Winter Gardening

Nope, I’m don’t have one at the moment, but I do hope that I will have one next winter. The resource I’m using is “The Winter Harvest Handbook” by Eliot Coleman. I was out of town at the time I should have been planting and when I got back, the weather was still mild, even though we had snow in October for the first time since I’ve been in Virginia 14 years, but that only happened because I was not here. You see, it snows every time I am home for a visit in Louisiana.

Anyway, I came down with the flu when I got back from my trip so that was another 2 weeks that hampered my winter garden. If I had known that we were going to have such a mild winter, I would have started the garden anyway. As I write this we have a wind chill of 22 degrees, but that’s not been the norm so far. I do think that a nice selection of crops would have fared well this year. The strawberries I planted last year are still growing nicely and all the leaves are very green. I’m hoping that we will get a nice crop from them, providing the ants don’t eat them first.

So, now I’m planning a spring garden that I hope will turn into a year round garden. As soon as my new chicks are old enough, I’m gonna have them out scratching and eating the grass in the new garden area. I hope the chickens and the garden will have a nice symbiotic relationship that will allow me to be pesticide free. The chickens at our barn do a great job on the poop piles from our alpacas and we couldn’t be happier with that arrangement. They are great little composters and keep things turning and moving all the time.

Another thing I want to focus on is planting beneficial plants and herbs outside our alpaca pastures, along the fence lines. It’s something that I had thought about from time to time, but just have not done. If I can get them to grow the right way, it will allow the alpacas to nibble on them, but keep them from eating the plants down. Of course, I might have to worry about the wildlife, deer in particular, from eating them also.

Do you plant year round? If so, I would love to hear all about it and please leave a comment.

Bountiful harvest

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