Buon Venerdi Verde,
Let’s call today Green Friday instead of Black, and no, I haven’t spent the night waiting outside Wall-Mart or any other megastore waiting for their doors to open, my focus is on gardening. During the week I erected my dismountable cold frame (4×8 feet) on top of the raised bed which I already have sown rucola and spinach. After having sprinkled a little organic 10-10-10 and a dusting of Aragonite in the area to be planted, this morning I transplanted scallions, kohlrabi, parsley, red and green lettuce, so my wife and I can enjoy it throughout the winter.
I have built the sides of this cold frame out of 1 ½” Styrofoam, and its top with 2” wooden laths covered with heavy-gage clear plastic, not the opaque plastics sheathing used by painters to catch paint drippings. For now, the enclosure gives the plants adequate protection. During the bitter winter nights, I’ll drape the top with a piece of discarded carpet padding, or hang a spotlight with 100 watt incandescent bulb inside it.
I have two additional cold frames bulging with endive, escarole, beets, broccoli, garlic greens sown from true-seeds or bulbils, and other cold resistant crops. The rest of my raised beds, other than the one used to grow saffron, are sown with organic winter rye to protect the soil from eroding and to add nutrients.
If you have any questions in regard to the cold frame of what crop to grow, feel free to email me.
Remember, a four season garden is productive, fun, challenging, and good for your health. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s not too late to start.
Nick Mancini, The Organic Italian