How snow affects us here at KFF

After a few dustings in November and early in December, winter hit with a vengeance last week. The snow started late Wednesday evening and continued into Thursday, ending by mid- afternoon. At the farm we spent most of Wednesday getting ready for the snow and frigid temperatures expected this week.

First order of business was to clean up areas on the farm that would need plowed or driven. It’s funny how when the banks melt in the spring and you go, “Oh, thats where that went” or “Whoops, should have cleaned that up in the fall.” In an effort to maintain the chaos when the world gets coverd in white, we place stakes along any important areas that we don’t want to hit with the plow.

We also needed to get some hoop houses recovered. The week before, we had a vicious wind which came through from the Southeast. (Our normal wind hits from the North, and our houses are stabilized against that direction.) The wind was so rough, it ripped out ground anchors. Jonathan and I ended up cutting ropes and letting the plastic fall. Later, Sam and I took 2 hours and put the plastic back up. One hoop house was much harder to fix than the other because it uses 2 sheets of plastic – therefore, a much more complicated assembly.

The onion tunnels also needed protecting. We over-winter onions for May and June sales of big, green-topped onions. They start in the greenhouse in trays in August, are transplanted in October, and then covered before the ground freezes. We usually cover them with plastic, but this year we felt we could get away with heavy rowcovers.. Sam and I applied it, pulled it taunt, and added plenty of sandbags to hold it down.

Here’s a picture of putting up the hoops a month or so ago…

Here’s the ends of the tunnels – the rowcover wasn’t long enough so we used two covers.

Finished Product…and covered with snow below.

We also covered the row of Surfer and Megaton leeks we left out in the field to overwinter – just a simple, double layer of P-30 cover to break the wind.

The last thing we did to get ready for the storm was to put our flameweeder into the haygrove. We had this crazy idea that instead of taking the plastic off like we are supposed to, we could throw the 4.25 million BTU heater inside the tunnel and melt the snow off. We’ll keep you up to date with how it’s working…

And we’re still eating good out of the greenhouses- here’s a salad I made last night with stored chinese cabbage, mesclun from the high-tunnels, and ham from our piggies.