Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow Drifts and Green Houses

In the midst of winter, one can't help but start dreaming of rich, brown soil, the smell of sweet prairie hay, and the feeling of sunshine on bare skin.  Alas, right now dreaming is about as close to summer as I'm gonna get for awhile.  I wish I had built a cold frame, so that I could have something growing in the garden.

Winter makes a good prepping time.  I can practice kitchen skills like sourdough or making cheese.  Last weekend I canned 15 pints of beans.  We also received our heirloom seed catalogs.  Let the wheels begin to turn.

I have made decision that we need a permanent green house.  Whether or not Nathan agrees that we do is still up in the air.  After watching where the drifts form and how the sun shines, I think I even found the perfect spot.

Future greenhouse location is where the dumpster is now.
It won't be too big, mainly for cool weather crops and starts.  Hopefully we (I say we because it sound like I will be helping when in reality I am more of the supervising type) can construct it towards the end of March so I can get a head start on the summer garden. My ultimate goal is to have enough excess to sell at the farmers market.

Plants that will be in the vegetable garden (or at least attempted) this year:

Carrots - Danvers
Tomatoes - Amish Paste, Crnkovic Yugoslavian
Broccoli - Calabrese
Cucumbers - Russian Pickling
Green Beans - Contender, Kentucky Pole
Cooking Beans - Hutterite Soup
Lettuce - Tom Thumb, Winter Density
Potatoes - Yukon Gold
Sweet Peppers - Emerald Giant, King of the North
Hot Peppers - Jalapeno Travelers Strain
Kale - Red Russian
Arugula - Roquette
Pumpkin - Undecided
garlic - undecided
celery - undecided
zucchini - undecided

The area below is to be my herb garden.  I built it up and prepped it last fall.  Of course I forgot to test the soil, so I'm just praying that I added the necessary minerals.  Herbs are one thing that I have never had luck with.  The soil could be perfect and I can still manage to mess something up.

We will also be growing sunflowers by the chicken coop for the chickens.  Depending on what we can afford, it would be nice to plant a small plot of forage like Brassica or chicory/clover mix.  From what I read, these forages are good for finishing stock over the summer, provide quality winter feed and would do well in our area.  I could go on and on about plans for the pastures but I'll save that for another post.

 For now I sit here, planing my garden and dreaming of warmer days, while the snow drifts outside.


  1. You are definitely more prepared than I am. I plan to grow sunflowers as well. How do you test soil?

  2. I'm dreaming of spring here too! I would love to have a greenhouse. I hope to be able to reuse our old windows for that project. First we need to start remodeling the house though! :)

  3. I had to chuckle a bit. Your garden planning looks just like mine, right down to the black binder. My husband just doesn't understand why I like to look through all those catalogs for hours and hours. Good luck with the herbs. Last year was the first time I had luck with them.

  4. A greenhouse is on my someday list. Hopefully before next winter but we (yes there's that "we") need to build a barn also. Always so much to do! I've ordered my 1st seeds and will start some in the house although there isn't much room. I found basil and dill not too hard to grow. I just planted it at the end of my tomatoes. Sage did ok but could have been better. Which herbs will you grow? I'd love to grow sunflowers.


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