It’s been a quiet autumn. The weather has warmed up and the snow has melted a little. I am SOOOO glad. It’s psychologically disturbing to have snow so early.

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The chickens are definitely finished laying eggs until spring. I miss the egg glut already. Phil is growing in waves: he thickens up, then he gets taller. Then he thickens again and shoots up. He has a wonderful calm and gentle spirit. He is 6 months old. I can’t wait to see how he fills out this summer. Maggie, however, has become a real toot! I caught her nursing! Two years old and still nursing! She had been kicked off months ago. Not sure what’s going on there and why Maisy is letting them both nurse. DSC00934 (3)We’ve been receiving seed catalogs in the mail (ALREADY!!!) and I’m beginning to plan next year’s garden. In particular, our early spring flowers. Over the years I’ve forced tulip and daffodil bulbs inside as Christmas presents and have grown them in January for our own house. It’s really nice to have a little color during the winter. And it’s an easy project, too. Our early snowfall pretty much ended any planting in the garden. So this year I’m trying an experiment. I’m going to grow tulips in crates.
DSC00861The planted bulbs will live in the garage for about 12- 16 weeks where the temperatures are pretty steady at between 40- 45 degrees . DSC00864 (2)Then the planted bulb crates will be brought into the basement garden where it’s warm, and placed under lights around the first week of January. DSC00865I was hopeful that the tulips would grow like the forced tulips I’ve grown in the past. And these will be cubes of delightful blooms to tempt our local florists.  🙂 DSC00913 (2)

Ha!

This was a great plan. But~ instead of moving the crates immediately to the garage after planting, I left the crates on the porch under the protection of the wooden bench. I even covered them with towels and a frost blanket thinking that they would be safe from the coldest weather. Forced tulip and daffodil bulbs need a pretty chilly environment (before being warmed up) to ensure nice flowering. I thought a couple of weeks on the south facing porch would offer the perfect cold weather environment before placing the crates in the garage. But then I took a tumble and broke my knee and forgot about the tulips.

I didn’t realize how cold it had gotten.
DSC00901 (2)By the time I remembered the tulip crates, they had been exposed to 3 weeks of continual sub-freezing temperatures. On the south facing porch. Under the church bench. Under frost cloth. 250 of them.

They were frozen solid. DSC00943 (3)The boys helped me move the crates into the garage (the boys really moved the heavy crates~ I just bossed them.). I wasn’t hopeful. Tulips can withstand really cold temperatures after they have established a root system. But these guys didn’t have time to put down roots before the cold came. DSC00930However, when I checked the bulbs 24 hours later, the soil was pliable and the bulbs seemed firm; not squishy! And they had a nice earthy scent! Dead bulbs that have been frozen and thawed are soft and smell bad.

Hmmmmm.

So I watered them.

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250 sweet tulip bulbs (now) sleeping in the relative safety of the garage, waiting for spring.

I’m ever-so-slightly encouraged.

 

Spring will tell the tale… Stay tuned for more tulip drama!

 

 

DSC00944On another note~ I received good news from the bone doctor! I can (officially) start a bit of weight bearing and not so much walking on crutches or with my ATV! Yippee! I can (officially) visit the animals!!!!

(I say “officially” because I have ventured out there with my ATV just a handful of times~ unofficially.)

It’s all good!

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This pic was taken before the snow- notice the green grass.

What’s for supper: Chicken and rice with carrots.

Weather: Rain showers. High near 43. Light and variable wind becoming south around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Tonight a chance of rain before 11pm, then a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. West wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

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