squash, fresh blood oranges, fruit preserves, frozen guavas, blackberries, etc but we sure are going to miss our salads, snow peas, broccoli and other green crops which we had so enjoyed and looked forward. All we can do is be patient and tenderly watch over the garden coaxing the plants to make it through another night of cold temperatures, thumbing through all the new seed catalogs and dreaming of spring.

Thank You

To those of you who left kind words over the loss of ol’ Betsy. With her getting old and boney and basically in retirement from laying any eggs, we knew it was a matter of time till her little heart would give out. Thankfully, she lived a great chicken life up to the last minute of her time her on earth. We, too, are grateful for small miracles.  One that we were even were home on Saturday and because of the cold weather Jordanne let the animals out earlier than usual. Because of that Betsy was having a blast exploring the yard, scratching in the mulched pathways looking for tasty treats until it was time to go in and she wasn’t to be found.   It would have been sad if she had died alone during the night.

This way she was held till the end and that is truly the best way anyone/animal should depart this life.

Thank you all again for your wishes. Your sentiments warm our hearts.

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  1. Lisa says:

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles and your little chicken. We have had a week now of snow, ice, and very low temps (11 degrees in the Seattle area!) Tomorrow more snow is expected. We wait to see how our garden will be affected. My heart goes out to all the farmers who rely on the weather for their livlihood, and to serve us in enjoying ours. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for warmer days ahead!

  2. Bessie says:

    I’m sorry about the loss of your pet. I’m glad you could be with her!

    I read your blog daily through bloglines but don’t comment often. I just wanted you to know that you inspire me and my children often! We have 7 acres here in Arkansas and we often speculate on what you would do with it if you had it.

    Thanks for all the work you do to educate and encourage us!

    May God bless you!

  3. Jeff S. says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss to your produce. You and your family are in our prayers.

    Perhaps this will lead to new adventures in canning and preserving the harvest.

  4. turnip says:

    Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Most of us are so disconnected from everything, I can go the grocery store and have my pick of everything without any care of the weather or circumstances. It makes us quite spoiled and un-aware of what is going on. I am slowly moving towards more sustainable lifestyle and actually hope to share in your struggles someday for the sake of the earth and our sanity!

  5. hannah says:

    Sorry about Betsy, but at least she died in a happy way, in the arms of someone who cared about her after a long scratch in the yard. I am in sydney Australia and my chooks have been off laying because of the heat not the cold. Maybe we could share some between us. Gotta love global warming. i hope your crops recover quickly and you are blessed with a great abundance.