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There was a lot of munching going on around here last night.

This is a Rhododendron which has seen better days. Or more precisely, nights!

This one remaining bud, if it doesn't get munched, may still not be able to bloom. It all depends on whether or not the few remaining leaves are enough to sustain the plant.

Oh well.  The deer were hungry last night and those green leaves stood out like a beacon in the night, inviting them to come over and clean them off the plant.  I think this poor little plant is going to have to be replaced in the spring, when the ground is thawed enough.  And then I think we’ll have to install some sort of a fence, or any replacement plant will not survive.

This next year we’re seriously thinking about a garden and greenhouse.  We just got a couple of books about year round greenhouse gardening, in an unheated greenhouse.  Sounds very intriguing!  But, so much for my idea of having a heated swimming pool for a heat source – as if!!

Some things don’t mind cold weather, in particular the greens like spinach and collard, broccoli, to name a few; root crops like carrots don’t care at all.  One of our books says to use floating row covers in the greenhouse during the winter, which helps to keep the plants another 15 degrees higher than the ambient air temperatures inside the greenhouse.  It makes sense, and we’ll have a lot of fun exploring those options.  Wouldn’t it be just too cool to grow a large percentage of our own food?

It isn’t going to be easy.  We’ll have to build a rudimentary foundation for the greenhouse, and then completely screen the floor to keep out the pocket gophers, and then build raised beds inside the greenhouse for this to work.  An outside garden will also be nice, and it will require raised beds, or fencing underground on the perimeter, or more likely both, and then be completely enclosed by screening, and electric fencing outside of that, to keep the deer and bear from tearing out the fence.  But… the upside will be fruit plants, like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, Josta berries, gooseberries, currants.  Those are all on our wish list.  Our favorite organic orchard is not too far away, only an hour and a half drive, and they have the tree fruits which means we don’t need to try growing our own.

One of our favorite things to do when reading a new book is to have a cup of tea and something freshly baked.  It’s a truly wonderful combination of activities.

Triple Ginger Tea Loaf, and Lemon Poppy Seed Tea Loaf (made in muffin tins).

Two extremely excellent gluten free tea loaf recipes, I fixed last night.  And then we couldn’t resist a Lemon Poppyseed muffing.  Much tastier than frozen Rhody leaves, I’m sure!

2 Responses to “Munchables… or…. Might not bloom this year”

  1. Mike says:

    We are also intrigued by the greenhouse idea. What sizes are you thinking of and what do you think will be the projected cost? Would you need to put a small heater and fan in it or go with just the ambient 15 degree plus you are looking at? It certainly would be great to raise more of your own food!!

    • mtnmacaw says:

      We aren’t sure of the size or cost. Need to do a bunch of research into how much and what we want to grow. The type of cold greenhouse we are planning will not be heated. With a floating row cover over the beds, you are supposed to gain 30 degrees over the outside temp. Many greens will grow and or survive in temps down to 0 degrees, so you should be able to have some fresh stuff all winter. I will send you a link to the book we are looking at.

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