And not so warm inside either; at our house we have Geothermal heating. Nine times out of ten I would crow about this as the greatest thing since indoor plumbing, but when it gets this cold it just doesn’t keep up.
Now I could turn on the duct heater, which is an electric back-up coil made just for these sorts of occasions but we’ve only tried it once in the 15 years we’ve lived here. I prefer to be a real man and chop wood and fire up the old woodstove… but my ankle has gone gimpy so now I prefer to be a real old man and have the wife chop wood (along with all her other chores) while I stay warm in my blanket and easy chair.
The lettuce is being similarly treated, while it is not being served hot chocolate with an obligatory curtsey, it is being wrapped in a (frost) blanket and having the furnaces stocked to high heaven every night- you go girl! Even though it is only February, the sun is much stronger than it was a month ago and the greenhouses will hit 70-80 during the day with even limited direct sunshine. But once it sets, Woah Nellie, it gets cold fast.
So far, we have been surviving this latest cold snap and in spite of everything, the lettuce is looking pretty good. Hopefully, we just have to make it through another week and spring will be more than a distant thought on the horizon. So I’ll sit back and order another hot chocolate as I look at seed magazines – I could get used to this.
We will again be doing deliveries on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through this week. This has been our February schedule with the cold Mondays we’ve been having - we will re-evaluate end of this week for March, but should be ready to ramp things up by then.
We are in for another odd week here at the farm; Kris is heading back to Florida to help her Mom prepare to move after her Dad’s passing last month. So, that leaves me alone to run the farm - at least sort of. Our dear employees will be here a couple of days to keep me inline. Hopefully between all of us we can keep up to the boss’s standards.
We will again be doing deliveries on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the next two weeks.This has been our February schedule with the cold Mondays we’ve been having, but it will also give me a chance to keep up on things.
The lettuce is looking really good… it’s a little small yet, but we are a week or two from having lots of gorgeous stuff… assuming I can keep it from freezing in the cold spell next week.
Bad news first, because it’s always nice to get it out of the way early in the story. The bad news is that winter is back for at least few days. The snow and cold from the current weather activity will slow things down again here at the farm. Therefore, we will delay Monday deliveries to Tuesday to give everything a chance to thaw. It will also result in another week of smaller lettuce as nothing likes to grow when it’s this cold.
The good news is February 3, and the number 10. On the surface these two may seem to have little in common but in reality they are linked in a very powerful way. For this is the day that we climb back over 10 hours of natural light for a day. This matters because 10 hours of light is the length needed for plants to really start growing again. Lower than that they are mostly dormant unless given a little help (aka artificial lights).
Of course we are still in winter, we still have clouds, we still have cold -- but it is one more indication that we are inching towards spring, though on days like this it is hard to tell.