We spend a lot of time planning out our season in the winter. We have spreadsheets that tell us how many pounds of carrots per bed, and other spreadsheets that tell us how many pounds of carrots we go through in a week. We can then calculate how many beds of carrots to plant and when, and then there is this nifty online database that helps us map out which beds will be planted to carrots and when. This is a long and iterative process, as you can imagine. By the time we get all of the field planning done, we often kind of wave a hand at the winter planning, and say that we’ll figure that out. Then the winter planning happens during stolen moments in the height of the season. Not so much of a long, drawn-out, iterative process, as a couple of quick sketches on a yellow pad. We plant our winter harvested greens in September and October, during the height of harvest season, and the shortening days now mean that if we plant a house a week late, it might come into harvest a month later, as it just misses out on growth during the not-too-short days we have now.
So here are some preliminary ideas on what we are planting: 1. Kale in the heated greenhouses! We usually have kale inthe caterpillar tunnels until it runs out in February or so. We are planting some kale now that we hope will come in about February. 2. More salad mix! Having lettuce mix all winter is one of the great challenges of winter growing (and actually having it in the heat of summer is tricky too.) But we’ve come to realize that what people really want is the salad mix, and it grows back way quicker than the lettuce. 3. Heat those greenhouses with renewable fuel! We are excited to get our wood-chip-powered boiler on line in time to keep those greenhouses toasty (well, above freezing, anyway) with renewable fuel!
That’s quite a plumbing project! Those pipes will take hot water to the greenhouses to keep them warm this winter.