Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Garden Fresh Thanksgiving Produce!

I finally reached a goal that I have been striving for - fresh organic vegetables from the garden for Thanksgiving. The stoop houses worked and I picked loads of broccoli and four heads of cabbage a couple days ago. I know those aren't traditional Thanksgiving veggies but fresh coleslaw and broccoli casserole will go nicely with potatoes from the garden, turkey and all the other trimmings.

We have had an unusually cold November this year. It sure was strange picking from the garden the other day when it was only 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside!

Look at the ice buildup on our newly constructed greenhouse:

The greenhouse is not any warmer inside than outside because I never finished building the vents. Right now the bottom 2 feet along the sides are still exposed and there are several opened windows. I need to fix that soon so I can use the greenhouse this winter and early spring.

Luckily the temperature under the small hoop houses is higher than in the greenhouse and the outside. It has stayed warm enough to keep the broccoli and cabbage from freezing.

See the water droplets on top of the broccoli? Those are actually little beads of ice.

The only casualty under the stoop houses was the lettuce. It still looked good, but after picking it and bringing it inside, I could tell that it had been frozen. For lettuce harvesting now, we will have to turn to our indoor lettuce growing under lights.

It is a little extra work keeping the garden going in the Fall and in the cold, but its worth it! I've got cabbage and broccoli ready to be prepared tomorrow along with the other Thanksgiving goodies!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Great work! Those are GIGANTIC plastic bags.


Happy Thanksgiving Marc! Yes, broccoli is such a wonderfood, I love it!


Very nice broccoli, when did you plant it?

I planted mine half way through aug and it has not done so well. I will have to plant sooner next year.


How wonderful to have fresh produce in November from you garden! I have lettuce and arugula in the greenhouse which I have been harvesting, but will have to bring it inside soon under lights if I want it to continue to grow.


So how does venting the greenhouse keep warm air in?

And you found that your stoop houses (hoop covers) keep the temp warmer than outside? I did a test over a two week period and found that not to be the case for me. I still think the hoop covers do something befeficial, but raising the temp isn't one of them. Shame.

Glad to see you got great harvest even in that cold. It doesn't get that cold here, but my veggies aren't in that state of readiness.

Happy Thanksgiving!


This is incredibly impressive. Congratulations!

Marc and Renee

Thanks everyone.

Just to clarify - all of my recent harvest came from under the little poly tunnels, not the greenhouse. The "open vents" I was talking about was on the yet to be used greenhouse. As soon as I finish building them, I will be able to use the greenhouse - especially in late winter/early spring.

The little polytunnels or "stoop houses" did keep the veggies protected enough. Keeping everything covered all day caused the inside temperature to be about 10 degrees warmer during daylight and still a few degrees warmer by morning. I think a lot of the benefit came from the soil temperature staying warmer as well.

- Marc


That's some really nice broccoli there.

Looks like you picked it at the perfect time!


Hi. I found your blog through your wife's Homesteadblogger site. Brrr.... Those are some cold temps. Glad you were able to extend your growing season. Congrats.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.



What's your spacing on brocolli and cabbage?

Marc and Renee

Hi Chris,

I space my brassicas about 1 foot apart, actually they end up being more like a foot and a half to two feet because I typically plant two rows in a 4' bed.

- Marc

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