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Entering the Hunger Gap

February 10, 2016

I’ll use the term garden loosely, since my gardening right now is concentrated in the greenhouse. We’re right in the hunger gap season when fresh stores from last year are just about running out or bolting, and we’re a ways from harvesting anything new.  Imbolc is the time halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and halfway is an apt description.

Joi Choi

Joi Choi

Some plants are taking the extra light of the longer days as an excuse to bolt or send up their seed stalk. While others are content for a bit.

Tat Soi bolting

Tat Soi bolting

I’m taking this cue as time to start some seeds.  Not much as I can’t really plant much yet anyway.  But some slow growers like celeriac, onions, shallots, flowers and herbs.  I also seeded a flat or two of cool weather greens to take the place of what we still have that is harvestable from late fall plantings.  My heat mat real estate is limited, so once these flats have germinated I can move them and start more flats.


Finding the rhythm of seeding again feels good. Come on Spring.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2016 6:45 pm

    Love your filthy hard working hands! c

  2. February 11, 2016 3:57 am

    With no greenhouse here and a May 31 frost date, it’s still too early to start things. My first starting date is March 1 for beets, kale and onions. But my kale seed was backordered. :((

    I start every 2 weeks so the next one is March 15 for celery and leeks. March 1 for herbs: none. March 15 for herbs: mints, rosemary, sage. Only verbascum for March 1 flowers, and several others for March 15.

    I’ve found here in Western Mass that the later starting times, per John Kempf, has meant more productive plants once planted. Less stress on them = more production.

    • February 11, 2016 5:42 am

      Pam, here we have to deal with soil too wet to work in the spring delaying planting. I try not to start to early because I don’t use lights, so the natural light has to do.

  3. Bev permalink
    February 11, 2016 4:41 am

    You have quite a system there. You are keeping yourself busy, as usual, but we will know you are really busy when your calving begins. How soon will that be?? Bev

  4. quinn permalink
    February 11, 2016 5:25 am

    Noticed just yesterday how my shelves suddenly have gaps and there is actually room in the freezer. Now I’m racing to cook up and freeze the last of the stored winter squash, after finding one soft with mold…ugh. How I hate waste, and when something isn’t good enough for the hens, it really IS wasted.

    • February 11, 2016 5:45 am

      Quinn, I noticed the same thing in the freezer! What is that? A shelf? Winter is over here for all intents and purposes, we may get a snow or a frost but it won’t last at this date.

  5. February 11, 2016 5:36 am

    Do you just buy potting soil for seeds? Everything here is soaked and I don´t have a poly tunnel or a seed starting set up. I did have some luck in the past setting the trays on top of the fridge, but sun is at a premium. We´re going to have to build an ark soon.

  6. JessB permalink
    February 11, 2016 6:39 am

    I’ve been babying starts to get me through the stir craziness of late winter. Cannot wait to be out in the warm sun again!

  7. February 11, 2016 11:20 am

    I don’t have light enough to start plants inside so I delegate that to a friend with a greenhouse and go help.

  8. Karen permalink
    February 11, 2016 1:12 pm

    I’ve begun schlepping starts back and forth from the south facing windows(on sunny days) and the grow lights. So happy to see them pop up! 🙂 It was fun to guess what kind of seeds you had in your hands in the photos. Not certain of the first one.

    • February 11, 2016 2:27 pm

      Ooh I hate that. I seeded these on my bench in the greenhouse that is still uncovered, so I did the schlepping transporting them to the heat mat which is in the chicken brooder/winter greens greenhouse. They will stay though, I’m not that patient 😉

      Sweet Peas! What a range from them down to the oregano!

  9. February 11, 2016 4:57 pm

    Ok, I’m going on a guess what that seed is contest! #1. some sort of pea? #2. marigold? #3 celery? #4. don’t have a clue! The only one I’m actually pretty sure of is #2. 🙂

  10. February 12, 2016 8:26 am

    Wow! I almost won! Do you plant the Queen Anne’s Lace for the pollinators? The dried flower reminds me of a little bird’s nest. Also what kind of oregano do you plant? I grow Greek to use fresh and dry! Love it!

  11. christinalfrutiger permalink
    February 13, 2016 9:25 am

    Beautiful! I didn’t know there was a Chocolate Queen Anne’s Lace! I will have to get some of that seed! 🙂

  12. February 16, 2016 4:25 pm

    Thanks for the reminder – it’s time to bust out the seed stash!

  13. barefootfarmflower permalink
    February 18, 2016 7:47 pm

    Oh- I just recently saw that post from Floret and knew I had to get some of that gorgeous Chocolate Queen Anne’s Lace for myself! Only thing growing in my green house right now are the strawberry starts I planted a month ago. Standing tall and proud…I can almost taste the first berry. Almost.


  1. Garden Notes March 13, 2016 | Throwback at Trapper Creek

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