Thursday, December 17, 2009


Well. It is officially winter now. We' can't fool ourselves any longer.
Kale, collards, some raddiccio, and a few other hardy plants are still hanging in there. I wonder if the snow we're supposed to have this weekend will kill those too... We really have been lucky this year - I just harvested a bunch yesterday - in the middle of December!
I struggle with this... the urge to grow things beyond their normal growing time. The urge to start plants early and keep them going under artificial conditions...
We built this hoop-house precisely for those reasons - to start plants early, and keep them growing over winter. Well. We've since learned, that hoop-house design is not the best for greenhouses. It takes a lot of "life support" like heaters, coolers, fans, shade cloths etc. to make that design work for you. Hoop-houses heat up very fast in the sun, but there is nothing to retain the heat, so in the absence of sun it cools down rapidly and the temps stay only a few degrees higher than outside. When your outside temps are around 25 F it is not much help.

I think that all the plants I have tried to over-winter in our hoop-house will die. And I will just have to accept that death is a natural annual thing in the life of a garden. Maybe this is the time to stop worrying about keeping plants alive. Take a deep breath, and start looking forward to spring? After all... The break will be brief in our climate. As early as mid February I will be poking some seeds into the ground...
I'll leave you with a small reminder of last spring.

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