Year Round Gardening
By Susan Sides / The Lord’s Acre
If Elliot Coleman can grow or maintain over a dozen crops in winter, in Maine, we can easily do the same here in WNC. He has two books you can find at the library – Four Season Harvest (1999) and The Winter Harvest Handbook (2009), both of which explain his methods and decades of hard-earned wisdom. So if you’re tired of the harvest ending about now, use this winter to study up. You don’t need to be proficient at building with wood to construct cold frames out of straw or scrounged materials and hoop houses and low tunnels can be created with little more than bendable fiberglass rods (Reem’s Creek Nursery) or PVC pipe. Of course, if you’re handy with such things, go for it. You’ll find more than enough videos and sites online to keep you up all winter.
We’ve followed Coleman for 20 years and find his work to be meticulous, informative and easy to replicate. The following is from his Four Season Farm website:
Now gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.
Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.
A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”