Tuesday, September 13, 2011

eat local, wintertime

It seems impossible to eat local in the winter. It gets so cold that it is difficult to imagine anything growing. When we lived in Towson on a small lot, Homer built a cold frame from old windows on the south side of the brick house, and we were able to harvest greens all winter.

Our huge hoophouse serves as our winter growing spot. It hard to comprehend that a thin layer of plastic could provide enough protection to grow anything and yet it works beautifully. Last winter we pulled fresh potatoes, pea shoots, many kinds of lettuce, Chinese cabbage and other greens. Just the blocking of the wind makes a huge difference for the plants, and the layer of plastic provides enough protection to move us south by one USDA growing zone. When we add floating row covers it lowers our USDA zone by another level.

Many things have been planted for our wintertime eating. some are farther along than others, and will help us close out the CSA season. Others will be what we get to eat. I could be wrong, but it seems like the dark leafy greens make getting through winter easier..eating those cooked in a cast iron skillet with local garlic, butter, and home made hots just feels like the right thing to do! Here are some of what is sprouting now. Of course, a few beds were washed away in the ridiculous amount of rain dumped on the area last week and will need reshaped and replanted. But here is what we have now:

potatoes, peas, carrot, daikon, buttercrunch lettuce, peppers.
and the sun coming up, producing fog on these fall mornings.

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