Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This one's for you AB

Welcome back? What do you say on a blog when you haven't written anything for six months? Or more.

"The newest member of our family, Sirius Black"

I'm pregnant. I'm using that as my excuse, even though I haven't been pregnant the entire time I've been away. It's my story and I'm sticking to it. I have been genuinely sick. As in I spent 6 entire days in bed, puked so hard I literally sprained my foot, got to the point where I couldn't keep down anything solid or liquid, almost went to the hospital (and should have!) then discovered the miracle drug Zofran. After my midwife doubled my dose, I was able to rejoin the world of the living. Due to the ass-kickingness of this pregnancy, I've dropped to part time at work. Which has allowed me enough time to post here. I can't promise that I will go back to posting on a regular basis, but I would like to. Especially with spring coming.

And speaking of spring, it's February in Iowa. So we're covered in 12 inches of snow and nothing is growing. Or not! It's 40 today, and I have fresh carrots, spinach, and kale in my garden. No really!

In August I planted my winter garden. Then the cats and various animals dug it up. So in September and October I replanted my winter garden. My amazing husband built us a cold frame. We went to the nearby used building materials store and bought us a window for $5. He then used a pallet we had lying around and built a frame for the window to sit on using some spare screws and hinges. On the opposite side, he attached 2 handles, and voila, cold frame!

We outlined the winter bed in bricks and set the cold frame on top. For more insulation agains the winter winds, we surrounded the wooden frame with another layer of bricks on top of the original layer. I placed several bricks and stones inside the bed to absorb heat during the day which helps to keep the temperatures up at night.

When I started to get nauseous around Christmas, we had a blizzard. We got about 13 inches of snow. I was too sick and tired to go outside and deal with the cold frame. In January, we had a couple of days with -20 wind chills. I figured since I had ignored the winter garden for so long, there was no way anything was still alive, so I didn't bother to do anything. I was sure everything was dead, and I just didn't have the energy to deal with it. Then today, the weather was nice, and when I went to put the dog out this morning I decided to step over and look. And sure enough everything I had planted was still alive and kicking!




See the orange bit around the base? That's carrot baby! I tried to pull one up, but the ground was so mucky it stuck and just ripped in half. I gave that carrot to the chickens. They were happy to eat it. It wasn't huge. About 3 inches long. But DUDE, I'm growing carrots in the middle of the winter!

It's not just my garden that's productive this winter either. Our chickens, which have no additional light source besides the sun, are continuing to lay about an egg a day. I had frozen some eggs this fall in anticipation of the shortage to come. And now we're overflowing in eggs. They continue to move their nest around the coop, so sometimes they find a cold corner and we lose a few to freezing and cracking. Mostly, I've been giving eggs away to anyone who will take them.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather!

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