Posted by: oceannah | October 15, 2012

HardFrost Fallen

Howdy everyone…  We had a very busy weekend here on the homestead.  The scheduled frost for Friday night (20 degrees!) arrived and in order to not have crop damage we did a fierce collection of produce.  About 160# of winter squashes, a bushel brimming over of Lancianato Kale–which I’ve found does not withstand frost the way the Winterbor does!  Also brought in all the remaining cauliflowers and broccoli, about 25 heads in all…not a stellar amount, but still nice to have around.

Still in the garden are tatsoi, collard greens, salad greens, brussels sprouts, winterbor kale, and some chard.  On the larger property the nettles are still going strong but in the absence of having our cat the squirrels have moved in and made themselves at home RIGHT ON MY PLANTING BENCH!  I found midden piles of hazelnuts everywhere!  Oh well, I guess we will not be having any nuts this winter….thankfully last years harvest is still feeding us.

One other thing I noticed as I strolled around the past couple of weeks is that the critters are eating more than in previous years.  For instance, I did not harvest a single elderberry this summer.  Not because the bushes were not plentiful, but because as they were coming on the bird descended with a fury I’ve not seen.  Same was true for the strawberries.  Not sure if there are just more birds around or if food in the wild is becoming more scarce.

We’ve been seeing A LOT of migratory birds of prey moving through the area.  Hawks, red tailed, broad winged and several immature eagles!

Other news from the homestead the squash/dry storage pantry is full of squash and onions.  The garlic beds are laid out and awaiting planting….which I’m a bit behind on.  I refinished a dining table this weekend instead of planting the garlic…but, it’s a good trade.  That frost was hard and early, but there’s still time for garlic planting.

Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful start to their week!  I’m pictuteless here with the laptop, since I still haven’t put the NX2 software on this computer.  But I got some lovely shots of the hoary frost on the garden I hope to be able to share tomorrow.



  1. Anna, I can’t even imagine what I would do with 25 heads of anything in my kitchen! But, you are young, athletic, talented and infinitely resourceful, so I know you will figure it all out. I’m guessing wildlife habitat loss is driving more birds to your luscious farm. Perhaps next year you can create a couple of wire cages on a few bushes, so that you at least wind up with a few berries for your table. And let the wildlife have the rest. BTW, have you certified your place with the Natural Wildlife Federation?
    Might be nice to hang on your kitchen wall. If you provide shelter, food and water for wildlife, you qualify. Have a great day! – Kaye

    • Haha…Kaye, that’s what the big chest freezer is for! Believe me, where I live, having organic green food through the winter is no small task. The nearest health food store is about 40 min. from my house. So I need to plan ahead 🙂
      I never heard of the wildlife Fed. thing thanks so much for the link. We could certainly qualify for that.
      Have a great Mon. Kaye.

  2. LOVE hoarfrost and we very rarely get any here, so can’t wait to see your pics!
    Most things were already in, but got caught short with a hard frost Friday(?) night… lost a few dozen cherry toms and a house plant or two (but I’ve been sick and truly not that bothered.)

    • Too bad about the tomatoes Deb, I hope you are feeling better today! Don’t forget…lots of liquids 🙂

      • Yes Mom. I will, thank you (and I mean that in the very best way: ) hugs

      • good girl deb 🙂

  3. Been thinking about your observation of increased bird populations – not just the fruit eaters, but those on the next rung up as well… Perhaps your area’s at the top end of a population growth cycle? The raptors would also be interested in rodentia… Have you noticed an uptick in chippy/squirrel/mouse numbers as well? I know we have here (I’m running at 7 in 9 days): They were most likely helped along by the extraordinarily mild winter and super early spring. What’s your feeling about this winter?

    • Definitely an uptick in birds as well as smaller mammals. Voles, moles and mice. The squirrels are always about, but without a cat on the farm, they are out of hand. You’re probably right that it is the top of a cyclical curve (carrying capacity) I also noticed that the russian olive fruits were devoured in a day…so none of those to enjoy this winter either 😦 Feel better.
      I’m not sure about winter. I just heard on the radio that we have just experienced the warmest weather (continual) IN several years. I do know that climatologists are predicting that whatever pattern you have it will linger longer than in previous times as the Jet Stream is weakened… Winter, I hope we have at least some snow since we had none last year and even the artificial stuff (for ski season) was pathetic since the temps were too warm. We shall see…we shall see….

  4. Wow, that should keep you busy for a while. Good luck!

    • Indeed…never a dull moment Heidi.

  5. Lots of good, fresh, organic and yummy produce at Anna’s house!! Interesting observation on the birds. Shouldn’t they be headed down my way soon?

    • I believe they are on the wing Sandi. I saw (of all things) a snowy egret the other day fishing in the pond where I run the pup. I remember seeing tons of them on our kayaking trip through the Everglades two winters ago, so lovely!

      • Oh, how I love the Everglades!

      • We loved it too Sandi. We arrived right after the first killing frost seen in Everglade City in 100 years, so it was chilly for FL, but considering it was blizzard conditions here in NY we were thrilled….and had the pool to ourselves 😉 Crazy Yanks!
        The kayak trip was divine!

      • It is rare to get frost this far south, but it does happen occasionally. Yup, us southerners do not like to swim if its less than 85 degrees, lol

      • And here I thought it was just the Crazy Canucks who’d swim until turning blue; ) and, while diving in for some info, came across this little article…

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