Bringing Back the Winter Growing Challenge!

pea shoots

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!

winter growing challenge
Pea shoots grown by Moon Valley Farm of Maryland! Check them out online at: https://www.moonvalleyfarm.net/

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?

eating shoots and sprouts
Shoots and sprouts salad in a jar.

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!

If you need more reason to participate, I’ve got 13 Reasons to Grow Your Own Shoots this Winter! Those who’ve never grown shoots and sprouts, don’t sweat it─check out: How to Grow Shoots for a Supply of Leafy Green Vegetables this Winter and Sprouts; Easy DIY Winter Greens.

When & Where?

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.

Join Me!

winter growing challenge 2018
Lush green pea shoots. Photo courtesy Magic Valley Greens N Things.

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!

Winter Growing Challenge!

pea shoot salad_winter growing cahllenge

Announcing Runamuk’s Winter Growing Challenge 2017!

winter growing challenge
Eat your greens all winter long by growing your own shoots and sprouts! Photo credit to: Backyardfarm.co

The further I travel along this road toward an increasingly sustainable lifestyle, the more I learn about food and good health. I want to provide my family with healthy fare so they can reach their full potential─that was the reason I started gardening in the first place. I’ve learned to feed my children from the garden during the summer, to store and preserve the harvest for the winter, and we’ve learned to eat less meat, and less processed foods. But nothing beats the health benefits of eating fresh greens, so I’ve been working to increase our family’s access to those nutrient-dense greens all year.

winter growing at runamuk
Crops growing under row-cover.

Those who have been following along with Runamuk’s story know that I’ve extended my growing season by using row-cover and greenhouse film on a couple of my garden beds. The plan is to be able to harvest from that all winter this year, and so we’ve sown a variety of cold-hardy greens including kale, tatsoi, radishes, spinach, mizuna and a lettuce mix for good measure.

In addition to that I’ve decided to take up the Winter Growing Challenge and I’m planning on growing shoots and sprouts this winter to further supplement our family’s available greens. I’m inviting you to follow along with our progress as we make space in our kitchen this winter for trays of green veg and jars of tender sprouts. Learn how easy it can be to grow your own food; then gather your courage to try it too. We can do this together.

Note: To learn more about our food system and the immediate impact each and every one of us can have on it, read this article I wrote: Vote With Your Fork to Save our Broken Food System.

What is the Winter Growing Challenge?

I, Sam(antha) Burns─farmer, beekeeper, gardener, blogger, and Mom to 2 rowdy young men-to-be─challenge myself to grow more food this winter. I am challenging myself to  grow shoots and sprouts in order to provide the most healthful and nutrient-dense diet I can, on my limited budget, and in tight quarters.

Join me in taking up the Winter Growing Challenge, grow more food this winter to feed your family fresh veg for a healthier and more sustainable, self-sufficient life.

Who Can Play?

winter growing challenge_pea shoots
Pea shoots grown by Magic Valley Greens n Things.

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 share 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!

When & Where?

For 3 months, beginning the first week of December and running through February, I will be posting that story once a week for you to follow here on the Runamuk blog. There will be new how-to articles that I hope will inspire you to give growing shoots a try, as well as recipes, and links to resources to help you grow your own fresh greens this winter. I’d recommend you subscribe to receive new posts from Runamuk directly in your in-box so that you don’t miss a thing!

Up-coming giveaway???

I see another giveaway in our future! To help other home gardeners get started with growing your own greens this winter, I want to give a few of you the gift of a pound of pea seed for shoots from Johnny’s Selected Seeds! Check back soon for the details on that!

Let’s Do This!

pea shoot salad_winter growing cahllenge
Delicious pea shoot salad grown and prepared by BackyardFarm.co

Nearly 80% of Americans say that sustainability is a priority to them. People are waking up to the pervasive financialization of the food system and the dangers of a diet made up of processed foods. We are increasingly opting to purchase organic or locally grown or grass-fed. More and more households are choosing to cultivate gardens in their backyards, and urban farming is on the rise. Growing our own shoots and sprouts during the winter is just one more way we can improve our own self-sufficiency. It’s one more way we can take a stand against the corporate consumer-based system, and one more way we can eat healthier for a long and happy life.

Join me! Follow along with my Winter Growing Challenge 2017! Leave a comment below if you want to play along!

winter growing challenge