#WinterGrowingChallenge Update

#WinterGrowingChallenge Update

11 days after sowing my first seeds for shoots as part of my #WinterGrowingChallenge, I am still patiently waiting for those leafy-greens. I’m fairly lusting after a pea-shoot salad with my favorite homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing─maybe with a little crumbled feta. The idea makes my mouth water even now. There was one thing I overlooked however, amid my own enthusiasm for growing greens through the winter…

radish sprouts
Here are my radish shoots on day 11; getting closer to harvest!

I followed all of the instructions, just as I laid them out in my recent article: How to Grow Shoots for a Supply of Leafy Green Vegetables this Winter. I used Peter Burke’s “Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening” as a reference manual and followed his guidance through the whole process. I pre-moistened the soil, soaked my seeds, and on Tuesday, December 11th before I left for the Call Center at Johnny’s Selected Seeds I pressed my seeds into the soil and covered them with wet newspaper. I tucked the trays into a dresser drawer I’d freed up for the project, and then waited patiently.

There was one thing I neglected to take into consideration though. We’ve had a very mild autumn this year; the temperatures here in central Maine have been abnormally warm. Old Man Winter must have caught wind of my project though, and waited til I had sown those first seeds before moving into Maine with a vengeance. Earlier this week we received our first snow-storm and since Tuesday temps have been in the single digits; this is the coldest weather we’ve seen since March.

When I organized the Winter Growing Challenge I wasn’t thinking about how cold it can get in this old trailer during the winter. Even with the woodstove the temperature hovers between 60-65 most of the time. During an Arctic Blast however, it can be a challenge to get the room above 50. I had expected to have tender greens within a week, but tucked away in a drawer across the room from the woodstove my shoots have been slow to grow.

Nonetheless they are growing. I will have salad, and I will grow my own leafy-green veg this winter.

Check back soon! I’ll be sharing that balsamic vinaigrette recipe, as well as the opportunity to win a “Winter Growing Kit” during the week of the Winter Solstice! Subscribe to this blog by email so that you don’t miss anything!

Share your thoughts, comments or questions!

Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm