Broad Valley Orchard

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Winter (Mod. 2010) of all our Discontent

Hello Winter-bound Northerners,
Yes, this is one of the roughest winter cold snaps we have seen for many a year. It seems just an eye-blink ago that I was writing and observing that on Dec. 2nd we had not yet had our killing frost.
Well, we sure got it now! Up here at “Frostbite Flats” (our original nickname before we came up with “BVO” - with credits to John Stienbeck plus Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Our two hoop house are still holding some hardy winter greens. In each house the two perimeter raised beds are freezing out, but are mostly harvested. The two interior raised beds are holding some of each sunny day’s solar input, and they also generate a bit of bio-heat as their compost feeds the little red worms, who then fertilize the plants.
I am slowly getting together some flats, to fill with compost, to start some hardy green seedling in our solar front porch, this afternoon. The days are slowly stretching out, and this might give us some March salad greens. Plus, my winter-ravaged mind really profits from seeing little green things growing. After the heat of the day is past, and we cover the windows with space blankets, we put the flats on top each of our six 55 gallon (220L) black plastic water barrels, and then cover them with some row cover. These barrels can gain 12F (5C) degrees during a winter-sunny day = the sun’s low angle of intercept is at its best now. On a really cold cloudy day, we just bring the flats into the ‘cool room’ of our house (putting them in our ‘hot room’, with our wood stove would toast them.
So, I wish you all a good New Year, but honest folks, 2010 scares me. If our nation and this world can’t get over war, over fossil fuel addiction, and overthrow Global Corporate Inc.
I really don’t think that we are going to hand our children, and grand children, much of a future.
We went to see the movie Avatar, where we humans, from our “dying world” were spreading our greed into other worlds. Things didn’t work out the way we planned!
If anyone is looking for my ramblings as a source of hope - this is the best I can do; 1. Dig up most of your lawn, and plant fruit trees, small fruits, and gardens, 2. Form a garden co-op with your friends and neighbors, and 3. Join a local community supported Agriculture (CSA) to have a local farmer provide items that you might not have room for in your back yard..
If Global Inc.s schemes work out, you will have a great healthy hobby as well as fresh local food. If Global Inc. drops the crystal ball of our future, then you will have something to eat. As for me, as a former Boy Scout, and then as Coast Guard sailor, I would rather err on the side of preparedness.
“Doubting Thomas” Marti

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