Chelsea Green Blog

Gardening

Greenhouse covered in snow

Winter Gardening Without Heated Greenhouses

January 16, 2019

It might seem like a myth that you can grow food in an unheated greenhouse during the winter, but we’re here to prove you wrong. As long as there is sunlight there are several techniques you can use to keep your crops warm enough to harvest well into the cold weather. The key? Layers. Just…

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How to Use Climate Maps to Navigate the Winter Harvest

January 11, 2019

Continuing to grow your crops and harvest them well into the winter months seems like an impossible task. How can they grow when weather conditions are far from warm sunny days? It’s all about adapting to what the season gives you. With the proper techniques and studying the patterns of your area’s climate, growing and…

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A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

January 10, 2019

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until spring. No matter what size home you live in, there’s room for a garden of soil-grown sprouts to carry you through the depths of winter. You just need a little guidance from someone who understands the struggles…

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Sprouts Growing in a Greenhouse

Four Books for Growing Food in Winter

January 8, 2019

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food! For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season by following just a few of the techniques outlined in the books below. And, there’s…

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Presenting the Four-Season Harvest

January 7, 2019

For most gardeners, a typical season begins with planting in the spring and ends with a big harvest in the fall – one that the frugal home-gardener hopes lasts through until spring sprouts again. And if it doesn’t, well, then it’s off to the store to pick up whatever measly, unfresh produce is available. But…

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The Original Organic Pioneer – An Interview With Eliot Coleman

January 1, 2019

With over fifty years’ experience in agriculture and a penchant for inventing new tools and techniques, Eliot Coleman has solidly established himself as an organic farming pioneer. He has authored several books on his practices, including The Four-Season Harvest, The Winter Harvest Handbook, and his magnum opus, The New Organic Grower, which will celebrate its…

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Gift Guide for Growers: 10 Great Gardening Books

December 5, 2018

Are you scrambling to find the perfect gift for the gardener on your list? How about a new book featuring insight from our expert roster of authors? From building a garden plot in the backyard to crafting indoor growing containers for small spaces to incorporating organic practices we’ve got the perfect books for the ever-growing…

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How to Make Your Own Mulch With Fallen Leaves

November 12, 2018

As the last of the leaves fall from the trees, the time has come for countless hours of raking and hauling before the first snowflake falls. While this may be a nuisance for some, for Will Bonsall, this time of year is his “mulching bonanza.” Though the conventional wisdom about tree leaves is that they…

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October Garden Planning: 10 Tips for Success

October 4, 2018

Here in the Northeast, October signifies the true start of fall. The days are shorter, the nights and mornings are colder, the leaves are a-changin’, and the first frost is inevitably upon us. But that doesn’t mean our gardening work is done quite yet. There’s still plenty of time to wrap up the season, prepare…

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Harvesting winter spinach

The Winter Harvest Project

October 2, 2018

Four-season farmer Eliot Coleman strikes again with inspiration for all you cold-loving farmers out there! A master of extending the growing season, Eliot explains his strategies for successful winter harvesting and greenhouse design. The following excerpt is from The New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition by Eliot Coleman. It has been adapted for the web. Part…

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How to Extend the Growing Season

September 27, 2018

Winter may be coming, but that doesn’t mean you should put away those tools just yet! With proper modifications, you can extend your growing season well past the first frost. We’ve compiled a few suggestions for season extension from Four Seasons Farm owner, and organic gardening pioneer, Eliot Coleman. The following excerpt is from The…

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How to Harvest, Store, and Cure Squash

September 26, 2018

Are you a squash newbie, afraid of ruining your crop due to rudimentary (at-best) knowledge? Fear not! Expert gardener and squash-enthusiast, Carol Deppe has some tried-and-true guidelines to make sure you  reap the benefits of your hard work. So before you even think about cutting a stem, read this! The following excerpt is from The…

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5 Principles of Soil Health

September 19, 2018

Soil is all around us. We walk on it every day. We dig and play and plant in it. We harvest from it and nourish ourselves thanks to it. And yet, many of us aren’t aware just how critical a resource it is for our future. It’s the basis for healthy food production, is a…

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Recipe: Fall Harvest Garden Fries

September 12, 2018

Got a lot of root veggies in your fall harvest? Garden fries are an easy and delicious way to use them up! Enjoy them sans sauce, with ketchup, or if you’re looking to impress dinner guests pair them with a garlicky leek dipping sauce. Bon appetit! The following recipe is from Cooking Close to Home…

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Planning a Community Food Forest

July 18, 2018

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” A good community food forest will always require robust planning but don’t let that scare you! By breaking down the work into the following five project management phases, you not only establish an initial plan you’ve also developed a dynamic system to allow…

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Agroforestry Versus Permaculture: Which Approach to Use for a Community Food Forest

July 2, 2018

Ok, so we’ve gone over some basics of community food forests:  Now it’s time to figure out how to plan one. There are two schools of thought on the best approach to building a community food forest: agroforestry or permaculture. The former offers a science-based approach while the latter incorporates elements of social design. Both work…

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What is a Community Food Forest?

June 27, 2018

The recent rise of community food forests and similar projects have come at an imperative time. More than 80 percent of the US population now resides in urban areas. This number is projected to rise in the next few decades. Not only can food forests provide a local source of food they can also serve…

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Our Favorite Summer Reads

June 21, 2018

Wondering what to read this summer? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Grab your towel and claim the best pool chair or relax at your homestead with one of these perfect summer reads. Whether its nature reads, to healing your gut, everything wild, or inspirational books you’ll have your nose in a book all summer long…

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A Gardening Tip: Pinching Flowers to Prolong Bloom, When and How

June 15, 2018

Flowers are starting to bloom! School yourself on flower pinching to determine whether or not you are getting the most out of your flowers. The following gardening tip is from The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers by Lynn Byczynski. Pinching can be used to increase yield and to…

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Simple and Elegant: Summer Vegetable Tian

June 13, 2018

The term tian simply refers to a dish of thinly sliced vegetables that have been cooked in fat of choice and baked au gratin. This summer vegetable tian is the perfect easy side to showcase the medley of delicious vegetables the summer has to offer. Layered eggplant, zucchini, tomato and red onion, baked ’til tender & crisp is healthy, colorful and…

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Compost: Small Farm-Style

June 4, 2018

Composting doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, especially for a small farm.  There is a lot of expensive equipment on the market to precisely monitor your compost, but author Ben Hartman is here to share his strategies for avoiding those unnecessary costs. The following excerpt is from The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables by Ben…

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The Perfect Mix: All Purpose Potting Soil Recipe

May 7, 2018

Potting Soil Annual plants require an early start to bear fruit in the short growing season of New England. The planting medium, daylight length, and temperature conditions are crucial factors for a healthy nursery of seedlings. In an attempt to localize our annual production we start seedlings on-site. This production requires specific timing and appropriate…

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9 Things to Consider When Building Your Own Greenhouse

April 30, 2018

Daydreaming of extending your growing season and building your very own year-round greenhouse? It’s easier, more affordable, and will provide you and your family with more food than you might think — thanks to one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, Jerome Osentowski. In his groundbreaking book, The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Osentowski provides growers of all skill levels in-depth…

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The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Mulching

April 23, 2018

Sheet mulching is a layered mulch system that nurtures the soil. You start with a biodegradable weed barrier like cardboard, and from there build a thick, layered substrate for your garden with compost and mulch. As the materials break down, worms move in, softening the soil below, and creating a healthy, aerated planting bed where…

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The Secret Life of Fungi: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

April 18, 2018

Did you know that our collective future could well pivot on people coming to understand that soil fungi matter? Or that there’s such a thing as fungal consciousness?  Fungi have intricate lives, behaviors, and uses most people are unaware of. Mychorrizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with the root systems of other plants. The crucial, symbiotic role…

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