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

Spring comeuppance

Cold chicksWe reveled in spring.  We watched the flowers with joy, started crops way too early, and basked in the warm sunshine.

And now it's time for our comeuppance.  As you can see from this webcam shot, the chicks weren't pleased when Friday morning temperatures were in the mid to high 20s.  I wasn't either --- the weather forecast had promised me a low of 36 and I'd only half-heartedly covered a few strawberry beds.

I don't even want to start telling you everything that got nipped last weekend, because I suspect more kicked the bucket last night.  We went ahead and covered the rest of the strawberries Wednesday, along with broccoli, cabbage, Swiss chard, and carrot seedlings.  Baby oak leavesIn some cases, this equates to closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, but I figured we were better off safe than sorry.

I'm more concerned about a fruitless summer than spring setbacks, though.  The kiwi leaves turned black after Friday's freeze and some of our new grape leaves were slightly nipped.  Only time will tell whether last night's (and tonight's) cold hit the tree fruits.

And then there are the wild trees.  No, it doesn't make any difference to our livelihood, but I remember how depressing it was to walk around in the woods all summer six years ago when a late frost nipped back the young buckeye leaves.  Here's hoping the woodland microclimate will prevent at least that!

Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with POOP.

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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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grapes: leaves have already died, including the tiny bunches of grapes they already had

pears: soft and wrinkley with tinges of black cannot bode well for their fruit

Comment by joey Thu Apr 12 18:57:11 2012

Our grape leaves got nipped back on Friday, but they were so small I'm not sure it'll make a huge difference.

This morning, my outdoor thermometer said 14, but even though I tested with another thermometer and got the same answer, I don't believe it. I didn't even cover our lettuce and it wasn't nipped at all. So, maybe my thermometer was in a frost pocket?

Not sure how cold it actually got or how it will affect the peaches. They looked okay this morning, but I haven't peered at them more recently.

Comment by anna Thu Apr 12 19:09:41 2012

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