My view of the garden Monday December 10, 2012
My view of the garden Monday December 10, 2012

“When it’s cold outside I got the month of May…”  That is the song that kept playing in my head as I worked in the garden.  With the first really cold front of the season upon us, I was bundled up collecting the herbs and flowers that might not make it through the night with 25′ temps.  There were huge stalks of dill growing in the “pig” garden so as I was cutting the dill it was cold outside but it smelled like the month of May.

My usual routine on Monday is basically house cleaning, laundry and chicken chores.  However, this week there wasn’t much to clean because we had company over after the parade on Saturday.  It was quite nice.  So after a few chores inside I sat down to work on the computer.  I desperately need to spend more time learning the web and managing our sites, but it is hard.  There is so much to do outside that just won’t wait.  But, today I spent about 6 hours total there.  Then I got up and went outside to take care of business- the business that supports our family and feeds my soul.

As I said, temps were supposed to drop overnight and I was pretty sure the weatherman were not wrong this time.  The air was so clear, crisp, and cold that I was sure we wouldn’t be able to dodge the freeze this time.  As I walked through the tomato patch I was sad.  There were so many little green orbs that wouldn’t have time to mature.  I realize that it is mid-December and I am still harvesting tomatoes, but I just hate to see it end.  With a little work, it would be easy to extend the season with make-shift hoop house, but time is short and this will have to be a project for next year.  So, with the green tomatoes and ripe peppers picked I moved on to the herbs.

Texas Tarragon- and sweet herb with beautiful yellow flowers.
Texas Tarragon- and sweet herb with beautiful yellow flowers.

Herbs are a hardy breed of plants and most will truck right on through winter, but some- like dill- do not usually make it.  Not to worry though, dill seeds itself so readily that come spring we will have another huge crop completely by volunteer.  I was shocked, however, to see what was growing in the pig garden.  We call it the pig garden because this area was the pig pen and as the piggy ate all the scraps and old veggies, she- well she planted the seeds so to speak.  There were tomatoes galore and dill in huge bunches.  I cut the dill with snips, bundled it with rubber bands, and tossed it in the basket.  I love gardening, but I am delighted when one of the farm animals does so much work for me!

The Pig Garden
The Pig Garden

After about 2 hours in the gardens with plenty of herbs to dry and sell, I headed inside.  Breakfast pot pie was for dinner- don’t let the name fool you, it is good anytime.  Dinner was just coming out of the oven when Tony got home from work, all golden brown and smelling Delicious.  As it cooled a bit, we went out to finish up the chores.  Pipes had to be wrapped and the heater filled up in the greenhouse.  Sierra and Jonathan filled the rabbits cages with leaves for warm bedding and dropped the tarps over the sides of their hutches.  The new pig in the barn got a bag full of shavings under which to bury herself  and the chicks had a tarp hung over the door to the brooder.  Most all of the winter preparations had been done over the weekend by Tony and Jonathan.    All was good for a cold winter’s night.  We headed in for our dinner and then some Mentalist on TV.

All in all a very good and productive day.  My days are always full, even a day off  has its share of chores, but I love my business, making a home for my family and tending our farm.  As I woke this morning I was excited to get out of bed and get after it.  I thought about the ladies in my family that would have already been up and out of the door heading to their jobs and I was just so grateful to be at home.  I work hard- harder than I ever dreamed- but when your work is you passion it is not toil.  That said, it takes me about 2 minutes to fall asleep at night.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

A lovely harvest- Dill, Geraniums, and Lemon Balm
A lovely harvest- Dill, Geraniums, and Lemon Balm
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