The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Managing the outdoor larder

Winter garden

Our second winter focussing on leafy greens and quick hoops, I still feel a bit like I'm making it up as I go along.  We covered one long row (about four beds) of lettuce and two long rows of kale with quick hoops in the middle of November, and ever since I've been vacillating about the Quick hoopsfourth quick hoop.  Should I put the frost protection over the tatsoi and tokyo bekana row?  Over a row of kale?  Over the mustard?

In the end, I returned the final quick hoop to the barn to wait for spring.  My experience last year suggested that tokyo bekana, mustard, and tatsoi aren't hardy enough to survive late into the winter even under quick hoops, so we might as well eat them up now while they're sweet and delicious.  Meanwhile, the last row of kale got a bit overmature due to the warmth of early fall, and I don't think it would overwinter well either, so those greens also got earmarked for early winter dinners.


Focussing our harvesting attention onto the uncovered beds allowed the plants in the covered beds to continue growing until the Persephone Days hit.  Now, they're just waiting to feed us leafy greens in late December through January, after the uncovered beds give out.

All of this leafy greens geekery (and the refrigerator root cellar) means we've barely thawed any vegetables out of the freezer so far this winter.  It's such a delightful change to be eating fresh vegetables deep into the cold months!

Our automatic chicken waterer makes it easy to leave town without worrying about your flock.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We are eatting fresh salad out of our first attempt at a row cover garden. You 2have inspired me to expand on my gardening efforts.

Thank you so much for all the valuable information and pictures.

Comment by mona Fri Nov 30 09:18:58 2012

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