Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 64

SINGING IN THE GARDEN

Lucy Van Pelt: I never eat December
snow[flakes]. I always wait 'til January.
Linus Van Pelt: They sure look ripe to me.
-Charles Schultz

A Generous Serving of Snow
Text and art by GINNY NEIL

I

f the snow lies in deep drifts across
my pastures, then my chicken
house and wood pile are much
more difficult to reach. While I
don't enjoy shoveling my way
out to them, I am still happy
when it snows. In addition to adding much-needed moisture to dry soil,
it adds nutrients. In fact, my frugal-farmer
husband calls snow "poor man's fertilizer."
The first time I heard him say it, I looked it up.
Turns out he knew what he was talking about.
As snow falls, it picks up nitrogen and trace nutrients from the air and carries them to the ground. Nitrogen normally hangs around as a gas, which plants can't

64

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

use. But, exposure to microbes in the
soil helps fix it into a form that feeds
plants. While rain carries the same
amount of nitrogen, it often runs off.
Melting snow seeps in slowly carrying all the good stuff with it.
Scientific articles point out that
hand-applied fertilizers (organic or
not) are way more effective at nourishing
plants. After all, 10 inches of snow might
yield only an inch of water, and it's the water
that carries the nitrogen into the soil. But snow doesn't
segregate itself to farms, flower beds and lawns. It's an
equal opportunity fertilizer, feeding forests and fields
alike.


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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 12
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 37
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 43
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 50
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 58
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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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