Jump start 2 - cold frames
Written by Wellspring Admin   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 01:15


I decided to try an experimental no-dig planting method for these cold frames: scatter the seeds on the ground and cover with a mix of compost and sand.





b_200_0_16777215_0___images_stories_blog_winter-greens-2_Video_27_0_00_02-11.jpgThen I installed some curved wires and reemay cloth for a second layer of protection using cloths pins to hold the cloth in place. The temp went down to 5° F in late Feb, and all the plants survived beautifully.

Sunny/warm days required venting of the cold frame and the reemay.



b_200_0_16777215_0___images_stories_blog_winter-greens-2_Video_31_0_00_09-20.jpgThe second cold frame got the same treatment.

By the beginning of April I stopped using the reemay in the second cold-frame because it is made of opaque plastic and heats up less. The glass cold-frame with insulation would over-heat so it needed to be vented daily. Leaving the reemay in place keep the cold loving greens from getting too much sun.




6 weeks later and we have been eating greens 3 meals a day!

A nice surprise was loads of dill that had self seeded from last year. They fill in the space and are providing light "over story" of shade as the days get hotter.





Happy greens, all hand-watered with rain water and snow melt caught in a barrel off the chicken coop.











Jump Start on Spring
Written by Aaron J   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:53

There is no reason we can't be growing our own fresh greens through the winter right here. So on the days when its not too cold and snowy I've been putting together a new cold frame to get a jump start on spring growing.

I have picked out cold-germinating, frost tolerant seeds to plant as the idea is to create a micro-climate rather than a controlled climate. The plants need to tolerate a good amount of frost, because the night temperatures outside will still be going down to 10F or lower.

Species list:

Valerianella locusta - Mache
Spinacia oleracea - Spinach
Petroselinum crispum - Parsley
Brassica rapa nipposinica - Mizuna
Allium ampeloprasum porrum -Leek
Raphanus sativus -Daikon radish
Rumex acetosa - Sorrel
Cichorium intybus - Itialian dandelion

Some of the plants will be harvested as baby greens and others let grow to maturity. The leeks in particular need such a long growing season that the only way to have them here is to extend the season.

(Next to the new cold frame, you can see an old hoop frame that is reaching the end of its life.)

 Building a cold frame  Building a cold frame
 Building a cold frame  Building a cold frame

Ahead: Planting, designing an automatic venting system, and water.

Finding, Growing and Processing Heirloom Apple Varieties in Finland
Written by Mari - Published at Permaculture.org.au   
Friday, 22 October 2010 11:36

Small apple juice press.The story began over ten years ago when Virpi and Hannu, our hosts, started the Northern Savo region apple project by searching for and recording old tasty and productive apple trees that have survived in people’s back yards through the few extreme winters we’ve had over the past century – winters that in some areas killed a large part of the apple stock in Finland. They recorded over a thousand trees and collected samples of the best ones for cultivation. Right after the project there were two hundred new heirloom varieties in cultivation. This, however, was a bit too much to handle so they decided to cut the production to a few dozen of the best varieties.   ...Read more at the PRI website.

also... take a virtual tour of the Tulimaki Nursery

Exploring Extending The Growing Season at CRMPI
Written by Mari   
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 12:09

In cool and cold areas the length of the growing season and the cold temperatures are the main challenge for growing things and supporting oneself. As a part of the search for cold climate permaculture strategies I came across to integrated greenhouse designs that seem to have a lot to offer to us in the cool climates. This is a little report from a trip to Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute's solar greenhouse workshop in Basalt, Colorado. There, during his thirty five years of living on the site, Jerome Osentowski the director at CRMPI, has overcome the challenges of his steep sloping land at 7200 ft above sea level with advanced integrated greenhouse designs as a feature in the overall system. They have stretched his climatic zones all the way to the subtropic - all year round, with no fossil fuels used.

Conventional greenhouse growers spend immense amounts of money and oil or natural gas to heat the greenhouses during winter whereas in Jerome's greenhouses the heating is powered ...Read more.

today I planted. . .
Written by Arlyn   
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 17:39

sung vaguely to the tune of the Christmas Carol -

three crown vetches

two Yarrow plants

one St. John's Wort

one Lavender

and one little Catnip


plus mulched the marshmallow and admired the nursery.


I thought it might be late for planting, but with all the water we've been getting this season and a bit of attentiveness I am told that it should be fine.

Tomorrow will be more lavender, a sage plant and some hyssop.


I've also been washing my face with yarrow tea today and really like how it feels.

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