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Contending with the Elements 10/20/09

Did you feel that crispness last week and then that shift to warm wet weather?  It was about this time of year in 2003 when the Stillaguamish River introduced itself to my family with a significant flood.  Which is the one reason, I rarely grow crops in the winter, because the Stillaguamish River can make itself “known” pretty much anytime from this point on and it is so disheartening to have your vegetable crops flooded.  So right now we are busy putting in cover crops and harvesting the remainder of the winter squash.

I woke up Monday last week with a sort of unexplained uneasiness.  I saw that it was colder than expected and a fairly thick blanket of frost covered the ground and, consequently, our winter squash crops.  Normally, winter squash can handle a frost and we have had a few light ones prior to this one, but the intensity of the cold made this one a little too close for comfort.  I checked on the squash, it was “cold”, we let it thaw (what else could I do, anyway) and everything worked out for the best.  I was thankful for the warming trend and have wasted no time harvesting and storing the crop in our barn.  Now, neither, old man Jack Frost or its friend the Mighty Stilly will be able to lay “claim” to this year’s harvest.