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Hello Waldo! Winter has truly arrived now. I’m sure some of you are saying “finally!” We are big cross-country skiers and snowshoers here in our house, but now that the snow is here I remember how hard it is to get out and do these things with a little kid at home.

I hope that those of you without kids, or retired, are making the most of this new snow. I look forward to when Monty is big enough to join us. He did get his first pair of snowshoes for Christmas, so we will give them a try this weekend.

Last week we had one morning that was 6 degrees. The next morning it was 47 degrees. We’ve gone from no snow to measurable snow in the forecast every few days. Everyone who plows should now get to make up for a slow season.

If you have a garden or an orchard, this is a good time of year to assess your pest pressure. For years we did not have deer coming into the yard, but now they are relentless. We took steps to  deter them last year (using row cover on brassicas was something we will definitely do again), and after watching their winter activity will do more next year.

I ran out of row cover so on some of my smaller perennials I have piled up downed branches so they can’t get to the plant. So far it has worked. This year Sam put up chicken wire around all of our young fruit tree crowns, and tree guards around the base of the trunks. It’s never-ending!

We also have a resident orphan porcupine who feasted on our strawberries all fall. We covered them in row cover when we did the lavender last month, but now it has moved up near the house. We are going to trap it and send it somewhere else long before any seeds or transplants go in the ground this spring.

I hope your garden critters are manageable!

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