I am a bit amazed that my winter forecast this year has worked out so well, especially since it conflicted with just about every other winter forecast out there! In addition to implying the first half of winter would be a bit warmer than normal, I said I felt that the last two weeks of January would be quite cold. While the next week will indeed be quite cold, it now looks like we will have a January thaw during the last week of winter. In other words the mild winter will continue–even warmer than I wrote about back in November! Most people liked the snow we received late last week. It sure did make things real, real purty! The smiles I saw were a bit unusual since most winters people usually seemed to get tired of the snow and cold around mid January. The only bummer here is for those who like to ice fish and run their snowmobiles on the lakes. While it’s going to get cold, the coming thaw won’t let the lake ice get safe enough until at least mid-February at the earliest. When you realize that the strong March sun starts to erode the ice from bottom up, it looks like a very short ice fishing season this year even if March temperatures are colder than normal–no forecast here since I have seen years similar to this when the ice has gone out in mid-March!. However, while I am forecasting a short ice fishing season–it just might be quite an active season while it lasts!
This year we are going to try and grow late winter lettuce for our family. We already have a 11″x22″ plastic flat with 5 different varieties of lettuce coming up and when they get big enough we plan on transplanting them to a small area in one of our unheated greenhouses. We will then put on a low tunnel covered with plastic–inside the larger greenhouse. Low power electric heating cables will then be hooked up to a freeze control which turns on at 35F. We will see what happens. Wish us luck. The primary reason I’m doing this is for my wife Annemarie since she really loves our home-grown lettuce. I will be taking photos of it all so if things work out I can write an article on it. I will keep you’all informed here.