You know you’re in trouble when the local weatherman delights in giving updates of the impending doom descending from the north. We knew a doozy of a storm was heading straight for us with arctic temperatures and a bizarre swirl of the jet stream that spelled nothing but trouble. I wasted no time in preparing by picking up more groceries (since I’m not about to be stuck inside without a massive amount of butter, sugar, eggs and flour), and picking up the yard as the final call for the end of the season. We were ready. It started last Thursday like clockwork.
By Friday it was horrific. Constant snow and howling winds made it a white nightmare. Of course, we had plenty to do indoors. There’s always school work with the boys, plus Sam had to catch up on his violin lessons. I have a whole list of article assignments staring at me, and I haven’t even started my canning projects for the year. Thankfully, for the 5 days that we didn’t leave the drive I managed to catch up on a few of those items. (Although, I seriously could not go anywhere for months at a time and not run out of things to do.
The temperatures started climbing again on Monday, and gradually thawed out some of the snow drifts. It didn’t mean the roads were much better. Yesterday several trucks and a limo were in the ditch near our place; it can be fine in town and it’s a veritable frozen hell up here near our neighborhood. We pushed into town to make it to Sam’s violin lesson, but it was a fight.
The one good thing about the storm (since I’m trying to look on the bright side) is it tested out the season extending techniques I use. I already know the winter cold frame does wonders even though it’s only heated with a 100 watt halogen light bulb. It’ll withstand -20 degree F temps with no problem. But the heavy snow actually unplugged the extension cord. I thought the bulb burned out, but wasn’t about to open up the lid since it was buried in snow. I figured if the rosemary, chard and spinach lived that was great. If not, oh well. Our high on Saturday was 9 degrees F, and it bottomed out at -4 degrees F that night. I didn’t hold out much hope, particularly for the rosemary. So, I was pretty tickled when I finally lifted the lid this afternoon to find everything in superb shape. There’s no damage whatsoever so we will have fresh rosemary for the Thanksgiving turkey.
I was even more excited about the greens under the floating row cover. I really thought that would be toast because of the cold temperatures, but there must have been just enough snow to insulate them, plus I do think the warmer ground at this time of the year certainly helps. The radishes were hit hard, but the spinach and cilantro looked perfect. To have fresh cilantro in the middle of November is a thing of beauty!