Posted by: Bill Stoneman | April 9, 2013

From field to table 2013

            A small backyard success is worth noting. We harvested a ton of spinach the other day – April 6 to be precise. It wasn’t the first harvest this season. And so it surely wasn’t the earliest. But it might have been the earliest we ever got this much and leaves that looked and tasted as good as they did.

            As always, the process was simple: We put seeds in the ground in late August. We covered plants with cold frames in late October. The plants went dormant around Thanksgiving and then started growing again in February as the daylight got longer.

            A next step, maybe, could be installation of a thermostatic device that automatically raises and lowers the glass panel that allows light to reach our plants. Bright sunshine on an 60-degree April day could raise the temperature inside the cold frame to the point that spinach leaves fry. Developing a more reliable mechanism for opening a vent than human initiative would definitely extend the lives of our plants farther into the spring.

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