I woke up for my late night, uh well tinkle, walked out on the balcony
(we live in the middle of the woods miles from anyone so dont worry) to,
well ya know. Being an avid amateur astronomer I look up in the sky to
admire Mars off to the west. Gazing at it for a bit I scan to the east
and egads!!! Pleiades was looming up about 20 degrees above the horizon.
This is always when I know its time to start thinking about winter. Its
a bitter sweet sight in that I love fall but am not too fond of the
labors of winter.
On to my reason for posting. How many of you are growing (food) through
the winter in any form? I used to watch a show from ME with a couple
that lived near Helen and Scott Nearing (authors of The Good Life and
others) where they would grow inside cold frames in their greenhouse.
Being so far north they would stick to very cold tolerant lettuces and
spinach etc. They also talked about growing leeks in a 5 gallon bucket
under their kitchen sink as I recall.
We are planning on the cold frames in the greenhouse as here in WV it
doesnt get anywhere near as cold as ME. What else are you all having
success with growing in the winter months (please include location) as
we are trying to get ready for that part of the year.
I have plenty of "leeks" under my kitchen sink :) They grow faster
than I can plug them up.
Summer? What summer? I thought it was still spring. June was almost
entirely in the 50s F with 7 inches of rainfall (our first 90 degree
day was 7 weeks late this year). August is currently at 6 inches of
rainfall and there's still 3 weeks to go.
I just built 4 cold frames this summer, and am finishing up a 5th.
Total space should be around 60 sq feet but it should be enough for a
couple rows of greens, kale and maybe some cabbage or broccoli. The
trick will be finding a place to put the frames where the deer can't
smash through the glass.
It was funny coming into the local hardware store in 95 degree F
weather in July and saying I needed hinges for a cold frame heheh.
I'm always giving the guy a good laugh.
This was probably Eliot Coleman - he wrote a book entirely
on this subject. It's a really valuable book and called
'The Four Season Harvest'. Coleman lives in Maine, near
where the Nearings lived - they were his original
inspiration to start growing things in winter.
Maybe your library could get it for you - or maybe you could
buy it used. I own this book, and I think it's well worth
the price even if you have to buy it new. It's not a
'coffee-table book' - it's all solid information, very
(I'm in northern Pennsylvania.) I'll be growing things
through the winter in an unheated hoophouse (if it ever
stops raining long enough for us to build it). I will also
be using a cold frame (if we get it built in time).
Also, I will grow some plants indoors - in our big bay
window. There, I'll grow Spicy Globe basil, miniature
tomato plants (Red Robin and Yellow Canary), Mini-Bell
Peppers, Tom Thumb Lettuce, cilantro, and my rosemary plant.
The window ledge is 8' x 2', so I can fit a lot on it. And
the bay window is huge and faces southeast, there should be
enough light even in winter. I can supplement the light by
hanging a fluorescent light above the window ledge if
You *must**must* read Coleman's book. :)
I've read both 'Four Season Harvest' and 'The New Organic Gardener'
several times. It's always fun to review different topics, especially
"duckingham palace" :) Around here we have wild turkeys that take
care of slugs, at least most of the time. Ducks would be a bear
magnet, and bear topics have been extremely hot in NJ lately -- animal
rights activists coming from suburbia and crying 'dont kill teddy
ruxbin', threats against police that shoot agressive bears, etc...
I am trying Rosemary yet again, third plant in 3 years. I believe
this year I'll try less watering and put it near the heater for warmer
temperatures. In the past the basil ultimately gets aphids but can
last until december. Those are all very nice plants, the cilantro
seeds have naturalized and actually overwinter, something I never
expected from a warm, dry-climate plant. A welcome weed.
I've got a bay window...literally :) the Bay tree is 5 ft tall right
now. The leaves are great in dill pickles, with a clove of garlic and
a few jalapeno, ancho or anaheim peppers thrown in, mmmm...
On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 19:06:12 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (dstvns)
I'll have to try one of those! That sounds nice.
Yes, I think rosemary needs to be kept on the dry side. I
kept killing them until I found that out, and kept one
I've had the current rosemary plant about five years now,
it's become quite large and seems to be thriving. It goes
outside in summer and spends the winters in the house.
Yes it is Elliot, we read a lot of refferences to him in Mother Earth
News. I really missed their show going off the air. It was a fantastic
show compared to things like Gardening by the yard, and The New Victory
Garden on PBS. Victory used to be a "set aside time for" but now its
utter crap since Swain left. It must kill him to see such a great show
go so downhill I would think.
Anyway, we can scavenge up the book. We dont have the facility to grow
anything in our small cabin it will all have to be in the greenhouse and
or cold frames. Thanks for the input...
Pat Meadows wrote:
The Plieades has/have returned? That is wonderful news. You see,
there is another side to this winter thing. Around here, (central
Texas) it means the start of our second growing season after a summer
of broiled plants and brick-like soil. So preparations are less
drastic, but none the less eager. Round about Thanksgiving, we will
be looking to protect the more delicate plants, but cole crops will
thrive until January (and often straight through if the winter is not
Time to roll back the mulch, cultivate the beds and get seedlings
started for planting in mid September.
Thanks for the reminder that this too shall pass.
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