Ever Greens

By , December 10, 2015

Wednesday morning, Michelle bundled up against the December rain, put on a headlamp, and headed outside. A short time later, she returned with her gathering apron full of lush greens.

Fresh from the greenhouse, December 9th (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Fresh from the greenhouse, December 9th (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

She intended to visit the few remaining kale plants in the garden, and she picked a few of those leaves, but then she went to the greenhouse, where she harvested lush chard leaves, and broccoli greens. She quickly turned these into her current favorite breakfast wrap, with an egg, cheese, spices, and, most importantly, braised fresh garden greens.

We’ve had considerable success this year pushing our growing season into winter, even to within two weeks of the winter solstice and beyond. Almost every winter, a few hardy volunteers linger through November, sometimes into December, but this year, they’re thriving.

We spend a lot of time scheming and fantasizing about various ways to add a heat sink or more to the greenhouse to extend our growing season. We haven’t implemented anything yet. Yesterday’s harvest comes from the greenhouse’s basic features and frost blanket covering the plants to protect them from our frequent freezes.

Right now, we get just over 6 hours of daylight. Most of that occurs in a couple short hours at most each morning, before the low winter sun dips behind the ridge above our east facing garden. Even so, we continue to eat greens!

Generally, we grow sprouts in the cabin at this time of year. We start them around Thanksgiving to use instead of lettuce in our turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. So far, we’ve had no need to grow sprouts, because we can still use garden fresh greens instead.

2 Responses to “Ever Greens”

  1. John and Mary Helfrich says:

    Well DONE!!! We too are having a great December harvest of the final swiss chard, kale, scallions, and carrots. We are almost done but truly enjoy these. In addition, we have our potatoes and butternut squash that we keep in our garage. These should last us well into January.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    John and Mary, we’re SO jealous of your butternut squash!

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