Saturday, February 6, 2016

Four-season vegetable gardening

I've been a huge fan of Elliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch's approach in their Four-Season Farm and in their books, too -- especially Coleman's Four-Season Harvest and the Winter Harvest Handbook.  Damrosch's Garden Primer has been a favorite, for years, as well.

It struck me as a "no-brainer"-- uh, they live in Maine and are growing and harvesting vegetables in their unheated hoop-houses through the winter, so why not in the Carolinas?

At the time I discovered Coleman's Winter Harvest book, I was living in the Piedmont of South Carolina, and we had an empty hoop-house at the botanical garden where I worked then.  I'd already successfully overwintered lots of winter crops at home in my own vegetable gardens, with small protective hoops, etc.  Hmm, a blog search on my post on "winter vegetables" came up with a lot.

But a search on hoop-houses came up with this interesting post,  from 6 years ago.  I was looking forward to fresh vegetables.

But the real focus of my thoughts this evening is how delighted I was to come across a new local farm that is growing four-seasons, under hoops, using Coleman's approach.

a primitive version of covering winter veggies
Second Spring Farm had the most beautiful turnips, beets, and greens in the Asheville City Market today.  I saw them, and thought, hey, they're growing these in unheated hoops, and sure enough, that was the case.

I just wish I needed to buy more veggies! 

We have enough, normally from what I grow myself in our raised beds, and freeze, not to need to sign up for a CSA.  We'd be inundated with vegetables.

But, these folks are doing it right.

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