Yep, when I got in the car this morning to take Kate to school, the thermometer read 37. I'm SO GLAD we put the row covers on last weekend! I did a little more research about why row covers work. Cold hardy vegetables (such as spinach) actually do quite well in lower temperatures, but still need some kind of protection, and here's why: Plants consist mostly of water. As the water in the cells freezes, it expands and bursts, killing the plant. However, if a plant is allowed to get cold slowly, the water in the cells has a chance to move into the center part of the plant, out of the leaves. This means the leaves can freeze with no damage. And some winter vegetables actually get sweeter with a little freeze! So as long as you slow down the cooling process, they should be ok.
Anyway, all my plants look fine; I even have a couple of red tomatoes on the vine. Here's a little look 'round the garden.
I'm so pleased that everything is looking so well.
Now for something truly ugly, but still fascinating. On my daily hikes lately I've been seeing these guys all over the trails - they are Jerusalem Crickets. Not from Jerusalem, they are mainly found in the Western United States, and not really crickets, these guys are often called 'potato bugs' because they like potatoes (although I've never seen them in my potato patch!). They also like to eat organic matter and are mainly found under rocks and dirt. So why are they coming out on to the trail? I cannot figure it out. Any ideas? If I see the Ranger Bruce at the open space one of these days, I'll ask him.
Creepy looking, aren't they? They apparently can bite if mishandled, so I don't pick them up.
I spent a good bit of time sorting through my supply of dried herbs from the summer, and deciding how to package them up.
This was a very fruitful summer project and I plan to do it again every year. It's time consuming, and I'm finding some things dry better than others, but it's a fun experiment.
Speaking of experiments, have you seen our Little Free Library lately?
We have a lot of regular visitors. We get many books for adults, but they tend to stay 'out' longer, while the kids books are on heavy rotation. Every so often I'll take some out and put some different things in. I enjoy seeing what people write in the notebook and I enjoy watching folks visit the box.
Happiness came in a different box today, the mailbox! (That doesn't happen often anymore, does it?)
A catalog from High Mowing seeds (what Tom calls 'plant porn'), a catalog from my favorite tea company, and a Mother Earth mag. Along with the biscuit cutters I ordered (I've been making more biscuits, trying to perfect my recipe). Guess you know what we're having for dinner tonight.