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

The cold frame comes through again

Lettuce seedlings

In an un-Anna-like fit of passion, I sprinkled some lettuce seeds into gaps within our cold frame sometime in (maybe?) early January. The planting wasn't on my list and I didn't mark it on my spreadsheet. But the weather was warm enough that I had a feeling the seedlings would sprout.

Butternut soupFast forward ahead to Friday. The cold frame had been under a thick coat of snow for the last week plus, first due to the actual snowfall, then to thick mounds of snow that slid down and plopped off the nearby roof throughout the last three days.

Finally, the glass was clear, and I wanted to pick a few baby kale leaves to add to a butternut-squash soup.
But, oh, wait --- what is that? Baby lettuce seedlings! Hope for spring.

Plus, excellent arugula and kale for the soup too. Mark noted that the cold frame was worth it just for the homegrown salad harvested from the protected zone in early January, but I'm going to add these lettuce seedlings and soup seasoning to the gratitude list too. One cold frame tucked up against the sunniest side of the house a thin wall distant from the wood stove is definitely a good move.

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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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Hi Anna and Mark,

Your soup looks yummy.

I make a big pot of just the veggies. Freeze most of it in 2 cup deli containers.

When I thaw it [warm water on the bottom and it just drops into the pan], I add some fresh veggies and other stuff.

Today's other stuff was chicken and deer liver.

That together with some soaked flour freshly ground whole wheat toast with sour kraut makes a yummy end of day meal for me :).

Anna, did you read the soaked flour letter to the editor in the Winter 2012 issue of Wise Traditions? Pretty thought provoking. I have been soaking my flour since then. The Wise Traditions journal is on line at

warm regards, John

Comment by John Sat Jan 30 16:19:18 2016

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