Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean your garden can’t keep growing! At Pringle Creek Community, we are harvesting organic produce. Our Urban Farmer, Colleen, is growing so many different types of veggies including carrots, radishes, beets, winter lettuce, kale, bok choy, and much more healthy and delicious produce for the winter season. If you have a greenhouse, then your garden will most likely slow down, but continue to grow. If you have an outdoor garden, you may want a grow cover or tunnel for your produce to keep a bit warmer when the weather begins to chill. Here are some ideas for how to make a grow cover for your garden.

winter is coming

Garden cover to help keep your garden from freezing.

A couple of these plants are fun and useful. A great activity is making something out of Birdhouse gourds. These are exactly how they sound, you can actually make birdhouses out of them! See a few ways you can tackle this fun project with your family when it’s time to stay inside from the rain and cold. This crafty project might be the perfect handmade gift, and there could also be a staff birdhouse gourd competition in the making. Stay tuned for that one, it could get competitive (and hilarious). We are also growing Luffa. Yes, that’s right, the sponge you might see at the store that’s used for exfoliating your skin. They don’t come from the ocean, unbeknownst to some of our staff. Plans are to harvest the gourds, cut them on either end, let the insides fall out, and then use the dried fiber which is leftover. Then, you can use the Luffa for a nice spa session.

winter is coming

Colleen holding a Luffa gourd.

After you’re good and relaxed, then it’s time to get focused on soil and pest management, which change a bit with the cooling fall and winter months. Before Colleen planted her fall crops, she took a bit of compost and mixed it back into the soil to add more nutrients back into it. Come late winter, she’ll be adding much more compost, since the spring and summer plants are heavier feeders and will need to take in even more nutrients. Pest control changes slightly. The cabbage moths generally die down with the first couple of freezes, however there is still continual pest management for aphids since the greenhouses stay warmer. Colleen will be getting one more gallon of ladybugs for the winter to manage those pests (Read more about managing pests in a healthy and sustainable way in this blog post).

winter is coming

Spinach rows beginning to sprout.

We are excited to see what produce the winter brings! Some of the winter veggies mentioned could be perfect for savory soups like Borscht, onion or cabbage as well as a broccoli casserole or some lovely steamed bok choy on the side. Here are some recipes that you might like to try out for the winter season. Cooking with seasonal produce is less expensive, healthier, and tastes so delicious! If you’ve got recipes or stories about your winter gardening, we’d love hear them.