This was the porch one week ago - happy houseguests eating lunch in the warm sunshine. Please note the tomatoes from the garden.
Here is the same scene today. Winter has crept into the valleys and up our hill. We had a hard frost last night - gone are the peppers, the Swiss chard, the herbs and the last flowers which were hanging on until this morning. The water in the horse tub was frozen and the garden hose spit out little rods of ice when I turned on the water.
Luckily I planted a winter vegetable garden yesterday before the freeze. We learned about this method at the Unity Fair this fall. Elliot Coleman made a hoop greenhouse right in the garden with lectrical conduit bent into a half circle and stuck into the ground. The resulting hoop tunnel is covered with a special cloth to keep warmth inside the tunnel. When the temperature really drops , a plastic covering is added and the whole thing supposedly stays warm enough to grow greens in Maine. I planted peas, both shelling and snow peas, lettuce, spinach and onions. I am so curious whether this will work.