According to the Boston Globe, the greater Boston area has received in excess of
80″ of snow since the end of January and we are in the  middle of yet another blizzard.  Thankfully, I have a reliable and capable
snow blower.  It gets quite a workout every storm.  In addition to
our 100 foot driveway, I have to clear the path to the back door,
a path out to the chicken coop and workshop, a connecting path
to the garden shed and another path out to the equipment shed.
forget about a path into the garden.  Speaking of which, the  snow
has completely buried my three low plastic tunnels.  I’ll worry
about them in March when the mache is ready for picking.

The chickens foraging in the snow

The chickens foraging in the snow


Our chickens are not liking the extremely limited area available to them for
foraging. But, they have been laying eggs.  I like to think that it has something
to do with the time I spend with them every day and the treats that they find
every morning in the pen.  I give them a variety of good food.  Until the massive
snow fall I could still access kale and Brussels Sprouts leaves in the garden.  At
the moment I am spoiling them with “Party Mix” for chickens.  We’re talking
mealy worms with cracked corn.  Yum!  The girls seem to like it.  By far their
favorite treat at the moment is green beans.  I froze 10 bags this summer.  We
tried them and weren’t impressed.  On a whim, I tossed some into the pen.  That
had an immediate impact on them.  They began to display the worst of animal
behavior; stealing from one another, trying to muscle each other out to have
exclusive access, etc.  Needless to say, I was very happy that someone liked my
green beans.

This week I started some leek seeds indoors.  In order for the leek plants to
grow large enough to survive transplanting out to the garden, it is necessary for
me to get them started now.

20 row seeder

20 row seeder

72 cell tray

72 cell tray


I started my seeds in a twenty row seeder tray,
planting 10 seeds per row approximately 1″ apart.  When the seedlings get
large enough to handle they will be transplanted to individual cells in a 72 cell
tray.  The ultimate goal is to transplant 50 seedlings into the garden in mid May.  This year, I am growing a variety called BANDIT.  I like
the fact that I will be able to leave some of the plants in the ground
this fall to over winter for early spring picking.  It’s one of my little
season extending tricks. We celebrate Spring by making a
focaccia topped with caramelized leeks.  The leeks add subtle flavor.
I grow leeks because they are expensive to buy.  Buying seeds costs about as
much as purchasing own bundle (3 leeks)  at the market.  A packet contains 250 seeds.  Do the math.  In addition, our wonderful daughter-in-law,
Lauren, is allergic to onions so the leeks are a safe alternative.  Stay tuned for
transplanting instructions this May.

The snow fall may have dampened the party somewhat, but starting the first
seeds of the season has me thinking good thoughts about the future.    Think  Spring!
All the best,

Greg

gcgarnache@gmail.com