Living Off Grid - Winter Fresh Vegetable Options


It's 13 degrees Fahrenheit outside and there's over 3 feet of snow on our garden. We have plenty of canned vegetables from last summer, but what about fresh greens?

fresh sproutsWe are new at all of this, but each year we experiment a little more and try to expand on our fresh vegetable options.

We live off grid in a cold climate. That limits our options somewhat. If we had an insulated greenhouse it would have to be heated. We don’t have the electrical surplus to go towards an electric heater and don’t want to spend the money for an alternative heat source such as propane or kerosene or heating oil so we have turned to other options.

Laurie had been using an EasyGreen Automatic Sprouter before we moved here. It is an electric appliance but it only takes about 22 watts of power to operate the mister for 15 minutes 8 times per day which is so minimal it just isn’t much of a factor even for us. It comes with  multiple trays so you can grow a variety of fresh sprouts at the same time or you can stagger the trays by planting one tray on Monday, another on Tuesday etc so that you have a constant supply of a variety of sprouts. This is a great winter option for anyone but also for those of us producing our own power.

As some of you already know, when we built this house we added two experimental insulated cold frames to the south end of the house. We never got around to trying them out the first year but we had some success last spring when it was still cold – as low as 18 degrees.

winter coldframesThis year we transplanted some cold weather plants from the garden in October and they are still thriving. The coldest it has been is 12 degrees. The picture shows spinach and swiss chard. There are even a few volunteer mushrooms in there!

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