Gardening · Homesteading

January On The Farm

January crept by, but it kept me busy. Unlike most of Western Washington where it rained every day, in the Olympic Rainshadow on the south end of Whidbey Island, we stayed drier and had plenty of days with sunshine.

And we had so many spectacular sunsets over the Olympic Mountains.

But I won’t lie…January is a hard month for me. I just want to stay inside where it is warm. It is hard to get excited when there is less than 9 hours of daylight early in the month (and of that light maybe 6 hours is usable!). So like most years I hid inside the first few weeks of the month and bought seeds, and perused gear for the coming spring.

The year started out with a good windstorm early on. We lost power for a couple days, as trees went down all around. I was really happy this 80 footer went down into the woods, not the opposite way….

This year I made myself not start too soon, as I do every single year. I’d go down once a week and check on the greenhouse, and make sure the plants in it were watered enough.

After the windstorm I checked on the garlic, which was looking fine. I recovered the bed with a thick layer of maple leaves, as cold weather was predicted.

The first snow came.

We got a couple days of white in. Just enough the kids got snow days and were outside having fun.

I rigged up a cover with frost fabric for our white sage plant to get it through the worst.

Then it all melted as January got into the middle and the bulbs started to come up, wanting the warm weather to be real (it got up to the high 50’s for quite a few days).

Kirk and I took time to till the main growing bed I use, and worked in a lot of compost we had made.

We will shape it into rows in February, for now the compost is doing its magic.

Walker, our middle son, made me the niftiest box out of scrap wood he found.

At the end of the month I checked out all the various beds, fixing wind damage. We had a huge storm last weekend that had 60+mph winds. A few poles snapped. The main alpine strawberry bed seems to be doing fine, with only a few plants potentially needing to be replaced.

All the rhubarb (grown from seed last year) are coming back up, pushing for the sun. By mid January we had passed 9 hours of daylight finally.

Marvel dwarf green peas coming up. This was our youngest son’s project in the greenhouse, as he is also doing similar at school in his class.

Microgreens just breaking through.

February is here and I am getting ready, starting work as fast as I can. My turning point is when we cross 10 hours daylight, which will come soon.