Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Winter Green Onions!

A row of green onions we left to winter over outside in a small unheated glass box.

We are right now (Peggy & I both) reading 'Four Season Harvest' by Eliot Porter who lives in Maine and harvests some 35 varieties of fresh greens and other edible delights throughout the winter.

The Porters plant their winter food crop in the fall in unheated cold frames and greenhouses to have a constant supply of fresh veggies for the table.

We've been experimenting with cold tolerant vegetables for the past few years by planting some in the fall and have been harvesting spinach & chard that grew up through the following season's spring snow.

In fall of 2003 we planted spinach, lettuce, chard, and arugula under 4 foot long quonset hut shaped fiberglass panels and were harvesting greens mid-winter.

Foolishly, we neglected to do this in the fall of 2004 because we were caught up in other projects, and an early winter snuck up on us, but that won't happen this year.

With information gleaned from Eliot Porter's experiences, and with our previous successes at harvesting greens in the winter (and the obvious reality of the above onions surviving our long cold 2004/2005 winter) I now realize that there are many cold-loving vegetables we can plant here in the fall and harvest all winter if we just provide them some basic shelter from the wind & snow.

Eliot gardens in Maine on the 44th parallel, and we are at the 34th parallel which means our winter days are longer and the variety of things we can have in our winter garden (even at 6,750') should be at least comparable to his.

I can hardly wait till fall to further our experiments. Posted by Hello

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