Today I’m tackling my One Green Thing for August. This month it’s all about planning my winter garden. But first, I’ll talk about my commitment to local eating last month.
At the beginning of July, I said that I would eat 10 local meals over the course of the month. Partway in, however, I decided to switch things up. I realized in pretty short order that I was eating a lot of local food, but not necessarily all at once. For example, I’d have some fresh blueberries with breakfast, some cucumber and cheese at lunch, a snack of a fresh peach, and potatoes and a salad at dinner. None of those constitute an entire meal, however, that’s nothing to sneeze at local food-wise. So, instead, I decided I would eat at least three servings of local food every day. I found this more manageable, and on many days I got as high as five or six servings, or even more. I call this a success, because I did increase the amount of local food I ate over the course of this month.Now it’s August, which is the height of summer. Talking about my winter garden feels a little premature, on the surface of it. However, just as I plan my summer garden in the depths of winter, the dog days of the summer are the best time to think about what I may still be able to grow in the colder months. I’m going to give a shout-out to the fabulous Christy of Eco Journey in the Burbs for the inspiration she gave me in a post over on the Green Phone Booth.
To help me get started, I recently placed an order with West Coast Seeds, both for some plants that will likely grow well during the cooler months (lettuce, beets, carrots) and some over-wintering varieties that I will plant now and harvest in the spring (broccoli, cauliflower, onions). I already have a small plant tunnel, so that I can shelter my sensitive plants from the harshest weather. This year I decided to buy some rye as a cover crop, as well. In past years I’ve collected and laid down leaves, but I’ve had mixed results so this year I’ll try this instead.
I’m lucky to live in a part of Canada that has very mild winters, so year-round gardening is possible. My hope is that by growing food in every season, I’ll be able to further reduce my food miles at a time of year when I otherwise might be eating a lot of imported fruit and veggies.
Do you plant a winter garden? I’d love to hear about your experiences! Also, if you’d like to get in on the act and take on One Green Thing of your own, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to grab the button from this post if you’re blogging about it, and spread the enviro-love.