Before the cold weather hit, we removed the exhaust fan and covered the four vents with plywood.
Generally, the temperature next to the wall of the house continues to stay about 10* warmer than the surrounding shelves overnight and all of the plants, with the exception of the okra which is a real heat loving plant,
appear to be happy. During the day, we open the screen on the door, or the door itself when the temperatures inside reach around 85* or so. We just have to remember to shut everything back down about 3:30 or 4:00 pm once the sun reaches the point where cooling begins to occur. It continues to be a great learning process. We still think the cool weather plants will do well with the thermal mass of the water barrels. The warm weather plants might not make it, but there would still be food to eat.
Here is the latest tour of the plants.
|Sweet pepper dug from the garden|
|Buttercup winter squash|
|Okra with comfrey leaves for fertilizer|
|Romaine that has been picked a lot|
|Tansy lettuce & endive|
|Comfrey that has been picked several times|
|Lettuce that has never been very happy|
|Mustard spinach that grows very well. We've picked it a lot.|
|Spinach, we'll be picking soon|
|Austrian Winter Peas|
|Jalapeno from the garden|
My first experience with hand pollinating has been with the yellow squash.
|Yellow squash on the left|
|Male flower collecting pollen|
|Female flower receiving pollen|
|Squash that was pollinated one week later|
The muskmelon has had some problems with powdery mildew. One of my books recommended comfrey tea spray which I have been using for a few days. It seems to be gradually diminishing, but not before it affected the yellow squash next door as well.
|Muskmelon on right next to the yellow squash|
|The muskmelon has had many male flowers.|
|I think this will be the first female flower on the muskmelon I have found.|
Today I picked lettuce, spinach, winter peas, sweet peppers and onions for a salad. We still have a few tomatoes left from the garden, and I added some of our cheddar cheese.
There is not a lot of food to harvest yet, but there is a lot of potential. We've had a few small servings of cooked turnip, collard and beet greens which we've really enjoyed, and we really look forward to eating squash again, in the winter no less. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue learning how to produce more food.
Until next time - Fern