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Extending the Growing Season

I’m in a cozy 6a (some say 5) growing zone up here in Pemberton, BC on a big, south-facing rocky hill facing a 8,000 foot majestic mountain.

Being seasonal, there is everything from scalding heat to damp wetness to dumps of heavy snow, and any way to extend my growing season interests me. And being north of the border pretty much means I have to.

Yes, every fall and winter, with envy, I search ig (that’s text slang for ’instagram’) for those gardens from the south or from the other side of the planet. For visual interest, for inspiration. Maybe for hope. My spring will come!!

Now that we’ve built the raised beds and filled them with compost, we can get serious about growing more of our food. Our main issue about growing food is the nutrient value of the soil. Locating our future on this hill of a rock, we had to import by truckload all (yep, all) of our dirt. We basically created a mini oasis where there was nothing before.

I’m pretty sure the birds (and bees, snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders and other insects) that weren’t here before, thank me. This is important to me. To start trying to grow my own food, live closer to the land, teach my twin boys about self-sustainability, and becoming more innovative and creative in being self-sufficient.

Even though I’m pretty lucky where I’m at because we get farm-to-grocery produce at our local grocery store. But why not grow your own as well? Why not live more with the land, less in the company’s office, live with less, drive less, have less debt, have more time and freedom to do what you want - and I feel it all starts with growing our own food.

A great way to extend our growing season beyond the few months of warm weather (sometimes we might call it 'summer') is by planting cool-season crops.

When planted every 2 weeks, or when seedlings are four inches tall, or when you see the first set of true leaves, you can ensure an (almost) endless supply of fresh, homegrown vegetables!

Cool-season crops include:

* argula

* beets

* broad beans

* Brussel sprouts

* brocolli

* cabbage * cauliflower * corn salad

* lettuce

* kale

* parsley

* peas

* radishes

* spinach

* turnips

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