Fresh Lettuce, Yet It's 5 Degrees!

Today, Dec. 20, 2012 at dusk (4:45 p.m.) it was 24 degrees in my garden. Yesterday it never got above freezing at all, and last night the low was 5 degrees -- so cold we had to run the kitchen faucet all night to keep the pipes from freezing. Despite all this, we have a bounty of wonder in the outside garden.

It bumped above freezing long enough this afternoon to melt a little bit of the snow, so when me and the kids went out to pick lettuce, the cold frames were literally frozen to the ground -- some of them I couldn't pry open at all. Here is what we got -- fresh lettuce, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard (pictured above). There are lots of other things out there too -- carrots, rutabaga, onions, peas, and more. If I ever get a half-hour I'll try to finish posting the photos from the full December winter garden tour.

One more thing before I sign off. When it was 24 degrees in the garden, we decided to go warm up in the geothermal greenhouse -- where it was a balmy 80 degrees! So warm and beautiful we didn't want to leave. I checked on the 50 varieties of seeds I planted a couple days ago, and the kids dug in the dirt and played. It's warmer in there than it is in the house! No artificial heat or electricity, either in the garden or in the greenhouse, yet full of fresh food, despite the bitter 5 degrees last night. -Caleb

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