Growing your own food is an extremely rewarding experience. It’s fun, it’s active and it actually has quite a few health benefits too.
You can easily cover a good portion of your diet by growing a lot of fruits and vegetables at home. Plus, you can rely on your own products.
You never have to worry about what chemicals or additives could be in store-bought food. The reasons for growing food at home are numerous.
The trouble is that it’s not that easy to do it all year round. Generally, the spring and summer months are the only time people think they can grow their own food.
And it’s also dependant on the climate where you live. But there are some things you can do to ensure that you can grow food all year round. Here’s three things to try
1. In-home greenhouses
If you’re a gardener by nature, you’ve probably already thought about building a greenhouse in your home. It’s becoming increasingly more popular these days among gardeners and it’s not exclusive to people who want to just grow plants at home anymore.
It’s not even all that hard to set up, and because there are so many people doing it, there’s tons of advice online about how to start and maintain a home greenhouse.
In the case of the winter months, you can still easily grow with the natural winter light.
There are a few ways to rework your greenhouse into a ‘deep winter greenhouse’, and one very effective way involves using fans.
Build a rock storage area at the bottom of your greenhouse and then use fans to redirect the rising heat which will then gather in the rocks. This will allow for any heat from the winter sunlight during the day to be stored until the night where it will then release and keep the plants warm.
While actually building the greenhouse itself will be easy enough, preparing it for the colder months is a bit more complicated. Make sure you do your research.
2. Rocket mass heaters
A rocket mass heater is a wood-burning stove that is similar to an iron wood stove but is much more efficient.
This will keep your entire home heated, and it will actually do so using significantly less wood than the iron stove.
You can build one of these in your greenhouse to keep your plants warm and it will do the job just as well, if not better, than the sunlight during the summer months does.
It will take some time to build and you may have to find a way to deal with some dampness in your greenhouse. But if you can get this right it will solve all of your winter growing problems.
You’ll need to have some kind of metal combustion chamber, like a large oil drum, and then something to build the exhaust pipe and the fire pit part. For your greenhouse, bricks would probably be the best option. You’ll have to allow for the chimney to release somewhere outside of your greenhouse.
But even still, there isn’t going to be any smoke for your to contend with. Because with a rocket mass heater, the chimney gets so hot that the smoke burns up entirely. The pipe just releases transparent steam that won’t even burn you if you put your hand through it.
So you won’t be polluting the air around your house at all and you will be providing an incredible source of heat for the food you’re growing in your greenhouse.
3. Sun scoops
This one, in particular, is useful for organic gardening because you’re essentially building your own personal microclimate on your property.
A sun scoop is a curved bank that you build into your garden and then use to manipulate the flow of cold air.
Dig out a verge in the soil and build some kind of barrier or a berm around this verge. People will often use some kind of metal, but wood or even a brick wall could work.
Metal is probably the best choice, especially during the winter months, because the purpose of the sun scoop is to reflect the sunlight.
You can plant all of your fruits and vegetables in the soil of this verge and then the metal berm will heat up and keep the plants warm. Any kind of cool air will be blocked from the area and your plants will be allowed to thrive even during those colder months.
We should be able to reap the benefits of growing our own food all year round and if you use techniques such as these ones you can make that easier for yourself. The greenhouse method is probably the most appropriate, but if you don’t have the space necessary you can try one of the others too and still see some good results.
So in short, don’t let winter stop you from growing your own food. If you know what you’re doing you can spend the whole year growing!
If your garden needs some TLC before the winter sets in, use Quotatis to find a reputable gardener. Simply click here to get started.