Posted by Debbie @ 10:23 AM EDT
Belmont, New York)
Heirloom tomato plants and sustainably-grown organic produce[ Member listing ]
27 May · Thu 2010
We have been diligently experimenting with methods of extending the summer harvest into the late autumn months. When the weather cooperates, staying warm into late October and even into November, it's easy to keep growing and harvesting the delicious lettuces and greens you count on us to grow for you. However, when winter threatens early, as it usually does by the end of October, a grower needs to find a way to protect what is still in good condition for harvest until the customers are ready to buy it, so it can be enjoyed at its peak of flavor and nutrition. Cold temperatures are not the only culprits: winter winds, with their drying effect, can be just as damaging to fall crops as low temps are. Therefore, we've been trying a couple of methods that have worked for other growers to make sure we have top quality produce available for as long as possible during the year. Our efforts took a gigantic leap forward with the construction of a small A-Frame unheated greenhouse last fall. After studying the experts, including Elliot Coleman at Four Seasons Farm in Maine, we determined that we could put a structure right in the main garden in the lower part of the farm as long as it was very sturdy and windproof. This meant, no PVC piping or hoops! Rather than take a chance with wind problems, my husband designed something that will definitely stay put even in 60 mph winds (which are not as rare as we would like in our winters). It was completed just before Thanksgiving, so there was just time enough for me to start some planting bed preparation before the outside temps fell too far.