I think it might be time for a little update on our fall/winter gardening adventure. The last time I updated you was way back in November, and goodness how I wish we still had all that snow. Things were rolling right along with the garden, we were enjoying daily trips out there to pick fresh greens, beets, carrots and herbs for our meals, and all seemed to be going very well. In the second week of December we had a terrible wind storm, 100km/hour wind gusts throughout the night. Both Justin and I kept checking on the tunnels, worried the plastic would fly right off, and it almost did. Justin headed out in the dark to secure everything a little better, and when we woke in the morning, all was good. There were a few busy days after that storm, and we didn't head out to harvest anything for three days. When I went out on the fourth day to pick some carrots for dinner, my kale was gone! All that was left were the stems, completely chewed clean. Upon closer inspection we made the assumption that voles had enjoyed a little feast. There were little tunnels in the soil, and then in our search to find the little critters, we actually scared one out of its hiding spot and saw him run away. From that point on it became a little race to see who could eat the food faster, us or the voles. I would like to say we won, but sadly the voles did. We did manage to reach the official first day of winter still eating from the garden, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.
Now, as the cold days of January surround us, we sit back and continue to enjoy the food put by from our summer garden, and we dream of what is to come with the next growing season. The tunnels and the cold frame will allow us to start sowing seeds in the ground much earlier than we have in the past, which will mean some mid spring harvests. There is much time spent right now with seed catalogs, making final decisions on what we will grow this year, the berry order is almost ready to go in, and there is excitement about the addition of more chickens and a few ducks to our little homestead this spring.
As we move forward, we will have to figure out the best way to deal with the voles, but for now, we will let the gardens rest, and enjoy the last little bit of winter.