The frost has hit here in Southern Maryland, right on time. The summer and fall flowers and veggies are killed off by the hard November frost, leaving the fields looking brown and dreary.
Fortunately though- we have exciting news... we built a high tunnel and over the last week we have been planting thousands early spring flowers in it.
It feels nice with this cold outdoor weather, to step inside this 70+ degree hot box. On a sunny winter day the air temps can reach up to 90 degrees inside. The plants love it, and though we can't grow usual summer crops all winter (due mostly to day length), we can get a jump on the season by almost a month with a few varieties of flowers.
Meaning, we are aiming to have Easter and Mother's Day flowers!!! We have some outdoor flowers at this time, but the tunnel flowers are extra special.
To help plant the thousands of flowers, we had fun organizing #OptOutside on the farm day! REI started this concept a few years ago on Black Friday and Jake and I have participated every year since, this year on our farm.
Family and friends of the farm came by to help plant the octopus looking corms you see below. These beauties look like roses, and don't mind the shorter day length we have during winter. They take 3 months from this stage to bloom.
And, we still don't have a well-- yep, that's right, no water source on the farm-- hence why you still see those *lifesaver* white tanks in my sunglass reflection. Boy will we be grateful once we get a well next Spring. The high tunnel doesn't receive rainfall so water is our biggest hurdle to overcome through winter, not freezing the tanks, but making sure the plants get enough water.
Pictured above are snapdragon transplants we started from seed in the greenhouse in September and placed outside to overwinter. This is one specialty cut flower that will actually make it through our winters outside. Barn going up in the background!
We are grateful for the little helpers and big helpers of all kinds who showed up to work off their Thanksgiving turkey and get some sunshine and fresh air on the farm. We love our community of supporters!!
Black row covering helps to heat up the soil in the high tunnel. On a sunny winter day, it feels like Florida in February in there.
Through winter, we will keep chugging along, preparing rows of flowers and veggies for Spring and Summer.