This year is shaping up to be the 2nd warmestyear on record in the US and the USDA has remapped its hardiness zones (http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/). There are two sides to thiscoin. It means you may be able toconsider growing things you couldn’t previously grow and also that you mightnot be able to grow some of the things that once did really well in yourarea.
This mild weather leaves me feeling conflicted. I really enjoy skiing and playing inthe snow with my kids. The quietdays with snow falling are enchanting and I miss those. Yet I can’t help but get excited aboutgardening and spring! The hoop houses that we have been using for 3 years now stay warm and toasty and the lettuce, kale and spinach have stayed on so far. I actually just replanted them the other day. This is one aspect of our lives that will be sorely missed while we are on the road. We have considered window farming and things that can be grown in pots but with such limited space and without a piece of earth it will just will not be the same.
And Ihave been so motivated to get outside with my kids. The other day my little guy and I hiked for an hour and ahalf in state forest near us, then he played at the local arboretum with hissister for 2 more hours after school. I try to get them out no matter the weather but I’ll be honest, it iseasier when it is warmer!
One project that I have gradually worked into over the pastcouple of years is building a small trail for the kids in an overgrown lotadjacent to ours. Every year I cansee that there are berries growing there and then the sumac and greenbrier growup so much that I can’t see or get to them. I have one part of it walk-able now and would also like toget a NWF Backyard Habitat designation for it. If I can keep at it then it won’t get too overgrownand should still be usable this summer!
So while I am excited about the mild weather, I also knowthat the warming trends are indeed changing the way winter looks.