Hello OT blog readers! Did you stay warm today? It was down right cold this morning, beautiful and clear, but cold. As you can see from the photo above when I went to check the rain gauge and pour it out, 1.25 inches of rain fell out rather than poured out. Even at 10 a.m. the ground around the carrots was still frozen and there were little patches of frost dotting the parsley bed. Some larger parsley leaves were shading out the smaller leaves and weren't letting the frost thaw in the sun, but Josh's method of harvesting the sun-blockers first and allowing the next leaves to thaw out in a kind of chain reaction worked quite well for him. It also helps that the variety of parsley we grow, "Einfache Schnitt", is supposed to be a bit more frost tolerant than others. Other than that, with the chicories still nice and cozy under their Remay covers all we had to do was wait a little while for the carrot bed to thaw out and we were back in the barn to wash and pack in no time.
While washing today, I've never been so thankful for waterproof gloves. Dunking and spraying produce gets you wet almost no matter what, but with a quality pair of rubber gloves the level of how much you actually care about it drops dramatically. Dry, and hopefully warm, hands (and feet) are key to happy working. That's why our wash table has an awesome splash guard too that doesn't allow any water to end up down your boots. But, even with all that, numb fingers seemed to be inevitable today. I tried to keep moving as much as possible and that seemed to work well. While Karen and Forrest finished packing and washing up, Josh and I moved all of our greenhouse tables from the greenhouse into the barn so the greenhouse can be disassembled and moved across the farm sometime in the near future. I founding myself stripping off my outermost layer after moving table number 2 out of 11. It was worth it to get out of the barn and warm up, and now with the tables gone it looks like there are two gardens in the greenhouse: Paul's, and one enitrely made of weeds where the tables had been and they were able to take over. It looked kind of funny to see the well manicured garden neatly separated from the weed sprawl by the bare ground where we would walk. It feels like we just put those tables in there and worked so hard to get them nice and level. I guess we'll just have to do it again.
Not too much else to report on, we sold a bunch of our delicata squash to Green Zebra Grocery on North Lombard this week. We plan to have an ongoing relationship with them so you should go check 'em out if you're ever in that area, they're doing cool stuff. I also took this bonus photo of something in the field that Forrest discovered, Josh explained, and I looked up further. It's called "needle ice" or "frost pillars" and they're created when the ground temperature is above freezing and the air temperature is below freezing. Moisture is pulled up to the surface through capillary action, and as the water slowly oozes out of the soil it freezes and grows into needle-like structures that push up soil particles. Pretty neat eh?!
Til' next time,