December is practically on our doorstep and with it comes the start of the 2018 Winter Growing Challenge! Woot woot! I’m looking forward to growing fresh greens inside my home again this winter: shoots and sprouts─maybe I’ll even try my hand at some microgreens this year. With 2 teenaged boys to feed, the additional source of veg will be most welcome. It’s also a good excuse to have something green and growing to look after during this long, cold stretch of the year. You’re invited to play along, of course!
Bringing Back the Winter Growing Challenge!
Those who have been following along may recall last year’s Winter Growing Challenge (WGC), but for those who are new here─the WGC is something I started last year to encourage myself (and others) to grow shoots and sprouts through the darkest, coldest depths of winter. The idea was to provide a source of fresh vegetation at a time of year when fresh greens are scarce─to be able to offer a nutrient-dense source grown in your own home. It’s not just good for our health─it’s good for our psyche too. So I’m bringing it back!
Winter Growing Pledge:
I, Sam(antha) Burns─farmer, beekeeper, gardener, blogger, and Mom to
2 young men-to-be─pledge to grow more food this winter. I am challenging myself to
grow shoots and sprouts (and maybe microgreens!) in order to
provide a source of fresh, nutrient-dense greens.
Who Can Play?
Anyone!!! From the homesteader or the home gardener, to the individual who has never grown anything before─I’m inviting you to follow along with my Winter Growing Challenge, learn from my adventures (and misadventures) and give it a go. Grow your own shoots and sprouts this winter, share pictures of your tender green shoots to Instagram to spread your excitement. Post to Facebook your recipes for creative new ways to use your fresh greens; share your experiences and encourage others around you to take up the Winter Growing Challenge too!
For 3 months, beginning the first week of December and running through February, I will be posting about my WGC progress on the blog and via social media. There will be new articles to inspire you to grow shoots and sprouts yourself, as well as recipes, and links to resources to help you along the way. I’d recommend subscribing by email to receive new posts from Runamuk directly in your in-box so that you don’t miss a thing!
Up-Coming WGC Giveaway!
To help others get started with growing their own greens this winter, I want to give a few of you a Winter Growing Challenge Kit! These kits will contain the supplies needed to get started growing your very own shoots and sprouts: growing trays, enough growing medium to get going, seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (pea seed for shoots, and alfalfa seed for sprouting), and a few other surprises squeezed into the box. That’s happening in December, so be sure to check back soon to enter the drawing for the giveaway.
This will be the 2nd annual Winter Growing Challenge. Join me in taking up the Winter Growing Challenge this season. Grow more food to feed your family fresh veg for a healthier, more sustainable and self-sufficient life. If I can do it, so can you!
Thanks for following along!!! Subscribe by email to receive the latest updates directly to your in-box. OR follow @RunamukAcres on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the day-to-day happenings on this Maine farm!
Sam(antha) M. Burns is a wildlife conservationist and author at the Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm in New Portland, Maine. For more than 25 years, Burns has practiced self-sufficiency skills like gardening, animal husbandry, beekeeping, baking and scratch-cooking. Prior to buying her farm in 2018, Burns worked for 5 years in the Call Center at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, served her community as president of the local beekeepers' club, and managed her local farmers' market. A passionate advocate for wildlife conservation─particularly beneficial insects like pollinators and soil organisms─Burns practices methods of conservation agriculture through her work as a farmer. In 2020, Burns secured a conservation easement through the USDA & NRCS that will protect her ecological reserve for the next 50 years.