Episode-1201- Peter Hartman on Winter Gardening

Peter Hartman is a long time listener to the show, so long in fact that he has been listening since the “Jetta Days”.  Today he joins us to discuss winter gardening with some really interesting concepts.  We discuss making cold frames, low tunnels and green houses.

We also get into the concept that often winter gardening is about getting plants to or very close to size by winter and from there it is more like a form of “live storage”.

Join Us Today as We Discuss…

  • Equipment specific to the winter garden
  • What species do best in winter
  • What species to avoid in winter
  • When to start planting for winter
  • How much work goes into winter gardens vs. spring, fall and summer
  • What specific problems are there with winter gardens
  • What resources are available to learn more about winter gardening

Resources for today’s show…

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34 Responses to Episode-1201- Peter Hartman on Winter Gardening

  1. Jack,
    ep. 1200 was the very first episode I’ve ever turned off without finishing- not your fault though.
    – Sally Fallon was a disrespectful- self-serving jerk to you and the audience, and once she blew you off, I quit listening- and I have NO interest in anything she or her foundation is recommending – saying -or selling.

    • Modern Survival

      Don’t be too hard on her, there is some real history that has caused this and I was not aware of it. If I had been I would have avoided the subject like turd in the grass.

  2. The show was very informative. We have pretty harsh winters here in Northeast Indiana and it’s nice to hear about winter gardening. We get some lake effect here from Lake Michigan but I think a lot of the same ideas can work here. Thanks Peter and thanks Jack.

  3. Great show Jack!
    I think sometimes people focus on what they can’t grow in their area but they forget there are four seasons!
    I grew up in Liberty County Texas and we grew everything we wanted, just not all year round.

  4. Hi Jack!

    You’re welcome 😉 😉 😉

    Loved this show and this guy!! I think audience member shows are some of the best!

  5. Jack,
    I like the short history lessons now. It does a good job of pointing out how most of our problems are nothing new or special. And as you have put it before “Learn from history, because some dumb ass will always try to repeat it.”
    (I think that quote is much better than the original 🙂

    • Amen brother, I’m a big student of history, if you want to see something scary read about the fall of Rome and how it is so similar the USA in present day!

      • Their military was spread out all over the world, morality was non-existent, the people were dumbed down, fat, lazy, dependent on the government, they wanted cheap food, more entertainment and did not want to deal with the Empires problems…that was for those in charge to deal with! Very Scary!

  6. Great show, its funny I’ve spent all week listening to all the previous winter/fall gardening episodes and today this!!

    So far I’ve confined myself to just 3 seed trays and a big old bucket of leaf beet and they’ve already sprouted. Not bad really it was 54F outside today and 95F in the greenhouse.

  7. Also, how about a show with info on taking cuttings?

    Others might be interested in this
    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Rooting-Tonic

  8. Jack & Peter,

    Great show, and I hope that it came across clearly that the Dec.-Feb. time is primarily a time of harvest when the cold tolerant vegetables sown late summer and early fall are sitting essentially hibernating, waiting for you to pick what you need. How do I know that? Not from your practical experience but because just a few days previous, I happened to finish the book that Peter recommended, “Four-Season Harvest,” by Eliot Coleman.

    I don’t think that I have ever seen a better DIY “how to” book in my life. It’s got everything from food and eater philosophy, to composting in detail with structure builds for different particular soil needs, to what tools to use, how to make some tools and any of the structures necessary for year round gardening, to what vegetables work for this, when to start seedlings, when to plant, and when to expect produce, even sometimes how to pick and gather, covering all of the primary winter harvestable vegetables. There’s even a chapter on root cellars, how they work and how to build one from simple to complex. There are graphs, lists, maps and guides to help you adapt the principles to anywhere in the continental US.

    For anyone who wants to try this, I can’t imagine a better resource. You will have enough complexity experimenting and adapting to your particular climate and situation, if you don’t have the benefit of a master teacher like Coleman to help you start out somewhere in the ball park.

    • Good Grief, I can’t write English, I wrote, “Not from your practical experience…,” when I meant to write something like, “Not just from the practical experience that you discussed here…,” What I wrote could be viewed negatively and I meant no such thing. I’m so sorry.

    • Ron,
      Coleman also wrote The Winter Harvest Handbook. The name says it all there. Not winter gardening…winter harvest. To be fair, though, Coleman does warm his greenhouses. He jokes about it in a presentations saying with a little more heat he could grow X. A little more he could grow Y. Then, before you know it, you can justify growing Mangoes in Maine.

      • Mr. Steward,

        Thanks for the head’s up. Is the heat of which you talk more than composting in and around the green house like Will Allen or is it more active like building a rocket stove inside or having a huge boiler for a number of green houses? Since Coleman also grows commercially, I can understand him experimenting with heat for high value produce.

        Just a little observation, off topic. In terms of my own learning curve, it really took me some time to grok how composting and other methods to return lovely unwastes to the soil are part and parcel of sustainable growing, as important, perhaps more important than the growing itself.

        • Coleman discusses his heating here. If that link fails, look for “Eliot Coleman Winter Harvest” on youtube and flip to the 28 minute mark. He uses a propane heater and discusses the economics of it as well as his concerns about the practice.

          Good use of grok. Compost piles truly grok resources. Composting on a farm scale (including chicken offal, pig heads, skins, hooves, raccoons, humanure…you name it) required me to change my ways. The difficulty for me, personally, was letting go and letting it rot. The compost pile doesn’t need to be turned and micro-managed. I needed simplicity when I started managing tons of compost. If it stinks I add carbon. If it is not hot, I add green stuff. If it’s dry, I add water. No big whoop. Sawdust dissolves pig skulls given sufficient time.

  9. steven stewart

    I liked the interview with Peter but couldnt understand the name of his website. Could you please supply that to me.

    Thanks

  10. Hey Jack, it’s actually onesojourner.org

    • Hey I just listened to this podcast and saw your page on the arduino.

      If you’d like any information at all (or help) I can definitely set you up. I haven’t done quite the automation stuff you’re talking about, but I’ve written and handled quited a bit of code with arduino (and interfacing with it) that I might be able to at least give you some pointers.

      I also boot strapped some code I got from somebody online that allows me to do my own cross-compiling and uploading (rather than using the unbelievably shitty interface/GUI that comes standard). I probably spent 3 straight months locked in my office working on getting a good development environment going for it. (Interfaced with it over a Raspberry pi, using Python and Dbus).

  11. And here are those videos I mentioned in the episode, if any one is interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2D588BDCA604D710

  12. This year I ate volunteer lettuces well into March. My chard keep on producing through winter also. However, planting for winter is tricky. For example, two weeks ago, thinking I’d get a head start on fall gardening , I planted a lot of lettuces, chard, broccoli, etc… Nothing sprouted despite being in cups and in a semi shaded area with plenty of morning sun and little afternoon sun.

    So I will plant again this weekend. Maybe now that it’s cooler I have better luck. It is very important to keep a diary of seeds, dates, and place were plants grew.

  13. I picked up Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook by Eliot And Barbara a few months ago and page 68 has a full colour page of varities that grow well in cooler climate. I also cannot recommend Niki Jabbour’s book “Year Round Vegetable Gardener”. She is based just outside Halifax Nova Scotia. She would make an excellent guest; since she hosts her own radio show during the summer about gardening.

    • I meant to say “Cannot recommend enough”, jeepers typing at this time of morning is hard on a fella. The book is excellent

    • Hey brother, depending on where you live it might be better to sprout them in your house, down here in SE Texas I have too do that, depending on how hot it is this time of year.

  14. Jack thanks a lot for the clarity around the WAP foundation. I am also a fan of Price’s work and have been struggling in the last year or so with the WAP foundation.

    For me, the thing that has been bothering me is one particular person within the leadership of that organization has a blog on which she regularly posts incorrect and/or uncited information and refuses to engage in any critical examination of such claims.

    In one case, a guest author on her blog was claiming to be some kind of “doctor” making ridiculous claims about dietary health. When I (and one or two other people) tried to challenge some of those in what I thought was meaningful dialogue our comments were removed from the blog.

    I researched this individual and he is a total charlatan. He claims, essentially, to have “invented windows”, and I’m not even joking. He was apparently selling some very similar software in Russia. He also has NO background whatsoever to be considered any kind of dietary expert at all. He apparently wrote some book but has no other work to point to at all, evidently spending most his career in IT.

    Anyway, I saw more than one case of bad citations or erroneous claims on this blog and she does not accept feedback but will remove any comment including evidence that might be contrary to the article in question.

    Since then I started to realize how often this particular blogger makes claims with NO references. In ccontrast, if you read Robb Wolf or Chris Kresser, those guys cite sources heavily.

    Since then I have stopped reading information sourcing from either that blogger or the WAP foundation (she often posts her own blog on the WAP facebook site). While I generally think the WAP approach is fine (including grains if applied appropriately) in general the organization seems to be more interested in branding rather than accuracy of information . I think Sally Fallon’s interview reinforced that for me and I had to quit listening.

    So anyway, I appreciate the information regarding Price’s legacy. The fact the WAP organization used Price’s name in such an obviously misleading way without clear disclosure only further reinforces my opinion that this is not an organization worthy of my trust.

  15. Jack, I was able to get to NY to meet Geoff and pick up my certificate last week. He said they are happy with how the class went and the next one should start early next year.

  16. Regardless of the whole WAPF kerfuffle, I recently started the Paleo diet based on Robb Wolf’s book and I’m following it strictly for the first 30 days. After 12 days, I’ve lost 20 lbs., have not felt any hunger pangs, and feel so much better. Only on one or two occasions have I missed having a slice of pizza or pancakes (or chocolate cake for that matter), but I’m so enjoying the process and the results.

    I’d heard some things about paleo over the past few years, but you’re own success with the diet is what spurred me to read the book (read, mind you, while gorging myself on my (formerly) usual unhealthy diet).

    After the 30-day challenge period, I do want to see about adding some foods back into the diet, such as dairy (I love me some cold milk) and maybe a few breads. That’s why I found what Sally Fallon had to say about sour dough bread to be very interesting.

    I thought it was a very thought-provoking interview, btw, and though I didn’t see her being as defensive as you suggested, I did get the impression she was trying to differentiate and maintain the differentiation of her WAPF brand from everything else out there. It was overall a very good interview and certainly a spark for further research.

    Rich

  17. If I have a greenhouse and it’s 10 or 20 degrees out, the ground won’t freeze ? Must I have 100% full sun, or a little shade in the morning isn’t the end of the world ?

  18. Hey All, thought I’d chime in with a note on today’s sponsor: Backwoods Home Magazine. Jack mentions they have a subscription discount for MSB members with a link in the MSB section to get the special price. I was interested in some of their other products, particularly the ‘whole shebang’ package, which has just about everything they’ve done in one big FedEx box. I emailed to see if there was a way to get any sort of discount on that, since it includes a subscription as well. Here’s Rhoda’s response:

    Mick,
    The 20% discount applies to anything here! Your Whole Sheebang would be $304.00 plus S & H. You would have to call us to order as it’s not set up in our website’s shopping cart.
    Rhoda

    So something to keep in mind. If there’s anything else you want to get from them and get the MSB discount, go to the MSB page first then call in to BWH at the number on their page.

    Can’t wait for the big box now!!

    Mick

    • Mick,

      Thanks for doing the legwork! I had wondered the same thing and it’s good to know the discount is available. I’ll be taking advantage of it myself.

      Rich

    • Modern Survival

      So did you order it, did it work. I don’t know Rhoda I generally deal directly with either Dave or his wife. If this is true I need to let people know.

      It isn’t the deal Dave and I had, he only mentioned subscriptions but this is a much better deal indeed.

    • Yep, ordered today and told the young lady who answered the phone that I had talked with Rhoda and sh said ‘Oh! That’s my mom! I’ll put her on.’ That too made me feel good about the purchase! Anyway, ran through the purchase with Rhoda and got it ordered for $304, plus $20 for Fedex. She said it would to out today or tomorrow.

  19. How a water well works. The water in the casing will rise to the level of the water table 10′ or what ever if the well flows, it doesn’t matter if the well is 100′ or 1000′. Hydraulic pressure pushes the water in the casing to water table level. You can pull water from ground level with a shallow well pump, electric or manuel about 24 or 25 feet. A pump down in the casing can push water up a 100″ or more. A deep well pump at ground level can lift water from more than 25″ with a jet system. Several experienced well drillers haven’t been able to explain the jet system yet.

  20. Hey Everyone,
    I was wondering what the springs for the coldframe were mentioned on the show? My mom is just getting started with coldframes this year and I want to make it super easy for her, but I never even thought that such a hinge would exist. Is there a brand name or something? My googlefu must be broken today because I cant find anything that looks like what was mentioned. Thanks.