Gardening Year Round

Last spring I was ridiculously excited to pull the hay away from the still cold ground and discover parsnips, still alive and sweetened by their winter in the ground.  Then I read an article in the MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Growers) newspaper on Elliot Coleman's technique.  He lives in Maine and is a big proponent of four season gardening.  He insists that even in Maine, even in the dead of winter, it's possible to over winter and/or grow greens and vegetables by covering them with two layers of plastic.  Apparently, from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15 we are in a holding pattern where nothing increases in size due to lower light levels, but after February 15th, protected little green life will begin to grow again.

I started by cutting 3/4 inch black plastic water pipe into 8 inch lengths.  I then fastened them to the sides of my raised beds or pushed them directly into the ground.  Lastly, I covered them with two layers of clear plastic and used rocks and bricks to weight down the edges.  I covered the edges with hay to insulate a little more.

Among the list of what I've planted is cilantro, spinach, mesclun mix, a winter stir-fry mix, parsley, broccoli, broccoli raab, radicchio, carrots, beets, peas, chard and Brussels sprouts planted and/or growing. 

I am ridiculously excited, again, at the the idea of traipsing out to the garden in March and cutting greens for dinner . 

Can't stop gardening!

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