Monday, December 16, 2013

Cold and Frosty Morning

This morning there was so much frost it looked like a light dusting of snow.

The barrel that holds the grain for the goats was frozen.  I had to take a board and knock it loose!

There was still a small amount of frost on top of the blocks on the 3 hives when I went by them this morning.  Much to cold for any activity.  Thursday we are supposed to be back in the 70's so I will open the hives and do a good check on them.

 The greenhouse has still managed to stay warm enough for the bell peppers.

 Some nice chilli peppers growing.

and the tomatoes are still growing nicely.  You can see behind the tomatoes where I planted the pineapple straight into the ground too.   It is getting a bit much to dig and repot them every year so they will live in the ground in the greenhouse.
I had a picture of the entire two rows of pineapple but my computer seems to have hid it from me.

 I am experimenting with squash in the ground inside the greenhouse.  I sprouted the seed in the house wrapped in a damp paper towel and then put it in the ground.  We'll see if I get summer squash in the winter!

Before the first frost Papa Bear used his tractor and dug up several large banana trees for me and plopped them  in the ground right in the center of the greenhouse where it is taller.  I think the ceiling height is 14 feet and some of the upright leaves are already touching.  Hopefully we'll get some bananas by letting them grow in the greenhouse.  It has been several years since our trees produced. 

Before he got sick, Papa Bear was working on a wood stove heater made from a barrel kit.  He decide to make a double one as it will have a heat exchanger and warm a larger area.  The temps has already dropped to 27 degrees outside but the greenhouse stayed above freezing. With heat the plants should produce more.  It's fun experimenting at any rate to see what works and what doesn't.

Hope everyone is warm and toasty in whatever you are doing today!



  1. I been thinking about building one of those barrel stoves but wasn't sure they how well they last and stand up to sustained heat. Must be nice to be able to grow banana trees lol.

    Funny we have almost the same colors for the hives, Green, Blue and White although I have a Pink mixed in as well.

  2. I am hoping the barrel stove does well. It won't be used as much as someone who lives north. Usually January is our coldest month but November and December has had some downright frigid days.

    I have a pink hive too. I was going to put the bees from a nuc into it but they left! I have no idea what made them unhappy but it happened. Hoping this coming swarm season I will have a pink hive set up and occupied. I buy all of my hive paint off of the goof shelf at Lowes. That self has some pretty interesting colors and dirt cheap!

  3. Veggies look like they are doing good in your green house, will be interesting to see if you get bananas.

  4. Thanks TL. Every few years we will get a bunch of bananas but it is always too late in the year when it happens and they freeze before they get big enough to ripen. I have only managed to get one bunch to ripen in the 20 plus years I have been growing them. I haven't given up yet!

  5. But first I have to get a shed to store all my stuff. That's coming on 12/27. Being the romantics that we are, that is what our Christmas gift to ourselves will be this year.

    1. We have a huge 36 x 72 commercial greenhouse from our business we closed in '08. May as well put it to some good use. It really needs recovering but I don't want to spend that much money on something we may or may not use. I would like to sell it if it's not going to be useful but Papa Bear doesn't want to.

      We give presents like that to each other too. Guess we all are a bunch of romantics! Our pole barn has every holiday wrapped up for the next 10 years as far as gifts go. I did ask for a puppy and will be getting him on the 23rd.but he is for all of us and the homestead.

  6. Mamma Bear,

    I would love to have a greenhouse that big!!! Nothing like having harvests throughout the entire year:-) How is Papa Bear doing? I hope he's feeling better.
    Were expecting rain and sleet again this weekend. In the meantime, it's 69 degrees outside today. How has your critter problem going? I'm hoping the snack planning has resolved the problem.
    Sending hugs your way.

    1. Sandy...the greenhouse is great if used for what it was intended for but Papa Bear uses every available space to pile his junk or should I say stuff in. He is a pack rat and there is no changing him. He is feeling better. Thanks for asking about him. I made him some onion syrup and that seemed to do him better than the doctors antibiotics. He still has a nasty cough.

      You were warmer than we were today. I wore my flannel pajamas under my jeans , 2 pullovers and a hoodie for most of the morning doing chores.

      Took 4 nights of snacking but nothing has come back in 3 nights now. I hope the problem is resolved. Our local feed store has baby chicks in. Guess I will bite the bullet and get a new crop started. They will live in a completely closed in area with a heat lamp for the first month or two will be safe. Maybe by then we will have the goats moved and have a new chicken area near the security lights. Still haven't gotten my order from Harbor Freight. Guess they are super busy because of the holidays.

      Hugs to all of you!


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