Down On The Farm

By Green River Preserve

The farm is heading into its sleepy season; leaves have fallen, a few frosts have touched down, the fields are starting to go to bed for the winter. For us on the farm that means we have mulched all our fruits both large and small and pruned the blackberries. We have planted garlic and tucked it in with a thick layer of old straw. Asparagus fronds have been cut back and all old plant matter taken out of the fields.

The herb garden has died back but we choose not to prune out dried stalks until spring as many of our solitary native bees hibernate and/or lay eggs inside dead stalks. If we leave the herbs as is through the winter we do ourselves and the ecosystem around us a favor by encouraging native pollinators! The winter will see us doing the foundation work to expand the herb garden, cleaning and sharpening tools for the busy season, and freshening the animal housing.

Even during the cold months, we encourage everyone out there to grow themselves a winter windowsill salad garden!

Materials Needed

  • A seed mix of your favorite fresh greens (find at local hardware store or order from a seed company, two of our favorites are Sow True Seed and High Mowing Seeds)
  • A few pots that will fit on a south facing window in your house
  • Enough soilless mix to fill your pots (soilless mix can be found at any garden center and will do better in pots as it does not compact as easy)
  • A watering can

Steps

  • Moisten the soilless mix until it feels damp to the touch but no water drips out when you squeeze a handful
  • Sprinkle seeds on the surface of the soil
  • Press down gently with the tips of your fingers but do not bury seeds
  • Water with your watering can and set on the windowsill!
  • Water the pot about once every other day or just when the surface of the soil starts to look dry
  • Seeds should sprout in about a week depending on what varieties you choose
  • Greens should be ready to harvest in 18-28 days!
  • Most greens can be harvested using a method called cut-and-come-again, meaning that you can trim leaves off for a meal but leave the plant in place, and it will keep growing more leaves, you could have your salad garden all winter…
  • If you want to spice it up you can try a couple easy herbs as well; consider burnet, parsley, or basil, all of which grow easily from seed

We hope everyone has a wonderful, productive winter and we’ll see you next summer!

Rachel and Phil