Sunday, November 28, 2010
Trying my hand at four season gardening
We've been in our house here in Colorado since the 6th of August. Having spent the entire summer traveling there was no time for gardening. Since graduating college I've grown something every summer, even if only in pots on my front porch. Well in late August I decided to just try and plant a few things. It was actually quite a production as I had to clear the space to plant. But we ended up with a tiny bed in the corner of our fenced patio. I'd read bits and pieces of Eliot Coleman's book 'Four Season Harvest' and so I knew I needed to get stuff going so it would be established by the time the days got shorter. I've never planted in this part of the country so it's all been an experiment. I know, I know I could have just called the local extension service but that would take all the fun out of it. Besides it was a sunny, wonderful day, that day in August and throwing caution to the wind seemed like a fine thing to do. The girls and I planted peas, green onions, carrots, chard, kale, spinach and greens. We planted a small number of each just to see how things would grow. Well the peas tried their best but just didn't make it to flowering before the cold weather set it. Everything else was growing S-L-O-W-L-Y! I covered the whole thing around early to mid October with 6 mil plastic and crossed my fingers. I was a bit perplexed by my kale. I'd never seen kale look like that and the leaves were a little prickly. But it looked eatable... and it tasted eatable so I just watched and waited. I checked a few days ago and realized they were in fact radishes. I've never liked radishes. Today we had our first harvest from that little garden (wish I had photos). Guess what it was?! Yep radishes. They needed thinning and so I took it upon myself to suck it up and eat 'em. Turns out those small round globes of bright red on a cold, snowy November evening were quite a gift. We also had a handful of spinach that was beyond delicious. Even the four year old who abhors anything green right now devoured a few leaves. The nights are getting colder so I covered the bed with a layer of leaves this afternoon. We'll see how long this little experiment lasts. It's been quite a bit of fun thus far.