Today, I opened our last jar of Apricot Peach Jam. Kelly’s handwriting marked the label “07/10,” so I know I have six months to wait before the apricots ripen again. As we sit under a blanket of new snow, I can remember harvesting the fruit, bringing the buckets into the house and watching Kelly canning at the stove.
We still have jars of apple butter and raspberry/mulberry jam, along with a few jars of salsa I packed in September. But the velvety texture and the intoxicating aroma of peaches and apricots… ahhh. It makes me look forward to a few slices of toast at breakfast tomorrow.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on January 24, 2011
While the rest of Eastern Nebraska was shivering this afternoon, I was enjoying tropical paradise, also known as the greenhouse. Thanks to the sunshine we got today, the greenhouse hit a balmy 80 degrees, so I ended school with the boys early so I could have a chance to get some much needed work done out there. Winters are always hard on me. I seem to be colder than the average person, so by February, I’m desperate for some warm weather. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE winter. I don’t know that I could ever live in a climate that did not experience 4 seasons like we do here in Nebraska. But several days of cloud and bitter cold temps have started to affect my mood. Just ask my children; that’s not a good thing!
Some of you may be wondering what work a farmer has to do in January. Well, not a lot, but there is plenty to keep me busy for a few hours. Since I am fortunate enough to have a greenhouse, I can keep all kinds of exotic tropicals that I’ve always wanted to have, but have never had the sunlight in my house to keep them looking good. We also have herbs, flowering kale and a few other things growing for The Grey Plume.
We also have a few things growing for our family to eat. For weeks, I’ve enjoyed fresh salad for lunch thanks to the lettuce bed in the greenhouse. Right now you’re thinking, “Man, I would LOVE a fresh salad right now!” I’m here to tell you, you can have it. Yes, having a greenhouse makes growing food in the winter easy, but it’s not required. Anyone can have lettuce or herbs in the winter with just a few supplies.
Really, a grow light, soil, pots and seed are really all that is required. Almost everyone has a small corner or space somewhere to start some seeds. If you’ve never started anything from seed before, I highly recommend Paradigm Gardens. They are knowledgeable about indoor gardening, organic growing and even hydroponics (if you’re into that sort of thing…). They can set you up with lighting, potting soil, fertilizer, everything you need to be successful at indoor seed starting. So, there is really no excuse for not having your own little indoor garden.
We are always available to offer help, too. Just ask, we’re happy to help. But if we don’t respond right away, it’s because we’re in the greenhouse!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on January 20, 2011