Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Missy's Homestead: Winter Garden

Winter is a coming!

Sprouts
As the weather gets colder and the ground gets wetter and wetter, I look outside my kitchen windo and see the remains of my once spectacular summer garden.

It saddens me that those plants are now gone but it also makes me happy to remember all of the successes of my first real veggie garden.

Rapini
leeks from summer still growing
Now that the weather is colder it mean it is time to focus my efforts on my winter garden.  Before this experience I never really knew that people actively planted and maintained winter gardens.  By no means is my winter garden growing very fast.  Things are taking longer to come up and some areas of the garden will have nothing in them until next spring.   This summer I had so many tomatoes that I felt I needed to give the soil some much needed rest in order to restore some of the nitrogen.  Tomatoes are delicious but the plants eat up all the nitrogen in the soil.  You can always add nutrients to the soil but you can also give you soil a break and let the rain water restore the nitrogen. I also tried out something new the other day by adding some chicken poop from my chickens to help restore my soil during the winter months.

looking a little bare
I am trying to keep my focus on my small winter garden but I keep thinking about what I am going to grow next year.  I have begun to feel like this is not very fair to the plants that are currently trying to grow in the cold.   While I had endless optimisism for my summer garden it would seem that I have the opposite feelings about my winter garden.  I don't give it much credit or much confidence to actually grow anything. The warmth of those summer months makes it seem more possible for life to grow. The cold damp weather makes me feel like nothing will grow.  I feel rather guilty about this. Like I am not even giving my plants the chance to shine. So far I have some nice little sprouts but they seem tiny and I am not sure if they can live with the cold weather. I planted some beets and broccoli, some peas, a variety of onions and leafy greens. All things that are suppose to do well in the winter months. We will see.
Bok Choy
I will be leaving the homestead for awhile to go on another adventure this winter. I am not sure how well things will survive while I am away but I am sure it will be a nice surprise if when I get back. Hopefully things will be going strong. More on my adventures away from the homestead on the next post. I have some lofty goals for while I am away. I will be sure to share them with you all next week. 

Until next time. Consume more, buy less, bundle up from the cold and don't discount that winter garden just yet.

Missy

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