Sweet cold farmy day.. we love the farmy days.

Snow. Light Powdery snow.  We had another  snowy day yesterday.   But it is still too dark outside for me to see what happened in the night. We have no  street lights in the country so there is no way of knowing without going out.  Some farms have enormous lights that light the whole yard all night but I see no earthly use for one. It feels like you are in Stalig 13. (Did i spell that right?) (No it is Stalag c.. thank you viv) I have no curtains on my windows because I like to see the stars and I love the moonlight in the house.  Outside lights cut all that beauty off.

Anyway last night there was just enough snow to deceptively cover the ice that is building up under there.   I have begun the plonky winter trudge, stepping firmly onto the ground to avoid landing with a surprised squeak on my poor wee bottom. 

The root cellar is down the back. In the olden days this is where they stored the produce for winter.  Or kept it cool in the summer.  I should be brave enough to start using it again, or at least put a basket of potatoes in there and see if they freeze or indeed are just stored. Maybe next year.  A door might be a good start! Because the naughty sheep use it as a summer hang out.  It is in the Rat-house Paddock  (yes every field has a name) so very close by would have been the old house that was on this property. We have unearthed garden paths that go nowhere.  It was evidently burnt down, then pushed with a bulldozer into its own basement. The garden and trees ripped out and burned.  An ignominious end. In fact there are so many levels to  such a dreadful burial it makes me shudder.  The house we live in, which replaced it, is about seventy years old.  So it would have been a while ago. The perpetrators long gone.

Mama and Hairy MacLairy have been slowly loafing about. They love the cold. Mama is not giving me any more signs that would help me guess when she is due to lamb.  So the waiting game continues.

Daisy is having one of her days. The chickens are waiting out the snow in their chookhouse.

Yesterday I sowed Sage and Holy Thistle. Both herbs for The Bees and I.  I sow into trays,  they will take three to four weeks to germinate, then I will prick the seedlings out into pots  so they can grow for about 6 – 8 weeks, then I should be close to planting.  I also sowed a big pot of winter lettuce that will be grown indoors for the kitchen.  The days are getting longer.

Dawn is just breaking and gently lighting quite a bit of snow.  Hmm.  Playtime!  19F. Not too bad. Good morning.

c

81 thoughts

  1. Your root cellar looks like an air raid shelter from WW2. I would imagine it’ll work well for the veggies, even in snow. It’s still Spring here, but they are predicting snow in February – how confusing!

  2. My great-grandma’s root cellar was beneath the house and doubled as a basement. Living in Tornado Alley, it was practical and necessary (no TV weather personalities to warn them back then). I remember her telling me how to watch for signs of bad weather and when the crisis had passed. We don’t seem to know how to do that now that we have 24-hour weather to keep us ‘informed.’

    • The hilarious thing about that is that I do not watch TV or have a radio, so I actually depend on the sky, the distant sirens and The Matriarch. She called me once from California (about 2000 miles away) and said there is a tornado coming your way get into the basement.. Naturally I went and Stood on top of the root cellar down the back with the camera to try and see the tornado. It dropped about 6 miles west and knocked over a few trees.. we were lucky. They do not come through here often..c

  3. Lovely stuff, as usual. I really appreciate your cheerful temperament under much worse conditions than we’re having here. I will make an effort to stop grumbling about the weather.
    Stalag!

  4. Hard to believe it’s already time to start, or at least consider, planting again! In a week, or so, it will be light at 5:00 pm and we’ll be well on our way to Spring. Never tire of your pics of the Farm, Celi. I always leave here smiling.

  5. i can’t believe spring is on the way when we haven’t had much winter yet. we did get a few inches of snow last night and lots of ice. i guess that counts! i would love to have that root cellar!

    • Ice is the worst isn’t it?. We all need to put our heads together and work out how to use this root cellar properly. Given that it is in the middle of a field down the back.. c

  6. I’m so jealous of your root cellar…can’t believe you’re not using it! My basement stays too warm for keeping apples and potatoes and other stuff…
    There’s a cellar hole on the lot adjacent to ours, but it looks like it just fell in over time…since the folks that built it were buried in the mid-1800′s (they’re over there, too) we think it just decayed.
    But Hanna’s daffodils come up every spring!

    • they are not buried IN it are they? the root cellar is so far away and my OTHER big problem is growing enough potatoes to store. We only heat with a fire so our basement is quite cold. Hopefully the cave storeroom will be even colder.. how wonderful that you have daffodils from that time.. do you divide them every now and then? c

      • Not on my land, so I leave them be…
        I *do* pick blackberries over there – no sense in letting them all go to waste!
        And, no, the Almy’s are buried in a tidy little family plot near our border wall, not in the cellar hole…

  7. We too are getting some snow…just a bit, but ah well. I love snow, and we haven’t had much this year. Your root cellar is intriguing. We have one built into our cellar wall; the house was built in 1840; it seems to hold a fairly constant temperature, I assume because it is below the frost line (?)
    Happy garden planning.
    Jess

  8. Celi, I thought my favourite Attitude on your farm was Hairy McLairy’s, until I met Daisy. That’s a stare to reckon with.
    Looking at your cold store reminded me of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall – a ruin, but with a store dug into the cantankerous slate to store things in just the same way. Man is really, truly amazing.

    Your pictures and words are just a tonic. Thank you.

  9. I loved my grandma’s root cellar! I don’t know why, but it was always very intriguing to me. All the neat jars filled with “stuff” apples, potatoes and vegetables all winter…now I have to go to three stores to find all of the organic vegetables I like. Just not the same!

    Spring won’t even begin here until mid May. There have been many years when I haven’t been able to plant my vegetable garden until early June. Then it frosts in late September or early October, making for a very short growing season! Last year I planted perennials in all three of my vegetable gardens because we’ve had such short growing seasons over the past few years. This year, I’m planning to do tomatoes, herbs, and a few other things in pots on the deck instead. Hopefully it will go well!

    Have a wonderful day, Cecilia and stay warm! :)

    • MM, i think pots are a good idea too, then you can bring them in and out if there is a late of early frost. that is indeed a short season. I grow lettuce and spinach in pots too. Was your mothers root cellar free standing like this one? or in the basement. I would like to know how to use mine. c

    • Actually John is from german stock, so some of this family recipes are a trifle on the stodgy side!! The rat house paddock is behind the Rat House and YES the rat house did indeed have rats when I first got here. So I got rid of the corn bin that lived beside the rat house(actually I sold it and the little men came and took it away) and then got cats. Now we do not have rats. Only the name remains. c

  10. How sad to think the old house was burnt down. I had never heard of a root cellar before but it seems so logical to store stuff under a mound of earth and thus protect it from the elements. Is it shelved inside?

    • it is very thick concrete, and no shelves in there anymore. No door either. very damp and cold though.. Maybe I will try housing a cheese in there next year and see what happens.
      I could put it into a wooden box or something.. c

  11. As the youngest in the family, when it was my turn to fetch root veggies from the root cellar, I would hold my breath while inside. I disliked the smell. It was probably a potato that turned, but it was like the whole place was going to fall in on me and I’d forever smell like that!

    Rain washed our snow away last night. Yay. It’s above freezing so I’m off fire duty. Think I’ll head for town and see if I still stand crowds. All 10 people at once. :D

    • Hi Aimee, Oh yes i can imagine that there would be some kind of nasty attrition in a root cellar, all that ethanol in there would create some serious ripening after a while! c

  12. Oooh, I’m experiencing some root cellar envy. I try every year to grow enough potatoes and other root crops to see us through. Never happens. My harvests too small and I don’t seem to be able to store them well enough to last more than a few months.

  13. “The perpetrators long gone”? And your house is 70 years old? That would put the “Perpetrators” house standing on that spot back when the Buffalo really DID roam them prairies…Cool Beans…Oh, and who are you kidding about Daisy and the Chickens? They are just awaiting word from you about Mama Maclairy’s condition. Anyway, hey I think you are on to something about the “Award” .. Here’s a copy paste from your comment, and my reply from your last visit.
    ceciliag January 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm Edit #
    Of course I LOVE the bee shot.. maybe you should turn that into an award! c
    Reply
    sonsothunder January 22, 2012 at 1:04 am Edit #
    If I’m making an Award…the Bee Photo has to come from you…Or, heck, maybe a close-up of Daisy and Her Cat…now THAT would make a great award photo..maybe you should call it…”The Loyal Reader Award”? Or, The Blog Farm Review? Or, who knows…you show me the photo, and I’ll make the award and send it out…Linked back to your site… Or, you make it…Either way…sounds like a great idea…
    Hey, maybe the CCC award…Cat Cow & Celi? lol…Let me know..
    Oh, the Bee photo…not the one on the previous post, which is one of yours of course, but, the yellow flower one…I just nabbed from “Photobucket” so, if you want to go with a “Honey Award” or…whathaveya…The Photo must be one of yours.
    Bless You
    paul
    Reply

    • What a great idea. I didn’t know one could make an award but i suppose ther come from somewhere. We would have to think carefully what we gave awards for. Sometimes they turn into little whirlwinds. The daisy and her cat one is such a loving shot though. c

  14. On a closer look…you choreographed the chicken and rooster to do the funky chicken…I can tell they are dancing…I can almost hear the music by just viewing that pixel…It should be animated…

  15. “Snow. Light Powdery snow.” I wish I really knew the experience of it. It makes my heart go all pitter-patter.

    I am in love with Daisy.

  16. The ‘saga’ of the root cellar, and what happened to the original house and surrounding trees, struck a VERY resonant chord. Exactly the same thing happened on our land…the only difference is the ‘perps’ did nothing more than park a mobile home atop their dozer-filled desecration of an earlier dream. But because the ‘mobile’ was gone by the time we bought the land, it wasn’t until I began to dig a basement for the house we’re building that I discovered the debris-filled concrete basement of the earlier, very classic farmhouse. So…I decided to entirely redesigned our plans to fully incorporate all that was left of the original. And thus our dream now has its roots buried quite deeply in one from the past.

    Yet now I can’t help but wonder when (not if) ours will be similarly ‘dozed’, buried and long forgot…once again.

    • Yes ..one day we will be bulldozed. it puts everything into perspective doesn’t it. And wonderful that you are able to utilise the old basement. That must give the new house a feeling of having leapt through time! c

  17. One of the many pleasures of reading your blog, Celie, – apart from the displacement value of stopping me doing what I should be doing – is reading down the comments and your answers. You have a very interesting readership.

  18. Your root cellar looks a cross between a storm shelter and the kind of concrete bunkers that scatter the countryside from WWII. I’d want curtains, I like the privacy of hiding myself away (even if there’s noone for miles) and the warmth! :)

    • The curtain thing is strange to some people i suppose. i have never liked them, never been able to sleep in a dark room, and in the day they block too much light even when they are opened. Lucky we are all different!! c

  19. Celi, when you say:
    “Yesterday I sowed Sage and Holy Thistle. Both herbs for The Bees and I. I sow into trays, they will take three to four weeks to germinate, then I will prick the seedlings out into pots so they can grow for about 6 – 8 weeks, then I should be close to planting.”
    Do you mean you sow them into the little paper pots first? Or into some kind of tray and from there into the paper pots, and then right into the ground after 6-8 week? D

    • yes you are right, the shallow tray, then prick out the seedlings to the pots, then into even bigger pots (still inside or popping in and out as the weather changes) then into the ground. It gives them a good start. Prick your seedlings out to the little pots when they have four leaves, use a tiny stick to ease them out of the earth, make a hole in your pot of media, then guide the roots gently in and embed firmly, water well to settle the earth around the roots.. and off you go.. c

    • It is dry and that is an astounding idea, I guess we leave it in there all winter? in the old days they used to dry the hams from the ceilings in the barns so the old codger told me, the root cellar may be just the place! can’t waste it.. c

  20. My husband would love a cellar, he says we can then start storing wine but the wine never lasts long enough with unto store anyway :) and yo know me, cellars, in addition to the creaky old house will just hasten my descent into straight jacket land LOL. I have loads of sage in my garn – the purple variety as well as the variegated – love em! Hope yours grow quickly as they sprout such pretty flowers as well

  21. Beautiful, so beautiful as always… How lovely looks Daisy,… The photograph with green truck and with them, fascinated me so much… Thank you dear Cecilia, Blessing and happiness for you all, with my love, nia

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