A Cold Frame from Salvaged Materials

Last fall, my husband and I replaced the old windows in our house with double-paned glass, so we had several beautiful old wooden windows lying around. They happen to make perfect covers for a cold frame. A project was born. The other essential element of a cold frame is the actual frame: the sides that support the cover. Since the…

The Vegetable Oscars

It’s that season of the year when every vegetable gardener is up to their ears in seed catalogs. They’ve been arriving for weeks now, and, if you’re like me, you can’t throw away a single one–even the ones you’ve never ordered from–without peeking to see what stunning new varieties they may have on offer this…

Mid-Spring Salade “Niçoise”

This salad isn’t made the way someone from Nice, France, would make it. For one, it has lettuce. And it doesn’t have any tomatoes. But it does have the trademark hard-boiled eggs and preserved tuna (even the Niçois wouldn’t dream of using fresh tuna in this dish!). And we combined those with the vegetables that…

The Earth’s Gift to Itself

For Earth Day, it looks like nature decided to give herself a present–around here, anyway. The ground in our part of Virginia hasn’t seen substantial precipitation since March 5. When it was snow. But today, when May flowers are already in bloom, April showers have finally arrived. It’s a luxurious feeling to go out and…

First Harvest!

A couple of months ago, I built my first cold frame, from 2″ x 6″‘s and Plexiglass. I started some lettuce seeds indoors, and on February 27–three weeks earlier than you’re supposed to plant lettuce outdoors–I transplanted them into the cold frame. Well, the cold frame was useful for about a week and a half….

Planting the Cold Frame

I was very proud of myself this winter when I finally got a decent cold frame built—and from all repurposed materials, which didn’t cost me a penny. I was even prouder when last week I took the temperature of the soil (with a meat thermometer!) and discovered it was five degrees warmer than in the…

Seedling Salad

It’s been a rainy weekend here in Virginia. We’ve had thunderstorms two days in a row and even a tornado warning on Friday. I’m itching to get out in the garden and plant spinach, mustard, onions, and breadseed poppies (new this year!). But the soil is too damp (I’m crossing my fingers that the already-planted…

Building a Cold Frame

One of my gardening dreams is to have a greenhouse. It doesn’t have to be enormous, just a pretty little affair like Lynnette’s over at Chooks and Roots blog, where I can grow a few prized tropical plants all year long. (Tomatoes… lemons… limes… bananas… mangoes… coffee… okay, maybe it’s going to have to be…