Coastal Gardening: February!

February is definitely a trip! We managed to escape the ice storms that have plagued much of the country, which is awesome. Literally we had one day where some light snow dusted down in town which my husband texted me a photo of (because there was none here on the farm just 9 miles away!) and a couple of icy mornings, but never went into a real freeze, and that made me stop complaining about the rain immediately :)

Anyhow, here's what the world looks like on Beloved Farms in February...

Our strawberry bed has sunk so much over the past 3 years, so we decided to let the birds in to go crazy, and start the refilling process by embracing Hügelkultur and snagging rotting wood down in the forested area of the property to refill it with that and other organic matter. While all of our beds are 4' x 12', we definitely don't produce the amount we would want for freezing and end up ordering them in bulk from my husband's co-op, so while I do love picking a fresh strawberry, we're going to take the year off. The girls as you can see were happy to help with cleanup!

Not the most interesting photo, but for me in February, anything coming up out of the ground that I planted the year before makes me happy! This is part of our garlic bed, with the cloves from two of the four different varieties planted from last year's crop that we had planted thanks to a local farmer in Clatskanie I met at a garden event back in 2019. Pretty awesome! (Note: we only planted the two varieties that came out the biggest and tastiest...).

Ahh, and let the seed starting begin! This weekend I'll be kicking off the process, with our lamps and heating pads. While I have onion sets ordered from Territorial, I've decided to start onion seeds inside as a backup, after learning this week that they originate in Texas (and there's a lot of bad news coming out of that region from farmers). I've never had a ton of success direct sowing onion seeds out here on the coast, so going to hedge my bets this way. Along with that, tomatoes and peppers of course will be kicked off here in the semi-hot house, and I'm committed this year to not flake out on them so that I hopefully won't have to buy starts this spring, ha...

And a great bit of news for us is that after only 2 weeks, we were able to introduce our pup to the chickens and ducks and he has been...awesome! He really could care less with very little curiosity, and - unlike our last dog Lucky - thus far has not acquired a taste for chick/duck "roca" (or deer! woo hoo!). I'm also pretty stoked that the ugly middle section of our garden is slowly but surely growing back. It had been destroyed when we raised our meat chickens in 2019 in here, dragging the chicken tractor back and forth in a limited area. We planted our four dwarf pear trees in the area so they are of course loving it, and now the hope is it will be be completely green by summer. Side note: you'll see the one bed with plastic over it, which I thought would trick our chooks into messing around the other beds but...the exact opposite. Every time it rains they're like, cool! Indoor dining! Oy...

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