I can’t say how much we got, but I fell asleep last night to the sound of rain. This morning, the flower beds look dewy instead of parched and crusty.

Tonight’s forecast promises more.  I have a number of seeds out in the main veggie garden, and I would love to see them get another rain soaking.

I don’t know if scientists have studied it, but real rain (as opposed to sprinklers) seems to soak in better and have a positive effect not found otherwise.

I always learn something unexpected when faced with a challenge, like a drought.

For example I did not plant a large section in corn because it uses too much water. Now I have a large space to do something I have always wanted: create a real winter garden.

A winter garden does several things for someone striving for food self-sufficiency:

Allows me to plant on July 1 very cold tolerant plants which will keep growing (cabbage, kale, spinach, chard, beets,  and more) well into fall.

  • Provides space for hardy biennials (those whose life cycle is two years) to go dormant and start regrowth early the next spring (carrots, parsnips, cabbage family); I will harvest some of these in the fall, some in the early spring and then allow the rest to set seed.
  • Provides space for “field holding”, which is simply storing veggies where they are growing (cabbage).
  • Provides space for fall seeding of spring crops; I have had success sowing spinach and other greens in the fall.
  • Provides space for fall sowing garlic, shallots and onions…which again provide early food.
  • Puts some of that fall/winter moisture to good use!

Last year I had some winter things going here and there. I covered them with hay, which worked great to insulate and trap snow (the little we had).

First bouquet of the season and a Hollywood pose for you : )

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