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Herbs: snow!

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herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

October 29, 2008
8:38 PM

Post #5730729

This much snow before Halloween is ridiculous. We got over a foot of the white stuff yesterday.

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podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 30, 2008
1:04 AM

Post #5731517

Awww.w... bbb...r.r...rrrrr I am so sorry. It is such an early start to winter. Did you get most of your herbals harvested in time?
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

October 30, 2008
9:36 AM

Post #5732486

Podster, yup, most herbs were harvested - well, except for some elecampane and echinacea roots. It wasn't so cold, just hovered at 32. And within a week or so, the snow should be melted. We don't get the "stay forever" snow until more like late November/early December. Then, the ground is pretty much covered until March/April. My lilacs, apple trees and most bushes still had leaves on them and I'm hoping the very heavy, wet snow doesn't break too many branches.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 30, 2008
10:05 AM

Post #5732514

Good for you... I understand this was a surprise to all. Glad you were ready. What do you have planned for the winter months beyond your quilting/crafting?
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

October 30, 2008
6:21 PM

Post #5733858

Well, there is always stripping the leaves off of things harvested. Also, making soaps, salves, sprays, lip balms, etc. All the value-added things we make from our herbs. We have three vending events in late November/early December. I go to Kansas next week to teach crazy quilting. I'm working on a cook book. I'm always writing articles (herbs and crazy quilting) and formulating more classes to teach. I keep pretty busy! Also, we'll be adding new beds of herbs next year, so I can plan that on a snowy day.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 31, 2008
12:26 AM

Post #5734978

Good for you ~ after having grown up in MN, I must admit I miss the solitude of winter to get things done and plan for the summer ahead. Enjoy your trip to KS.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

October 31, 2008
9:56 AM

Post #5735979

Where in MN? I have a brother who lives in Waconia and a good friend in St. Paul.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 31, 2008
10:10 AM

Post #5735992

I grew up in southern by New Ulm. DH was north, north in the Iron Range. Met in the twin cities and I can't say I miss the cold! The soil was great and the bloom colors intense in the bright summer sunshine. I find I am a long days/sunshine person and couldn't go back north in winter. It is a beautiful state if you haven't been.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

October 31, 2008
11:56 PM

Post #5738227

I've been to MN many, many times. I lived in Nebraska for 7 years and was able to go visit frequently. MN is a beautiful state - land of 10,000 lakes and all.
momherb
Tucson, AZ

November 1, 2008
12:23 AM

Post #5738329

Oh dear, Betty, I'm so sorry to see and to hear about that darn snow! I surely don't miss it. It's so interesting to see what your lovely place looks like covered in snow after seeing it this summer. A friend of mine in Oneonta spent 24 hours with no electricity after that snow storm! Yikes! I'm sorry to say (actually, not that sorry!!!) that it's been in the 70s here in Tucson recently. Nights are nice and cool, around 60 degrees. I've got my winter garden planted but am still clinging to two tomato plants that have green tomatoes on them. We usually get our first frost in November sometime and since I refuse to cover things that can't take the frost I'll probably be pulling these out before long.

Again, thank you so much for allowing me and my cousin to visit with you this summer. We may just come again next summer as well when I'm in Cooperstown. Have a lovely winter and way to go on the cookbook project. I'll look forward to purchasing a signed copy!

Momherb
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

November 1, 2008
5:44 PM

Post #5740561

Momherb, we didn't lose power this time (very unusual). Thank goodness! I'm on my way to Kansas next week to teach crazy quilting and I see they are having temps in the 70s as well. I do enjoy winter and the snow. I lived in the Mojave and really missed seasons. However, come February, my mind changes somewhat.

I would love to have you and your cousin come visit any time you are back in NY. We got those 500 lavenders planted. And, naturally, there are always more projects on the burner...
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

November 3, 2008
3:02 AM

Post #5745913

Herbalbetty, you are such a busy person living life to the fullest. I really admire you. I'm one of those slow going turtles that does a little at a time and wonders where in the heck the rest of the world went when it flashed by.
How much land do you have in gardens? My gardening has gone to containers and i have about 25.
I know you'll be gone this week so see you next week.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

November 10, 2008
1:17 PM

Post #5773334

Hi Cando. We have a total of 5 acres (just bought the adjoining lot of 2 acres last year). Right now, probably 2 1/2 acres are in gardens. I'm including our wild meadow as part of that as I harvest the Joe Pye, boneset and blue vervain from that area. It also is a place which bees and butterflies adore. We also have a few fruit trees, berry bushes, mushroom logs and of course, flowers, to go with all those herbs. It's a good life and I am blessed.
Foxnfirefly
Falls Church, VA
(Zone 7b)

November 24, 2008
3:27 AM

Post #5824658

Hi, Betty!! Just saw this and I hope the snow has gone away by now. We were forecast for snow this weekend but it didn't happen. I imagine the first signs of green grass in the spring are electrifying to you after such a bleak white winter. I couldn't live in NY!!!

500 lavenders???!!!! Did you start with seed? I bet that is a sight. I have had poor luck with those. What kind of lilacs do you have?? Japanese? I have a couple here, but not sure of cultivar. One is highly fragrant (dwarf bush with pale pink flowers) , but theother one is so-so (larger but still dwarf w/large purple blooms.).

BTW--you warned me about this--the deer didn't get my evening primrose, but the bunnies did!! :-( They chomped it back to the soil level, so no flowers this year.






herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

November 24, 2008
11:09 AM

Post #5825230

I've lived a lot of places and NY state is really beautiful! However, that October snow storm did do a lot of damage, as some leaves were still on the trees. We lost 2 very large trees, a peach tree I had raised from a pit (it was about 12 foot high and I had hoped for fruit this coming summer) and many branches off of several more. Yes, all that snow did melt eventually, but we have another 6" forecasted for tonight. It has also been dipping into the single digits at night. We are in an early cold snap!

I ordered 500 lavender starts from Possum Creek Herbs this spring. They have great prices. It took quite a long time to get them all planted. We did slightly raised rows and used sand as a mulch. For the past several years, I grew about 40 lavenders to see which survived the winters here the best. Our winners were Hidcote and Mustead. We planted out the Hidcote. Our lilacs are your basic run-of-the-mill lilacs. :-) Light purple and very fragrant. Those two were here on the property when we moved here 7 years ago. I have also planted a pink MacFarlane and a yellow Primrose lilac.

Yup, evening primrose must be highly nutritional to critters as well as man! Maybe the bunnies needed those essential fatty acids!
nanniepb
Cumberland Mtns, TN
(Zone 6b)

November 24, 2008
4:40 PM

Post #5826181

OH, How pretty! and how peaceful it looks. We've already had snow a few times, but no accumulation, but I'd much rather have snow than the freezing temps we've had here. lows of 20, 14, 17...almost a whole week. brrrr Unusual for TN this time of the year for sure.

best thanksgiving wishes to all !
Foxnfirefly
Falls Church, VA
(Zone 7b)

November 25, 2008
12:24 AM

Post #5827741

That's sad about losing your big trees and peach tree, Herbalbetty. I didn't realize it was that bad to be so cold before all trees have shed their leaves. I didn't even think peaches could stand a chance in NY, but I did see some in PA around Gettysburg last June. Wanted to get a cutting of those!!!

Yes, it seems only Munstead and Hidecote are the stalwarts of lavenders around here.

Next spring I will put out some repellents for the bunnies. I didn't know they liked Chamomile and Scented Geraniums as much as Evening Primrose, too!! I never had a problem with them until this year. Bizarre.

herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

November 25, 2008
1:21 PM

Post #5829106

The right variety of peach makes all the difference here in NY. The pits came from trees grown by a friend in Iowa. I still have 3 trees from the same batch and hope they fruit this year! The bunnies around here seem especially fond of goldenseal, Goji, strawberries, and even ate through the trunk of a young rowan tree. We used to have a terrible vole problem, but the neighborhood cats have helped with that. The neighbors don't even blink anymore when they see me running into the yard early in the morning, still in my pjs, with my hands waving and shooing some deer/bunny/pest away. I'm sure they think, "That's just the crazy herb lady."
Foxnfirefly
Falls Church, VA
(Zone 7b)

December 7, 2008
11:37 PM

Post #5868787

LOL!! I am sure your neighbors have gotten used to seeing things gong on in your garden, Betty...same here, I'm sure. Other DGers mentioned that "Snake Away" is a good bunny repellent, but I couldn't find it in Home Depot. I will try to get some for next spring.

We just had our first snow last night!! A light dusting only, and it has been bitter cold.

I forgot to tell you I also got "Lavendar Lady" variety last spring and so far it is doing okay. Time will tell.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

December 9, 2008
12:54 PM

Post #5873751

Let me know how Lavender Lady does for you Fox. I've grown it, but it doesn't like the winters here. So, some years it got through, other years it didn't. I also found it didn't seem as robust during the summer as Hidcote and Munstead. Yesterday it was 5 degrees here. Today, freezing rain. Tomorrow, temps in the 40s. Then, back to the cold and some snow. It's a wonder the poor plants don't heave up and leave! But there sure is an amazing variety that can withstand it all and I am very grateful.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 17, 2008
4:43 AM

Post #5900234

Herbalbetty, wanted to add i'm growing Province Lavender for 4 years now and it is doing good here in zone 6. I looked up the part of France(Eastern) where it is grown and it sounded very similar to Z6.
We had a snow a week ago. Now i'm iced in for a couple of days. Not heavy enough to bring down trees or large limbs. Thank Heavens! Just enough to make our lane a skating rink.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

December 17, 2008
1:40 PM

Post #5900897

Cando, Provence and Grosso sometimes survived our winters, but sometimes not. Hidcote and Munstead rarely had death. So...
We were without power for three days over the weekend due to the massive ice storm here. Some are still without power - there were so many trees that came down! Then, it cleared. Today? Sleet and snow with most schools delayed again. Friday is supposed to be over a foot of snow. I'm glad I am self-employed!

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Foxnfirefly
Falls Church, VA
(Zone 7b)

December 21, 2008
1:14 AM

Post #5913446

I bet you really enjoy working from home right now!! I read about the storms in the news... Geez, this winter got an early start, so I hope it finishes early, too!! How did you stay warm without the poweer? Have you got a wood-burning stove or fireplace? We have a real wood-burning firefplace and have been enjoying fires on weekends.

herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

December 22, 2008
1:42 PM

Post #5918080

Fox, after the second day with no power and hearing it might be a week before power was restored, we had to go get a generator because the little kerosene heater we had just wasn't cutting it! It was a 5 hour round trip to find the closest one as all other stores were sold out. Friday and Sunday we had two more storms and have more than 2 feet of snow with serious winds causing white out conditions. Yes, winter came in with an exclamation mark! It's 8 degrees right now, but at least the plants have snow cover. But, yesterday it was a magical landscape once again. The pines were coated and big, fat, lazy flakes were falling. Very pretty from my studio window.
Foxnfirefly
Falls Church, VA
(Zone 7b)

December 31, 2008
4:40 AM

Post #5946465

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, despite the cold and power outs. Boy, you've been having a rough one this year. I am glad you got a generator. What else can go wrong??? Stay warm. What kind of herbs for cold-weather thwarting?? I think anything with cinnamon, giner and cloves and chili peppers would do it!! Do you have a special "toddy?"
arejay59
Litchfield, ME
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
11:48 AM

Post #5946797

Something with sage would keep you warm... Mine seems to still be growing

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herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

December 31, 2008
12:07 PM

Post #5946820

LOL, no toddy, but I do enjoy a good cup of tea! I usually make sage/ginger/lemon/honey this time of year. Not only warming, but it has anti-inflammatory components to it.

arejay, must be your house is giving your sage enough protection to keep it warm. Aren't herbs the bravest plants?
arejay59
Litchfield, ME
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
2:50 PM

Post #5947212

I just love them. I am fairly new to the whole herb use thing but I am learning. I must have 40 new herbs to plant this season. I dont know what in the world I will do with them all but...I am going to plant them anyway.

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