Misty morning peaches

Salad! Come 'n get at the 'Front Porch Farm Stand'

Snow peas

Apple blossoms

Snow peas are a tasty treat!

Peppers! Yes, that's right - peppers!

Potato pots. Self watering clay pot tubs

Young sprouts

After what appeared to be the start of a cold and wet winter, 2011 has started off pretty darn dry and warm.    So warm that the peach and apple trees are blooming.  Hate to break it to them but we still have ~2 months till the first day of spring.  Is that early or what?  The weirder thing is the apple trees never lost all of their leaves!  Go figure…. Wonder if that means we won’t have much of a fruit harvest this year.  Oh yeah, Peppers n February!

What are you planting/harvesting these days?

For those of you who are keeping tabs on the fast and furious Food Issues these days there are some developments of concern:

The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

Care to share what the “Future of Food” looks like?


  1. Julia says:

    Love the pictures. It has been unusually warm recently here in Northern California. Last night was more normal, it got down to 9 degrees. We have 10 fruit trees with little buds on them. I am afraid of what the cold temp did to them last night. I hope our trees will be ok and look as pretty as yours in the spring.

  2. Joy Giles says:

    Had a low of 14 degrees last night – – – thought covering plants would do fine, but not so much. Will harvest the frozen broccoli and immediately drop in steamer and hope it’s ok. Lost greens, lettuces, spinach. Will start new sets in aerogarden tomorrow.

  3. Aimee says:

    Right now we’re harvesting lettuce. There are some nice heads on the cauliflower and some smaller ones on the broccoli. I planted peas for the first time and they about 2 inches tall. We’ve got potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage, brussel sprouts and radishes growing as well. We’re about an hour south of you and our weather has been crazy this year too.

  4. Dan Langhoff says:

    wE are abut 2.5 hours South of you, and our peach and almond trees are also in full bloom. Winds up to 30 mph for the next two days with gust to 60 mph. And below freezing nighttime temps predicted. I am a bit nervous.

  5. Chris says:

    Lot’s of “going’s on” here in MA with areas having record snowfalls and other parts little or no snow. RE: Future of Food. As a winter indoor project, we are looking at our indoor air quality and what can be grown indoors. I started 2 cherry tomato plants an early winter (transplanted them twice in nutrient dense soil to strengthen the stems and now they are taking off. Food futures (?) …. looking at our indoor environment with it’s seasonal microclimates. I saw/read (?) can’t remember which a few years back where Russia is utilizing massive greenhouses with vertical growing techniques to supply food for communities in snowy climates. This coincides with Will Allen of Milwaukee’s challenge for American’s to Grow OG 365 heating his greenhouses with mounds of compost and incorporating an indoor eco-system. Also, Eliot Coleman up in ME has stated that over 80% over the American population can grown OG 365 via right crop for right season and proper growing conditions. Indoor plantings can reduce exposures to VOC’s and pollution. Currently reading two books: Growing Fresh Air (written by a NASA scientist in the late 90’s based on the NASA biodome project as well as A Northeast Gardener’s Diary written by Dr. Lee Reich in NY that is not only growing plants in different micro-climates inside his home, but also some food. I would like to find a balance of utilizing our indoor growing spaces not only for purifying air quality, but also producing food. Quite the challenge for the simple housewife! Thoughts? Suggestions?

  6. Chris says:

    PS…. We implemented an efficient “hot” composting system on our .25 acre last spring. I recently came across the process of “cold” composting. Anyone have any info or resources about that? Thanks a bunch!

    • Ginger says:

      @Chris, John Jeavons books

      • Chris says:

        WOW !!! Garden Wisdom .. paying it forward! Who Knew???
        Thank You so much Ginger!

  7. grace says:

    only thing growing around here is ice! Here in west central Indiana we are sliding around on about 3 inches of ice. Our critters are faring well and I am enjoying being snowed in. spending time with my little boys and reading lots of Path to Freedom blogs. I’m up to Nov. of ’05 🙂 Love the pics of your place, so refreshing!

  8. Nebraska Dave says:

    Yep, ice and snow here in Nebraska with -20+ wind chill. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today so it means an early spring. However the caveat is that he’s only 40% right and looking out my front door it doesn’t look anywhere near spring yet. When I see the crocus peeking up through the snow with there colorful little flowers, then I will believe spring is on the way.

    I plan on using a space in my furnace room to grow food in my basement next winter. It will second as a seeding starting station as well. I’ve considered a hoop cover for a raised bed or two but it’s a lot of work to maintain a constant vigil over the temperature to be sure it doesn’t get too hot or cold.

    Have a great California Day of gardening.

    • grace says:

      @Nebraska Dave, what part of Neb. are you in? I have a sister in south western Neb. near Kansas. They were having a heat wave today. It got up to 11!

      • Nebraska Dave says:

        I’m on the East side of Nebraska in Omaha. I don’t think it reached much above that here either. The bad part of the weather is the wind chill. It’s been brutal the last couple days. It truly is not fit for man nor beast outside. I hope the weather is better where you are.

        Have a great day.

        • grace says:

          @Nebraska Dave, LOL!! not so much! not as bad as it is there but its around 20* and they are calling for two more winter storms to blow in this coming week. 🙁 Thank God for Path to Freedom’s blogs! They are refreshing and make me think ahead to better weather! stay warm out there 🙂

  9. jillp says:

    Here in North Florida its been a cold and wet winter. Usually around this time of year I’m starting my warm weather veggies in flats in my minimally heated glassed in porch. This year it has been hard to keep the porch more than ten degrees above freezing, so I’m debating whether to delay starting the seedlings. I do have heating pads for my seedling flats, but they can only do so much. Two days of warmer weather, however, have fooled some of the ornamental cherry trees around here to bloom. I’m hoping P. Phil is right.

  10. StaceyG says:

    Well we just got over a foot of snow dumped on us, with huge drifts all over the place. My compost bin is currently playing hide and seek!

    The future of food? Scary, if we let the “big dogs” remain in charge. It is disheartening to see the so-called good guys like Organic Valley caving into Monsanto. It’s sickening, actually. But there is hope in the growing community of kitchen gardeners and organic farmers. I plan to continue the expansion of our garden, and to keep trying to educate people through good, tasty, organic, local food. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck yet (who knew people just didn’t care and were that stubborn?), so any input from fellow readers would be appreciated!

  11. Lee says:

    Here in Central FL, things are warm! My gardeners senses are saying it ought to be about March and I’ve started planting outside! IT’s a bit weird really since we are 26 days away from the last frost date. Of course this date was last set in the 90’s so it’s a very conservative date now.

    I just read the article about Whole Foods surrendering, very discouraging, I imagine that eventually all crops will be GMO since there is now stopping it. The bright side, I have very little reason to shop at Whole Foods now which will save some money! I wonder if WF has considered that sort of response to their surrender?

    • Lee says:

      Interesting, Stoneyfield says the OCA is not true. Just thought I would follow up with this, hope OCA is incorrect.

      • StaceyG says:

        @Lee, Looks like Stoneyfield is just trying to save face. Fact is, three large, well-known organic advocates caved, not entirely standing up for their ideals. I’m going to stick with the OCA on this one!

        • Lee says:

          @StaceyG, That’s what I was afraid of, hopefully things will get better but its not a good sign for anyone. Monsanto only cares about shareholders dividends so I have no doubt they will push till GMO is the only choice. 🙁

  12. Aubrey says:

    Your springtime pictures make me wistful-there is still a ton of snow outside up here in Alberta! We get frequent chinooks (warm winds) that heat things up and let us shake off the cold for a few days, but nowhere near springtime temperatures!

    I am wondering how you do your potato pots. Is there an article on the site somewhere I can read? The might be a great option for me since I have limited garden space.

  13. Mindy says:

    Oh thank you for the beautiful spring pictures. With 13 inches of snow freshly fallen, bringing our current total to 17 inches on the ground, the spring pictures were so welcome!

  14. Andrea says:

    Ohh… blooms! Can you even imagine?! How magnificently lovely!

    Blessings from 24″ of fresh snow in northern Indiana~ Andrea

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