Baby, it’s cold — but Ms. Gump’s greens think it’s March

gump greens in jan 2014We may be shivering in the single-digit swath of an “Arctic vortex,” but it feels like early spring under the plastic sheet covering Ms. Gump’s raised beds. These beautiful bunches of lettuce, planted in the fall by Ms. Gump’s K-1 students and photographed yesterday, are keeping warm enough to grow straight through a winter as frigid as this one. Will they survive today’s temps? Probably. (We’ll check tomorrow!) They survived the winter break with this block of ice sitting on them:

ice in gump bed jan 2014

In preparation for today’s below-freezing weather,  I tucked all of our growing plants in tight under plastic covers and filled all of our bird feeders.
How do the wildlife manage without furnaces and fleece?

They’re built for bigger temperature variations than we are. For instance, birds have a number of adaptations, including insulating feathers and scales that keep their feet and legs warm. Squirrels, in addition to shivering and growing thick winter coats, are crafty. I caught this one helping itself to my bird feeder after chasing out the birds and then sitting in it. Those are some excellent survival skills.
squirrel in feeder jan 2014


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Andrea Kearney on January 8, 2014 at 5:48 am

    incredible that vegetables can grow throughout our Virginia winter, love the lessons from this


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