My Profile

I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blackberry Winter

~ thornless blackberry bloom ~
In the heart of Appalachia, indeed all of the USA East Coast, we have a saying: Blackberry Winter. It's that time of May, around the 10th, or second weekend, or Mother's Day, when the blackberry bushes bloom. It's also when we experience Blackberry Winter, the inverse of Indian Summer, and temperatures plummet to just above freezing. There have been times when we've had a frost as late as the last weekend of May and I've had to re-plant the garden. Grrrrr...a loss of both time, labor and money.
~ white potatoes from the cellar ~
We're in the heart of Blackberry Winter now and the night time temps have gotten in the upper 30 degrees F. Chilly but great sleeping weather! The garden has two one hundred foot rows of white potatoes, Kennebec in one row and possibly Kennebec in the other row. I used potatoes we didn't quite get around to eating in the second row and, while they might be Kennebec, I couldn't say for sure. There's still twenty-five pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes and five pounds of fingerlings to plant...IF the rain ever slows down. All this talk about potatoes reminds me of Al Gore, whom I never much trusted.

Planting potatoes is fairly easy and the rewards are prodigious. I might not get as many with my older seed from the cellar but they will still produce. And, considering they aren't good for eating now, some is better than being thrown away.
 ~ a, somewhat, straight potato row ~
Back to Gore for a moment, if he was penniless and pushing global warming, his words would carry more weight but anyone who stands to become a billionaire should the global warming agenda be pushed through, then HA! Heck, if women, indeed, his own wife, can't trust him, then why should I? Yet I know people who still worship at the Church of Al Gore and Global Warming. This is due, in large part, IMHO, because the media continues to ignore Gore's financial tie$$$ to global warming.

Oh wait. That agenda has been pushed through and foisted upon us by our very own elected officials ejits officials, the US House of Representatives...and I use the term very loosely. So what does this mean to you and I? It means our energy bill will increase, depending upon your perspective, to a great degree, a few hundred dollars, and some say to a ginormous degree, more than a thousand dollars. My perspective is any increase is a ginormous degree especially since the worms lied to us. But, what can one expect: the speed of the leader is the speed of the team.

I'm reminded of the kindly academician in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe who said, "What on earth are they teaching young people in school these days?" Certainly not to think for themselves! A lot of people come to mind are folks who act as though they think there's a free lunch and a chicken in every pot. Some of them, it seems to me, seem to think there's a get rich quick scheme that everyone, but them, knows about and they sit around waiting to be handed their bucket of gold. This, while speaking in sound bites and talking about tolerance which their actions decry.

Ahem. Excuse me. Would one of you, please, help me down from my soap box? To get back to the garden...twenty-nine tomato plants wait to be sunk into the ground. They range from Evergreen, an heirloom, that stays green and is for frying, to Green Grape, a sweet, juicy green tomato to those tried and true favorites, Big Boy, Early Girl and Better Boy.
~ Greenhouse in a Box ~
Then, there are the peas, Alaska and snow, a bit late for them but when planted in the shade might produce yet. The Alaska pea is the earliest of all and at 58 days fulfills the gardens promise early. The gourds, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, beans and flowers are all started and doing well in a wet, but not sunny, greenhouse. I start a lot of sunflowers from seed and love, love, love sunflowers. They are so beautifully cheerful and provide food for humans and animals; a total win-win.
~ sunflower seeds ~
The Shelter Logic "Greenhouse in a Box" was purchased from Tractor Supply and cost $149, no sales tax since I have a farm account with them. It's 6x6.5x8 and was placed inside the dog kennel to keep it safe from puppy harm. I don't have tables but the arrangement I do have works just fine. As you can see, I need to water again and I also have a lot more seeds to get started; I'll have to drag a table into the greenhouse in order to have a bit more seed starting room.

Might as well get some seeds started; it's raining, again, and I can't get into the garden. Perhaps this weekend will bring us sunshine; I think the low pressure system is supposed to move elsewhere. One can hope.

Blessings ~ rain ~ seeds ~ sunshine ~ gardens ~ plants ~ food ~ flowers ~


  1. never heard of Blackberry Winter...loved reading this..and i LOVED the potatoe planting..

    happy to stop by today


  2. Love the picture of the cow going down the road. Well, you blew my hair back with the Global Warming and America's favorite idiot, you know right when he invented the internet, We have had rain now for two weeks. We never have rain in May.
    I would like some Global Warming here in California and so would my garden. My kids would be overjoyed
    to get to go swimming. :)
    Other than that your potatoes look great and I like your saying about Blackberries.

  3. Oh, this is rich! I loved it all! :~D
    I've never heard of a Blackberry Winter but I think we are having one over here in WA State! Weeks and weeks of rain and now a few days of nice weather BUT it froze last night and all of my garden starts were out getting hardened off! Frozen off was more like it! But I think they survived and will be hardier for it (I hope!).
    You've reminded me, I have some sprouted potatoes that we didn't eat and need to plant too! Gotta make hay while the sun shines!

  4. I have not heard of blackberry winter . . . so interesting.

    And your Al Gore bit . . . you had my both laughing and cheering.


  5. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    Oh dear, the drop in temperature in May is a little depressing and just when spring appears to be fully established. Here in Budapest we have wall to wall blue skies, the windows open wide, and the sun on our backs!!

    To grow one's own vegetables. There is surely nothing nicer than, later in the year, to harvest one's own produce and potatoes dug straight from the ground are always absolutely delicious.

  6. Your nights have been much colder than mine! Our berry bushes along the sides of the road are looking good. HOpefully all this rain will yield a big berry year :-)

  7. I am NOT a successful gardener here - used to be productive in West Texas where the soil was sandy and easily amended. Here it is heavier and harder to keep right water levels (yes I know about composting and gypsum and alla that - but I'm a lazy gardener too!) We have containers now mostly tomatoes and some prolific basil. Do wish I were still growing potatoes - and sweet potatoes - oh MY fresh sweet taters are delicious. Thanks for the garden update and bah - Al Gore proves that old saying "how do you tell when a politician is lying? their lips are moving"

  8. I have a girl from N.Y. helping out in the barn. She laughed when I told her Blackberry Winter was coming, as we were dressed in shorts and sweating! She didn't laugh this week as we are dressed in jeans and sweatshirts and wood stove is going in the house! 38 degrees Tuesday night!
    Love your greenhouse :) I look forward to watching your garden grow!!!

    I would really love to see your *other self* post!
    xo, misha

  9. Well now I know what we've been experiencing here in Georgia - Blackberry Winter. I can't remember it ever being this cold (40's) this time of year. We're usually glistening (Southern for sweating like a pig) by this time LOL I just love your little greenhouse and am going to look into getting one - very cool! Hugs!

  10. Sandra, you wear me out just thinking about all the work you do, girl! :)

    Al Gore? Never heard of him. LOL

  11. The Church of Al Gore and Global Warming!!

    I still get the shakes when I think about how close Al Gore came to being our 43rd president. If he would have won we would all be driving a Yugo and speaking Chinese by now.

  12. This post makes me want to farm but I don't think that my bitty bit of town turf will do. I think it very liberating and kind that your green house is in the kennel but your puppy is not. :-) Blessings!

  13. It was great seeing the inside of your lil greenhouse. Mine is still riding around in the trunk of my niece's car. Maybe next weekend will be dry enough to put it together.

  14. It's nice here!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral




  15. What a great post! In California we are prohibited from having Indian Summer as it is not PC.

    With that said dear husband is the gardener and I am the critter person. If it has roots he is great with it, me I kill it. Not the intention but I am much,much better with 4 legged creatures.

  16. Ooh Sandra, I thought you'd be going into warmer weather now, seeing as we're sliding right into cold here! Another 8 days and it'll be Winter!!! Even so, you're doing way better with the veg growing than I am. :))) My only poor excuse is laziness really! lol.
    I haven't been around much lately so have lost track of what's happening with you. Hope you're doing better than ok over there. xoxo

  17. Mmmm....the garden sounds delicious! And...I *love* blackberries! We are just starting to put our garden in here, in Wisconsin - as it has been so cold all spring. Maybe we're just going straight into summer!

  18. i love the term 'blackberry winter', and yes,
    we seem to be on the same green page.

    except you're the only one of us actually
    growing green things! i'm so glad to read
    above that you and dave are going on a
    picnic. have lots of fun and eats as much
    as you want!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...