Winter Garden

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This is broccoli from last year’s garden.  Although the garden is officially “asleep” right now, we still have turnips, rutabagas and even some greens growing under the cold frames and waiting to be harvested.

Here is a photo of the cold frames being installed over the broccoli this past fall:

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And here are the completed cold frames:

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For those of you who may be interested in building your own: these cold frames were built with ¾ inch PVC pipe, which was secured to landscaping ties with ¾ inch conduit hangers and then covered with 4 mil. plastic sheeting. The cold frames act like a greenhouse for the plants, raising the temperature the plants will be subjected to, trapping moisture, and stopping the frost from hitting the plants.

This is our first year using cold frames, and although the plants grow at a glacial pace, it has been very rewarding so far.  We’re getting, on average, one small harvest out of the garden a week–compared with the summer, when we can barely keep up.  Still, it has been nice to have the occasional salad, turnip or carrot now and then, while we wait for the days to get longer and for spring to come.