Peeling

As our garden transformed last fall from actively growing into dormant and dying, we left many stems and other material in place instead of tidying up all of the dead stuff.

A few days ago this Baltimore Oriole was a benefactor of our decision, peeling fibers off of this Butterfly Bush stem for its mates’ nest.

I believe we will continue gardening in this wildlife friendly way.

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Lettuce

We have a healthy crop of lettuce – on December 27th! It is partly because the hoop tunnel moderates night time low temperatures. I cannot help thinking that it is largely because night time temperatures have been fairly mild compared to the historical average – generally -5C or warmer. Daytime highs have been 5C, give or take a few degrees.

Are these temperatures the new normal? Hard to say. We will find out as the years roll out.

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Additions

Made a beef stew today. Browned the meat, added onions and garlic, tomatoes, bouillon, thyme. While it baked in the oven in the Dutch oven, chopped up potatoes and carrots. The purple carrots at the upper edge of the cutting board are courtesy of our local organic farmer and our subscription to the winter [vegetable] box program.

The stew is not too bad.

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Multiplied

From the few examples planted in a flower front bed a few years ago, the Purple Coneflowers have needed no care at all and multiplied in a way very pleasing to us, and to pollinators both resident and passing through. There’s a honeybee on a flower in the lower right quadrant.

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