Thursday, November 08, 2007

Winter Greens

October 21 - also planted our crop of assorted winter greens in the double raised bed that acts as our coldframe. We have thin black PVC piping curving over the bed to create a frame - the plastic pipe is set on metal stakes which are dug into the ground for sturdiness; then we cover this frame with plastic sheeting to create a grow tunnel that acts as a small greenhouse on the sunny winter days.

This year I planted cilantro, basil, red winter lettuce, buttercrunch lettuce, mizuna, mesclun, tatsoi, spinach, arugula, swiss chard, dill and green onions. The herbs will grow slowly, but the greens are already coming up nicely. We also keep kale in various beds in the winter, carrots are still in the ground (nice and sweeet now after our frosts), and the greenhouse is packed with hot peppers, eggplants, and basil in pots, plus chard, arugula and other greens in the beds. We don't need many leafy greens in the winter, as we are fine with eating seasonally (going more toward root veg in the winter, or greens we have preserved in our freezer), as well as sprouted indoor greens. However, it is heartening to peek into the tunnel or lounge in the greenhouse on cold days, enjoying the fresh green colours and flavours, and dreaming of spring again.

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