Vegetables and Fruit forum: How Do You Spend The Long Winter Months?

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Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Sep 11, 2014 5:06 AM CST
I am not sure if this is an appropriate thread, but I thought it would be interesting to hear how everyone spends their winter months. I am as much into baking as I am into gardening, so I look forward to the winter months when I can put on my apron and do some baking again. I was an artist of sorts for 30 years, so I am trying to teach myself to paint on cookies instead of wood and metal. It is a bit of a challenge because all the mediums have to be edible, so it's a bit harder than what I did for a living, lol. I have several teas in the winter months also and have started collecting really unusual pieces of china. I may soon need a new china cupboard as it's hard to resist some of the pieces I see at the local flea market.
What do all of you do when you can't be in the garden???
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Sep 11, 2014 4:04 PM CST
Fun topic, Karen.

I move my growing indoors! I have several sets of grow lights, so I overwinter some herbs, and grow some smaller things indoors (bok choy, lettuce, etc) inside. I've just recently started experimenting with hydroponics, so will do a bit more of that this winter.

I also take this time to buy seeds, plan gardens, etc. I'm quite involved with our county Master Gardeners group, and I am chairperson of the committee that maintains our demonstration herb beds. I try to do some new things up there each year, so spend time planning, getting my committee organized, etc. Our MG also has a huge plant sale each May, and I head up the group that is in charge of herbs and veggies. Again, lots of volunteers to organize, seeds to buy, and I grow tons of plants for both activities.

Other than the things I grow for our personal use, I start gearing up in January for everything else. Some plants (leeks/onions) can be started from seed early in our zone.

I love to cook, also, and love baking. I did some canning for the first time this year, so look forward to using some of our produce throughout the winter months.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 11, 2014 5:43 PM CST
I dream of spring. Winter is not really my season as I am very much a summer person.

I read much more in the winter as I have more time and watch much more TV than during the summer.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Sep 11, 2014 6:12 PM CST
I feel less garden-guilt. During warm months, I always know how far behind I am on weeding, mulching, etc.

During the winter, I have no guilt until January, when I feel bad if I didn't start many Salvia, Petunias or Violas indoors. Then in February, I can look forward to feeling guilty about not starting Delphiniums, Cosmos or Marigolds.

I used to pore over seed catalogs, but now I organize my seed collection.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 11, 2014 6:13 PM CST
I get my iris seedlings started, order some seeds. look through the seed catalogs, this winter I'm going to start some more artichokes. I grew some a few years ago, and I want to try them again. Of course, with 22 horses, I am outside a lot taking care of them. I also develop my iris wish list. Plan where I might make new beds. And, like Rita, dream of summer and the iris bloom season.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Sep 11, 2014 6:26 PM CST
Thanks for joining in everyone.

Rick, we are going to have to do something about all that guilt, lol.

Tom, what in the world do you do with 22 horses? Do you ride a lot or just like having them around like I would.

Rita, I do dream of spring, but at least not until February when the holidays are over.

Linda I have never been any good at starting seeds, but I do love to can things up for the winter months and to give as gifts.

Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 11, 2014 6:33 PM CST
I have raised many world champions and reserve world campion horses. There used to be a market for them. I've pretty much ended my breeding program as when the economy goes sour, horses are not considered necessary. Then throw in a dought and extremly high priced hay and feed, and it's not pretty. So I've sold off a few, and some are getting old and are living out their lives. Here's a video of one I had trained last year. I have spent over $5000 in training. She's a very good quality horse but I doubt I'll get my money back out of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifbndwe4eEg
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Sep 11, 2014 6:44 PM CST
I am so impressed. What a pleasure to ride such a beautifully trained horse. She is a beauty, Tom.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 11, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Tom, that is beautiful -- how can anyone NOT love horses?? Lovey dubby

During the winter I read seed catalogs, clean my house that didn't get much attention during the gardening season, experiment with baking sourdough and other bread recipes, maybe a few knitting and quilting projects, read, and bowl on a Friday night league. By February I'm starting seeds for the garden, under fluorescent lights in a closet, so that almost starts to seem like spring to me Smiling
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cycadjungle
Sep 11, 2014 8:35 PM CST
I'm lucky, I Iive in Florida. I have 40,000 plants that don't take a vacation. Luckily, I have 7200 square feet of greenhouse space to house the plants that can't handle our freeze events. I'm not in a real warm spot. It DID get down to 15F a few years ago but I know that is nothing compared to what people have up north. Tom
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 11, 2014 8:44 PM CST
That is a lot of plants.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 11, 2014 8:46 PM CST
cycadjungle said:I'm lucky, I Iive in Florida. I have 40,000 plants that don't take a vacation. Luckily, I have 7200 square feet of greenhouse space to house the plants that can't handle our freeze events. I'm not in a real warm spot. It DID get down to 15F a few years ago but I know that is nothing compared to what people have up north. Tom


Yes, Tom, by my standards that IS a "real warm spot" Rolling on the floor laughing

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Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
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herbie43
Sep 11, 2014 10:54 PM CST
I hibernate in the winter and think about the upcoming holidays and what me and deb will be cooking.

Tom number 1 - what type of champion horses are they

Tom numbe 2 - that's a lot of plants

visit [url=www.cookfromtheheart.com]www.cookfromtheheart.com[/url]
frank
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Sep 12, 2014 3:06 AM CST
Most of my horses are registered with the American Paint Horse Assoc. I have a few Quarter Horses, and one Thoroughbred Stallion. The mare in the video is a Paint.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Sep 12, 2014 3:33 AM CST
I am in the subtropics. I just keep on gardening.
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Sep 12, 2014 5:28 AM CST
Sometimes I think it would be great to move someplace so I could garden all year, but I do love the different seasons. We did have a ton of the white stuff last year, but when you don't have to go someplace every day, it's really pretty. Of course, I worry about the kids and grand kids until I know they are safely to their destinations each day. I try not to think about them on the roads, but you can't help it once you lose one that way. Our granddaughter has a 4hour drive to school and she comes home way too often. If I had my way, she would stay up there for the whole year, lol.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
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herbie43
Sep 12, 2014 6:38 AM CST
Karen - I understand what you are saying. i've heard and read that this winter will be a really bad one for the east coast.
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frank
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 12, 2014 8:54 AM CST
cycadjungle said:. Luckily, I have 7200 square feet of greenhouse space to


If I had that, I would feel I'd died and gone to heaven!!!!
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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Sep 12, 2014 8:58 AM CST
Cookies4kids said:...move someplace so I could garden all year, but I do love the different seasons....


Yes. Fall is my favorite time of year, always has been, and thought there is much to love about Northern California, I am glad I have 4 distinct seasons again. I do wish Spring and Fall were 5 months each though, so my garden would have it's off season for fewer than 6 months and I wouldn't have more than 4 weeks of sauna season.....
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Sep 12, 2014 9:01 AM CST
No, I am all for banning autumn and winter.

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