Presenting valuable insight gleaned from a winter tour of southern France, the author presents simple, inexpensive, and low-tech ways to extend the ...Show synopsisPresenting valuable insight gleaned from a winter tour of southern France, the author presents simple, inexpensive, and low-tech ways to extend the harvest season. 60 new illustrations 16-page color section.Hide synopsis
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Who said that it is not possible to grow vegetables in the winter without massive greenhouses? This book shows how people can use low-tech, cheap solutions to explore the best earth has to offer, while protecting the plants from the elements that can hurt them. While at times I found the book a bit boring, as it had a too detailed account of the author's journeys in France, it is a tremendously useful book. It even teaches how to sow without having too much trouble and work, which is great for lazy people like me.
What a delightful book! I have never dealt well with the end of the growing season. I always tried to prolong it as long as I possibly could. I made all sorts of contraptions to cover the crops to keep off the hard frost at night knowing they would continue growing during each day. Now I have lots of good knowledge from Elliot on ways to have crops through the winter. Excellent reading material for a diehard grower who doesn't want the season to end.
Elliot and Barbara harvest cool season crops that are grown under protection all through the winter months. They travelled through France, along the same 44th parallel that passes through their farm in Maine, to explore France's wintergardening tradition and practice. The trip confirmed for them that the angle of the sun is more important than climate to growing in the winter.
Elliot describes which crops succeed in freezing temperatures and which actually improve in flavor in winter. He describes different kinds and degrees of protection, from a simple floating row cover over wickets(which I will try here in zone 6) to row covers used under a large hoop or greenhouse. Instructions for constructing hoophouses and coldframes are straightforward and usable. His approach is very low-tech and simple--no artificial heat or light is involved. This was a terrific read, and I am now looking forward to harvesting the greens and roots of winter as much as I look forward to the first tomatoes of summer.
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