Winter Sprout Slaw Recipe

Winter is not usually a favored time of year for those of us who fancy eating fresh food from a home garden. Some of us manage to grow a few things indoors while others make it through the winter on garden goodies stored up from fall harvests. Veggies like hard squashes, carrots, onions and potatoes store well enough to make the long trek from September harvests to February meals. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but I really dislike buying veggies […]

7 Reasons to Appreciate Winter

I’m a Michigan girl, which means not only am I used to four seasons but dramatic, often vacillating transitions between those seasons. In the spring and fall it is not uncommon to have sunny, 80-degree weather and windy, perhaps rainy 40-degree weather shortly after (sometimes in the same day). Until recently, I always remember winter being abysmally cold and sustained with ample snow. The last few winters in Michigan have been very mild, even if they were sprinkled by some […]

Holiday Henhouse

This is our first winter with chickens. As I was putting up the Christmas decorations this year I thought it would be fun to spread some yuletide cheer to the chicken coop. It’s nothing extravagant, but it makes me feel extra Christmas-y every morning when it’s time to feed the hens and gather the eggs. The coop looks especially neat in the early hours of the morning when our red heat light is still on. (The lamp is currently on […]

Winter Gardening Confessions (An Update)

Seems like anytime I’m making small talk these days I’m asked “How’s your garden?” (No complaints here; I’m happy to share!) So, let me just tell you how the garden is. It’s good. But not as expected. I just paid the garden a visit yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks. (A couple of weeks?? Hmm… I feel like this post is part confession…) Here’s what I found.   {For more details on the methods we’re using […]

Update: Hugelkultur on a Micro-Farm

Christmas is one week from today… but I’m still digging in dirt! Ever since the end of our CSA season I’ve been planning to double the size of our garden for 2013. The initial plan was to tackle this in the spring with a day full of volunteer help and free food! But then I learned about a new-to-me gardening method that requires a significant amount of fall preparation to be ready by spring – hugelkultur. Hugelkultur is a German […]

Black Friday Black Gold

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday! We enjoyed ours and know that we have much to be thankful for. Many of you probably also ‘celebrated’ Black Friday by standing in unbelievably long lines early in the cold morning to get great deals on Christmas gifts. Although I did do some shopping online, I didn’t dare venture out into the mob of wild shoppers. Instead of heading toward the retail district, we headed the other direction into the […]

How to Manage a Cold Frame

Our winter-gardening theme continues: Today I discovered a great article about how to build and manage cold frames. The article’s author is Eliot Coleman, a gardener who is considered an authority on four-season growing. Though I’ve not read them yet, I’m hoping to soon be a proud owner of his books Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long and The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses. In the […]

October 2012 Update

I really dislike being cold. I can handle extreme heat, rain, dark, manual labor and constantly having my hands in compost. But I really dislike the cold. Since it has been chilly and rainy here the last several weeks, I’ve been pretty lethargic about working in the garden. It’s driving home the point that I need to be sure to develop efficient systems for winter gardening so that I’m not intimidated by keeping up my garden chores when that dirty […]

Baby, it’s (almost) cold outside!

It’s fall. Big time. Temperatures are dropping along with brown and orange leaves. The tomato plants are bending beneath the weight of green fruit hoping for enough time. (I’ll be picking them before we get frost.) The zucchini, cucumbers and beans are all distant memories. And all I can think about is sowing seeds. Yes, that’s right, sowing seeds. Today I planted seeds in the main garden and before the weekend is over, I’ll have planted many more. Why? Because […]