About three years ago, my husband and I cleaned out a room to make way for our new baby. It was basically wall to wall books. We then went to used book stores to sell our books. That is when we made a discovery that, being the book lovers that we were (and still are), astounded us. Used books are worthless! We resolved then and there to stop buying books (and only get books from the library)! We amended our resolution shortly after to: only buy books that we thought would be used often enough that it would be inconvenient to get from the library.
So why am I telling you this? Because I am in the process of reading the most mind-boggling gardening book ever! I am SO impressed with this book in fact that I decided that this will be my new way of gardening. And even beyond that? I decided to buy the book and the other books written by the same author as well. That is how impressed I am!
The book: THE WINTER HARVEST HANDBOOK by Eliot Coleman.
Mister Coleman, as far as I can tell is a gardener turned farmer. He lives in the state of Maine (so a very similar climate to ours) and grows vegetables year round on his farm in unheated green house. He explains in his book that he has always loved reading gardening books. Now, some years ago, he read that the city of Paris used to be completely self-sufficient in it's vegetable production. He new that Paris had the same amount of winter light hours that his garden got during the winter so it gave him an idea. He wondered if the plants that grew over there during the winter could grow over here during the winter. It's colder here, but we get the same amount of sun. So off he went to Europe to visit winter gardens.
He found out that only specific vegetables grew during the winter in Europe. The next logical step was to try growing them here in cold frames. It worked! Unfortunately, he found that digging cold frames out of the snow was a bit inconvenient, so he decided to put a green house over his frames. This turned out to be a stroke of genius! Now he farms during the winter with much bigger green houses. Inside, he now uses spun row covers instead of cold frames. Oh! And this is all done using organic gardening techniques!
Like I said, this is going to be my new way of gardening!
Green building, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3 years ago