Early January Update

winter

Well, traveling for two weeks has taken its toll on the garden. It must’ve frozen outside a few times while I was away, because only the lettuce survived. I’ll have to replant in the next few weeks, but in the meantime it’s sad to see my friends had suffered because of my negligence. But I guess the same would’ve happened in the wild, so I can’t be too down about it. Maybe one year I’ll build a greenhouse.

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Mid-November Update

lettuce

The weather finally turned, and chilly mornings and evenings mean happy lettuce. The one pictured above was planted as a seedling; others planted from seed are peeking out and stretching now that the air is crisp. For my part, it’s nice not to have to water twice a day (or more), and having my morning coffee outside is now a viable option. I’m still putting the spent grounds in the garden (you can see the darker patches near the plant above), and hopefully after a winter of decomposing leaves and coffee, the soil will be softer and more diverse for next Spring.

Happy Solstice

From Winter Solstice: The Sun Pauses:

Because the Earth’s axis points to Polaris no matter where Earth happens to be in its orbit, the sun appears to move over the year from 23.5 degrees north of the celestial equator on June 21 to 23.5 degrees south of the celestial equator on Dec. 21.

The sun crosses the equator travelling northward around March 21 and going southward on Sept. 21, in celestial events known as “equinoxes” (from the Latin for “equal night,” as day and night are of roughly equivalent length on these dates.) The exact dates vary a little bit from year to year because of leap years.

On Dec. 21, the sun stops moving southward, pauses, and then starts moving northward. This pause is called the “solstice,” from the Latin words “sol” for “sun” and “sisto” for “stop.” Similarly, on June 21 the sun stops moving northward and starts moving southward.

These four dates have been extremely important to humanity since we first started to grow crops 10,000 years ago. Our ancestors have built amazing structures over the millennia to track these important landmarks.