Monday, March 26, 2012

Flowers in the House for March

We have had a wild week this week.  We had 9 inches of super wet snow that caused our low tunnels to collapse.  Our high hoop houses came through with our help of removing the snow every couple of hours with a squeege or bouncing it off the sides.  Despite the crazy weather and bummed attitude, we got everything repaired and rebuilt.  All the low tunnels are back in business and ready for more of our late spring and early summer annuals and our early planting of dahlias. The flowers came through a little squished but fine.  We still have anemones blooming for an arrangement for Jane's Flowers in the House Monday over at SmallButCharming

                                          Check out all the other beautiful flowers at Jane's party.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quotable Sunday 03/25/2012

       "The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The 
                 difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
                                 -  Henry Van Dyke, Fisherman's Luck

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Best Laid Plans.

Winter is a time of planning, imagining and dreaming.  Plans were made for more flowers, brighter flowers, more variety and earlier flowers.  We made the plans and actually worked really hard in executing the plan.  The hoops houses were planted, and the low tunnels were built.  We seeded and grew and field planted the tunnels.  We were excited that we would have earlier flowers for this season.  But sometimes, the wheels fall off the cart, the plan falls apart and there you are, bummed to the max and tired as hell and asking the question, " What are we doing and why is this SO hard?" 

But after a night of self-pity and crabbiness, you wake up and look around and decide well..... "What did we LEARN?" ..... That there were mistakes but also some things worked out okay.

The mistakes:

The poly tubing for our low tunnels does not work under a snow load.  It works great keeping the rain of the beds for early planting, stands up to the wind also and gives us a chance to have earlier flowers but it will not hold under 9 inches of wet snow.   Some of the tubing has snapped back but most will have to be replaced.  All the tunnels now have to be reworked.

The hoop houses held up which is wonderful but the piles of snow is blocking the venting of the house.  And sure the sun comes out, things warm up and ranunculus are getting hot and sweaty.  So you need to shovel the snow away.

Things that  did worked:

The pvc pipe held up nicely on the iris and tulip tunnel.  They are coming along nicely and are still on plan.

                        Although the daffodils got hammered, the hydrangea is still leafing out.

                            The stock survived and  looks good and the ranunculus are budding up and just starting to bloom.

Although there is standing water and running water and little creeks of water running through the farm, it sounds lovely, like a babbling brook.

You look around a bit more and you see that the snap peas in the veggie garden look good and on track.

So sometimes plans go awry, but in the end you remember you live in a pretty great area which USUALLY isn't too cold or too hot.  You are only a hour or so from the beach and a couple of hours from the mountains.  You remind yourself it is still only March and your season is still out ahead of you.  You look back at the plan and you start working it again.  Thank you to all who sent us their good wishes, you have no idea how much we appreciate the support.  It is really great!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Second Day of Spring is a Snow Day

How does Bare Mtn Farm spend a snow day, not inside by the fire but outside scrapping down the hoop houses and low tunnels.  Our day started at 4:07 a.m. when I awoke to a snap of a tree branch coming down. Damn, it really was snowing and on the second day of spring.  Tony raced outside to check on the hoop houses and low tunnels and didn't come back in until 6:45.  He spent the early dark hours squeeging the plastic tunnels. Me, recovering from dental surgery and it a bit too cold, tried to capture the snow around the house.

At this point there is only a couple of inches on things but it is very rare to have a snow event like this in March and even rarer that it is so wet and heavy and stick to even small branches and wire.

It is weighing down all the branches, the daffodils and taking down the deer fencing.

Here is a shot before sunrise(yea sure, sun), Tony has all the tunnels cleared of snow.  But it is STILL Snowing!

After a quick breakfast and a lot of hot coffee we head out to clear the plastic again.  Here are some photos of the snow piling up.

We have discovered the some of the low tunnels are collapsing from the very wet snow.  This has never been an issue for us in the past seasons but now we feel we made need to change the hoops from poly tubing to metal hoops.  

The rest of the morning is  spent clearing the big hoop houses.  The heavy snow is sagging the plastic in the center and so we spend much energy trying to bounce the snow off.  It is hard on the shoulders, neck and back and some of us are just not tall enough to get the whole job done.

                            The ranunculus is just starting to bloom, doesn't  that  just figure.

The snow is really piling up along the sides of the hoops which will probably become another issue to deal with, when it warms up(If).

If you can get the snow to move it slides off pretty well, the problem is when you finish one hoop, the other hoop house needs to be re-swept again.  And back and forth between tunnels and hoops.

Flowers are still coming along, ranunculus are budding, the lilies have germinated and the anemones hopefully will keep blooming.

The rose arbor to our veggie garden collapsed under the weight of the big rose and the snow.  Another project in our future to clean up.  There is always a hundred things to do.

It was only a few days ago, since  we finished pruning our fruit trees and enjoyed a cup of coffee during a sunny day.  It doesn't seem right.  I loved snow as a kid but now, it seems to be a headache( or backache).  We can hear the neighbor kids having a great time playing in the snow.  But we can also hear an old rooster crowing since 4:00, he doesn't sound happy.  Maybe he, like us is just getting too old for this stuff.  

Lunch is over, warmed back up and it is still snowing, we are at the 6 inch mark,  guess where we are heading to.  Now can we all start the chant, "We want Spring!".....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quotable Sunday  3/18/2012

Oh, to finally have a few flowers.  To be greeted in the morning with a cheerful little bouquet.  Daffodils and anemones.  Tuesday is the first day of spring and some days it feels like winter... the wind...the rain...the hail.... but flowers have arrived.  So let's say hello to the first of spring with our own little flowers and say farewell and goodbye to winter.

                              Happy First Day of Spring!

“It is daffodil time, so the robins all cry, For the sun’s a big daffodil up in the sky, And when down the midnight the owl call “to-whoo”! Why, then the round moon is a daffodil too; Now sheer to the bough-tops the sap starts to climb, So, merry my masters, it’s daffodil time.”
                                   ~ Clinton Scollard

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quotable Sunday  3/11/2012

      "Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to  put a soul into."  
                   -  Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Hoop House Dance

When the weather begins to change and Spring is in the air, more and more time is spent outside cavorting with Mother Nature.  One of the things we do during this time the Hoop House Dance.  When the music(the weather temperature) is pleasant, we go with the flow and enjoy the music.  The sides of the hoops stay where they belong. But when the music heats up and the sun is shining, the dance begins.  The plastic on the sides of the hoops goes up.

              The music gets hot and steamy and more sides go up.

       The dance hall is very warm and everyone is really into the music and more sides open up.

And more of the sides of the hoops go up.

And more go up.

And when the sun goes down and nightfall comes, the dance begins again.  The side of the hoops go down and down and down.  Until the next day when the music begins again and the dance starts all over.  Dancing around and around and around.  
The Dance of the Hoop House Farmer!

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