It’s almost planting time! We’re getting ready to plant in the garden in mid-May (here, we’re not past our last freeze date yet), other than early veggies already in or going in this weekend–peas, lettuce, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, endives, and swiss chard. Going into the cold frame are pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant. Remember our free seeds?
To build a cold frame, you need little more than a glass covering of some sort and a wooden frame. We’re using our boxed flower garden to start our seeds this year, with old salvaged windows on top.
These windows came from my cousin’s barn. Mark is a salvager extraordinaire. The windows originally came from the old Walton (our tiny little town) elementary school. They’re all shabby chic and everything. I love that.
Imagine all the schoolchildren who looked through these windows, wishing wishing wishing they could go outside to play.
Mark keeps all his junk on the “man side” of the road. My cousin’s farm is split by the road. Way back when, my great-aunt Ruby and my great-uncle Carl came to the truce that Ruby was in charge of the side of the road where the old farmhouse stands. Only pretty things were to be allowed on her side. Carl got the other side.
The “woman side” of the road is all about flower beds….
…..and apple blossoms.
It’s a good place to get a piece of pie.
The “man side” of the road is all about junk….
….and old cars.
It’s a good place to get your cousin to fill up your window washer fluid and check your oil. Or ask him to stick his giant meaty fist into the barn and pluck out a bunch of old windows for a cold frame.
Who wishes you had a man side and a woman side of the road at your house? Raise your hands!
We are the secondary salvagers, salvaging from Mark’s salvage. We brought these windows back to our farm to make our cold frame. We are experts at the free or nearly free here at Stringtown Rising Farm.
The process is simple–just stick the seeds in a box of soil (remember our recent haul of two tons of cheap-cheap-cheap compost from the City of Charleston?), cover ‘em up, and place the windows on top. We used pieces of wood and concrete to prop the windows at the height we wanted them from inside the box.
Now, our seeds will have plenty of light and still be protected from the cold. The glass will trap the sun’s warmth on cold days. On unusually warm days, the windows can be moved aside to let more air in and keep the plants from overheating. With this cold frame, we can extend our growing season. After we transplant to the garden in mid-May, I’ll put in my flowers. Then I’ll pull out the dying flowers in the fall to plant more lettuce, and I’ll also be able to plant lettuce sooner next year as the cycle begins again. Fresh salad more months out of the year. I can’t wait!
Make a cold frame! And tell me what you think. Especially about that man side/woman side of the road thing. I love that idea. My great-aunt Ruby was so smart.