Friday, November 16, 2012

The Winter Garden

Well, the summer plants and vines are all on the compost heap, the extra produce is stored or preserved, and our garden has shrunk to the size of the sunroom, the cold frame, and the sunny windows.  It is time for winter gardening.

Winter is such a sad time in the garden, but it is also my chance to get just a bit more produce out of my gardening efforts and add more fresh vegetables to our diets.  Plus, having something living and growing helps make it easier for me to get through the long winter.

So what do we have growing on the microfarm as Thanksgiving approaches?

Root crops:  As you can see in the photo, I have a pot of garlic merrily growing in the sunroom.  I don't need more garlic; in fact, I harvest more garlic each year than we will ever eat.  But I'm curious to see how big these might get in a pot of really great soil in sunroom.

Also, the container potatoes finally sprouted and are growing in a large pot in the sunroom.  I've already gotten to put an extra layer of soil around their stems and need to do so again this weekend.  My hope and plan is to get one container going, then start another container with any sprouted potatoes from the bin, etc., etc., so I always have a rotating crop of potatoes.

Greens:  My greens are really failing this year.  Last year, I was able to grow a crop of lettuces all winter long in the sunroom; this year, both large containers of greens I brought inside from outside have withered and died.  I will plant again.

Outdoor crops:  We have a cold frame filled with little leeks that are doing fine.  There are also some carrots out there that will probably overwinter so I can harvest in spring.

Herbs:  We have two large sage bushes that we can harvest from most of the winter if our supply of dried sage is used up.  There is also a thyme plant that I cut back in the fall but which appears to be making it through the initial cold weather just fine.  On the feverfew front, I have a plant that is pretty happy on the windowsill, just waiting to help me avoid headaches.

What are you growing this winter?
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