Looking to the right…..

To the left.  The garden is all tucked in under covers

20, 26, 28   It’s not, um. shall we say “measurements” but what the thermometer’s read these past three nights.  BRRRRR

Homesteading, urban homesteading for the matter, in the city – especially in Southern California–  one really has it “easy” when it comes to “winter.”

In fact, our winters are pretty mild.  There’s no snow in LA basin and temperatures hardly dip below 20.  But for us So Calites, that’s considered downright cold!  Since we are so spoiled, enjoying Mediterranean like weather 8 months out of the year, winter rather springs up on us and there’s still a bit of winterizing to do.

Speaking of spoiled, I know we people are wusses, but the animals are a close runner up in being spoiled department.  Goats, chickens and even our cats disapprove of rain and cold.   Our cats pathetically curl up with their noses under the paws, the goats shake their head and fluff their coats in disapproval, the chickens seem clueless why there’s wet stuff falling from the sky, and the bees hole-up in the hives.  The ducks, however, are the only ones that seem to enjoy the rain and are not even bothered by the cold with their “gortex protection” — super sleek feathers with a nice bit of down underneath and oils protect them from the elements.

There are really only two animals we need to worry about – Amy the injured duck and now Bella, one of our bantam cochins, who, out of the whole feathered bunch, is molting late.   Molting is stressful enough; but with this latest cold snap, we just keep an extra eye on her.   We’ve been making sure that they get their minerals and apple cider vinegar in water.

We’ve been so busy of late but we need to start another batch of sprouted grains for them to enjoy, especially since the greens will be hard to come by for awhile.

The temperatures seemed to dip early this year so up go the canvas tarps around the animal yard to give them buffer against the cold.   Yeah, I know, our winter preparations may seem a bit archaic compared with the rest of the nation.   Now, to protect the crops, we’ve doubled the row covers and added on top of that a layer of plastic.  And that’s about all we can do.  Now we’ll just sit back (or by the fire) and let nature be.

Thanks for all the good wishes and concern over the frosted veggies.

Here’s an update from the farming front:  There’s damage on the young baby greens but everything will recover in a two weeks’ time.   We just have to tell our customers we are out of business for awhile and they’ll be disapointed, that’s for sure.   Now, I’m off to give our clients a call and tell them we have “Nuh-THING!!!” (ala Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes)

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: KM $30  TB $10 – thank you for your generous support.  If you’d like to help and contribute to our non profit here’s how

And also an anonymous donor who sent $10 in the mail with a a note  saying “times maybe tough – but we’re all pulling for you!  Thanks, a Gardener!”

Thank you all.  We do appreciate support at this time, especially with our upcoming events in January that are scheduled in Northern California.

Thanks for keeping our network of sites going and growing!


  1. Paul Gardener says:

    Wow, a balmy 20+ deg! That would be nice. Last night our low was 3.7 deg. Brrrr!! Enjoy it.
    Best wishes for the greens.

  2. Charles says:

    Glad to hear 20, 26, 28 aren’t measurements! (Wouldn’t have thought they were.)

  3. Bullseye says:

    We are looking at 16 degrees here in Central Ky tonight. So I know what you mean about cold. Our animals are probably even more comfortable than we are tonight. Lots of straw and warm water to drink. Oh well, that’s winter I guess. Love reading about your life.

  4. DoubleD says:

    Been in freeze mode this week here too (coastal Washington State). Regularly down to low teens for the past many days. Items in the unheated greenhouse are looking rough but appear to be ready to bounce back. The root crops are always fine in their underground storage – but the outdoor plantings of cabbages, brussel sprouts, and kale are likely goners (maybe not the kale – it’s tough as nails!).

    Our animals are wimps about the cold too. I don’t blame them though. 😀

  5. Simon says:

    Such an inspiring site, glad I found it. It’s getting cold here too!

  6. Margy Porter says:

    It’s cold in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, too! I have to say ditto about ducks. They are amazing and funny- we make sure they get warm water several times a day, and plenty of food, but they revel in the rain and tolerate the cold amazingly well. We have 6 runner ducks and they are soooo fun to watch!

    I’m anxious to find out if my new olive trees, hardy citrus, and pomegranate bush make it. They are staked and wrapped to protect them from the extreme cold. If they do… I’ll be planting more! Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  7. D Turk says:

    Well looks great, ideas to add to what I have been doing. I live in northern Indiana, my growing season is short. To extend it I built a small green house on the southern side of my garage, ( yes I am a city dweller also, a 150ft by 60ft lot). The green house is heated by the sun, I store the heat in in ground ponds 3ft deep. They stay warm enough to keep tropical fish in as a sorce of income, selling off the fish. Vegies and herbs year round, I bleed off the extra heat from my green house to keep my chickens warm, they are back to back with my green house in a chicken run inside my garage that doubles as my work bench. I have a second chicken run that is at the back of my garden to help with the pest control for my summer garden. And my chickens clean out my summer garden when my summer season is over. Nothing is waised. And everything works together.

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