Will I Or Won’t I Extend My Growing Season?

By Amy Grant | October 9, 2021
Image by jenifoto
by Amy Grant
October 9, 2021

I know that many of you extend your harvest into the fall, and some even into the winter, with the aid of cold frames, greenhouses, or indoor garden systems. I am not one of you.  

Here’s the thing. I used to grow way more food than two people could ever eat. This was okay because there is no dearth of folks who will happily accept extra garden produce. Also, I used to process much of our garden produce in one way or another for use during the winter months. 

Even so, we still used to haul over our overabundance of squash, cukes, and the like to the food bank, drop unsolicited bags at our neighbor’s front stoop, and attempt to parlay a particularly interesting winter squash into an exchange for some salmon, mushrooms, or other delicacy lacking in our larder. 

Problems Growing Produce

As you are reading this, I hope you will pay attention to the phrase “I (or we) used to”¦” This year, the year of the pandemic when the number of gardeners is burgeoning, I quit. I didn’t completely quit gardening. That would be like quitting eating for me, but I did slash the amount and variety of produce we usually grow. 

Why? It was just all too much, people! Maybe some of you can relate, and I am sure others think I’ve lost my marbles, but that’s okay. 

Yes, part of me still thinks at this writing (early September, it’s not too late!) that I really should go plant some seeds. Lettuce, chard, green onions, spinach, and radishes can all be direct sown and I still have time to start beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leeks, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips; all perfect cool season veggies that will thrive in the fall months.

Okay, okay, I’m thinking roasted vegetables (delicious!), soups, and stews now, which might be enough to get me outside planting seeds”¦ maybe.  

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