It’s rather pleasant although troubling that we had nearly a week frost-free in the end of January. I turned over a couple of garden beds and spent some time weeding. These were weeds that grew since late fall. It felt good to do some hard labor since I’ve been lazy for a few weeks. I swear, my memory flows out the end of a pen. If I write something down and lose the paper it is lost forever. I found my notes from the Washington trip just yesterday. I had jotted down Heavenly Bamboo. I noticed it everywhere. People had it as hedges around their tiny yards.

My friend Kitty Burke has several specimens on her property. It is lovely with its lance-shaped leaves and bright red berries. Kitty’s has red leaves in the fall. It is called a semi-evergreen. The Washington ones still had green leaves.

The proper name is nandina domestica. It is well worth the effort. It only gets to about six feet tall so is great for small areas.

I’m so pleased with my hoophouse. I’ve been picking nearly every day. I have kale, turnips, lettuce, parsley and spigarello. They are all growing now that the light has changed. Recently, on one of the 50-degree days, I was down to a tank top and was weeding tons of chickweed. I made a wonderful salad with the aforementioned greens. I had purchased a container of brussels sprouts from Ghost Island Farm. They were tiny and it took forever to prepare them — no bigger than peas when I was finished. I did not mind, however, as I sat down and listened to Cape Classical 107.5 while doing it. I sauteed them with an olive oil and a balsamic glaze and tossed them into the salad still warm.

Ghost Island is open on Saturdays. They have greenhouse-grown greens, carrots and peashoots. I reluctantly bought carrots. They were the multi-colored ones, and I, being a slave to tradition, had contempt prior to investigation. I hate to admit when I’m wrong but, wow, they were delicious.

Also, since the light changed I am getting a decent amount of eggs. I was only getting about three a week in December from 15 chickens. Believe me, I was questioning the price of grain. No one ever said farming was a money saving venture. I figured each of those December eggs was worth $10.

I started several seed packets of perennial flowers on the propagating mats — monarda, hollyhocks, feverfew, dianthus and blackberry lilies. I should be able to get a few blooms this year and many more in the years to come.

All the onions and leeks are up and running. They should be ready to transplant in a few weeks.

I spent the snowy Tuesday afternoon going through seed catalogues and phoning in orders. I stick to the same old thing every year. Just a creature of habit, I tend towards the non-hybrid, open-pollinated crops. You never know when you might need to save all your own seed.

I wrote rather long letters this week, by hand, to Hillary, thanking her for everything, and to both Lindsey Graham and John McCain. I thanked them for both their military service and years in public service. I did tell them (nicely) that I pretty much disagreed with all of their policies but that I thought that they were decent men who loved our country. Most important I complimented them on their sanity and pleaded for them to perhaps address the mental health (or the lack thereof) of the current executive branch of government.

My friend, Marie, says we should start counting the number of times DJT says very, very. One very isn’t enough for him? Perhaps a drinking game?