Fall Greenhouse

This year I added a small greenhouse to my farm buildings. I started peas, spinach, cabbage, and peas in hopes of fresh greens and roughage for myself and the chickens. I’m always amazed by how quickly sprouts appear.

fallgreenhouse01Greenbeans usually sprout within 5 days, so I highly recommend them to newbie growers. They take up little space, have great yield, and the variety is astounding. These Dragontongue Green Beans have long been a favorite. They grown long, flat pods and are fantastic raw or in stir fried meals.

fallgreenhouse02Spinach may be my favorite leafy vegetable. I love it in smoothies, cooked with eggs, and raw in salads. This variety – Bloomsdale Longstanding – got top shelf space and the sprouts were earlier than I expected. I like this type because it grows steadily and replaces picked leaves quickly. The flavor is phenomenal.

fallgreenhouse03And then…disaster struck. Last week strong storms moved through the KC-Metro area with high winds that are pretty unusually for October. Branches creaked and fell, my yard furniture was thrown about the yard, and I was a little worried about the chicken coop’s ability to endure. I didn’t even consider the greenhouse, which is staked down per the manufacturer’s recommendation. When I opened the doors the next morning I was…well, heartbroken. One shelf fell over, taking a second with it. The vast majority of my clay pots were broken and seedlings lost. Loss is a reality in farming, but its still a tough blow.

Cleanup was pretty easy – I recently put a layer of plastic on the greenhouse floor to control grass growth – and I found green bean and pea seedlings that survived the event. I put them in fresh pots and they are doing well. I’m still hopeful that I’ll have a fall/winter crop in the greenhouse…it may just be a bit later than expected.

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