Wait? Gardening in the winter? Yes! And believe me when I tell you it is amazing.
With protection, vegetables planted the previous fall grow until early December, rest and then grow again at the end of January. Here is some of our delicious produce from February 2017
After experimenting with a walk-in unheated hoophouse last winter, this fall I built 2 larger unheated greenhouses–14×20 feet (10 feet tall). Because if you are going to go to all the effort to build one, why not build 2? And they are wonderful. Last week, in a yoga class, we were asked to think of a happy place. I put myself in the new greenhouse. In winter.
Don’t believe me? Okay, imagine this: It is January, 20F outside, the sun is shining, your feet make crunching sounds on the hard packed ice and snow as you walk down the path to the garden. Ice still covers most branches from the storm two weeks ago because there has not been a day above freezing since. You brush aside some snow and ice from the bottom of the greenhouse door and enter the space. Remember it is 20F outside, windy, cold. But inside? A balmy 40 degrees with calm, humid, earthy-smelling air and diffuse, almost ethereal light. On a 30 degree day, it is in the 50’s.
You take a deep breath and relax. Take off your hat, your mittens, lift the cloth to inspect the dormant spinach, kale, lettuce, carrots, sage, rosemary, and thyme. The plants aren’t growing right now, but they are alive, and they are green. Green! The best part? It is Hope. A warm reminder that even during the coldest, darkest time of the year there is life, sleeping, just resting for a few more weeks before resuming growing, stretching towards the sun. And I cannot wait.
View inside the house, December, 2017
Next up: Building a large greenhouse from scratch: amazing!