We’re thinking about offering a winter CSA in the not-to-distant future, and so this winter there’s been a lot of experiments underway at Stoney Creek. The information in the seed catalogs regarding days to harvest is based on optimum growing conditions, not winter’s cold and reduced daylight. (The latter is actually more of an issue for growing winter food than the former.) So we’ve chosen some varieties that are bred for cold hardiness, and I’m trying them out in several locations, and keeping records of the average temperatures in the low tunnel, the greenhouse, with extra light, without, with an extra snort of fish fertilizer, without, and so on as we see what works best.
We’re regularly harvesting collards, kale, spinach, lettuces, carrots and radishes, and the peas planted on Christmas morning are about four inches tall. Of course it’s an unusually warm winter, so it’s difficult to extrapolate too much from these experiments……other than that we’re successfully growing peas, carrots, lettuces, etc in central PA in winter, and that’s just pretty darn cool.
If you’ve got sharp eyes you might notice that the kale in the lower right picture is growing in old dresser drawers. It’s a little goofy but it works.
Maybe we’ll be adding the winter CSA option this fall, maybe not……but either way we’re eating well at Stoney Creek this winter!