The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Spring sprouts in January

Chive sprouts

The Persephone Days are over, and this mild winter seems to be turning into spring already.  Chives are sprouting up (and a tiny spider decided he wanted to try his hand at modelling.)

Thyme in winter

Thyme stays green all winter, but I feel like the perennial is starting to push out new leaves --- a good thing since I've been harvesting some every couple of weeks to season our dinners.

Daffodil sprouts

And the daffodil leaves have been pushing up out of the soil for a week or two, promising that spring will be as beautiful as it is bountiful.

If you count your seasons by the cross-quarter days, spring will be here next week, and the birds and I are both feeling it!  Forgive me if I seem a little high on spring....

Our chicken waterer is the best way to get chicks off to a good start with clean water and dry litter.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We still have 5 more persephone days here in NE Ohio but I have been predicting spring around every corner, lol. I'm glad to hear it's arriving in Virgina and is on its way! No signs of germination under the quick hoops I planted on Jan 2nd, but we have had very little sun so the temps have stayed quite cool. I'm hoping for germination mid-February.
Comment by John Amrhein Wed Jan 25 09:01:22 2012

Yesterday felt like spring here in Floyd, Va and it seems like we're in for another one today. Some people are happy about this, but I think we're going to have one heck of a tick problem this year, and I've already heard of three people I know in our community who have contracted Lyme's disease in the last couple of years. Also the wilt fungus and beetle problems that are killing off oaks will probably get another foothold, not to mention kudzu and other invasive plants that are usually kept in check up here by the cold winters. And, of course, there will be little to no sap run for the maple sugar lovers around here (we were borderline as it was with fewer sugar maples this far down the map).

So while spring is nice, I do hope we get a couple of weeks of a nice cold snap with a few inches of snow before the lilies start to bloom. :-D

Comment by Everett Wed Jan 25 10:11:27 2012
We hardly had a winter this year. The leaves didn't fully drop until mid-December. I think the cold weather came for the two weeks that I was in Virginia, and it has been in the 60's and 70's just about every day since.
Comment by Sara Wed Jan 25 11:27:49 2012
My daffs are about as tall as yours and I'm worried! Surely winter isn't over yet ...
Comment by Debbi Wed Jan 25 14:13:48 2012
I live in the city but keep pace with the natural flow of seasons through pictures on your blog. I'm reminded to go out and check my yard to see what's coming up. Guelph Organic Conference is this weekend -- will be printing your flyers and leaving them around for people to see...
Comment by J Wed Jan 25 14:25:12 2012

For the first time since we moved here, we actually had snowdrops blooming on January 1 this year (we're up in PA, so we're further north than you, but not in the mountains). It was very disturbing to my psyche, I assure you. Our eco-systems are made to have winter, so I can't help but feel that this almost complete lack of winter is going to cause problems.

Plus, having grown up in the snow belt, I get very cranky when there's no snow! :)

Comment by Ikwig Wed Jan 25 16:54:47 2012

Boy, I seem to have opened up a can of worms with my fluffy spring post. :-)

John --- I need to make a post about Persephone days and seed starting. I generally go by soil temperature to start seeds --- the Persephone days alone don't help much with that. But I'll make a post soon about it, so won't go into it more now. :-)

Everett --- I know what you mean, but at the same time, weather around here is nothing if not erratic. We had a colder than average winter last year, so having a warmer than average one this year will just even it out, I think. (Not that I'd mind a cold snap that would freeze the driveway and let us drive in some mulch, but only if it happens soon before the buds start waking up!)

Sara --- I was emailing with someone in Florida who had her AC on over Christmas. Now that's disturbing.... Clearly, I'm not cut out for the true south.

Debbi --- I wouldn't worry about your daffodils. They're pretty resilient! They'll pause when it gets cold and then grow again. I'll bet you'll get blooms no matter what. :-)

J --- Thank you so much for spreading the word!

Ikwig --- The mountains sure do make a difference. No blooming snowdrops here yet! That would be pretty odd.

Comment by anna Wed Jan 25 17:10:41 2012
I'm entering my second year of gardening here in ohio. So far this new year is confusing! While we've had snow (as in twice- literally) it FEELS like spring should be on the horizon. Having lived in Ohio all my life I know better! LOL Honestly with all this warm weather my garlic is looking great- in fact its twice as big as anythng I had last year :P Hopefully I wont encounter many problems when time to get in gear for spring.....
Comment by MamaHomesteader Wed Jan 25 18:48:34 2012
I hear the long range forecast might be for the warm weather to continue. I'm monitoring soil temperatures and hoping to plant a bit early....
Comment by anna Thu Jan 26 10:55:22 2012

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