As we move forward to the new fall season; farmers across the county are harvesting their crops before the winter season moves in. Today a workshop was held at the farm of Doreen Conlogue in Littleton to demonstrate four-season production practices, and 60 people attended. “Four Season Forward” is a workshop that teaches what it sounds; how to grow crops year round, even when there’s snow on the ground.
District Manager of the Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District Angela Wotton said, “It’s a different mindset then just you know you plant your garden in May, and then you harvest in August and September, it’s really expanding that and giving people the tools to be able to extend the season.”
Class instructor Clara Coleman taught season extension gardening techniques; how to grow in a more efficient way with less space, that will yield more crop.
District Manager of the Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District Angela Wotton said, “If you want to say in September start planting some spinach for Thanksgiving crop or early winter crop you can do so very inexpensively just with different things that she’s demonstrating like using low tunnels or quick hoops.”
An example of some of the things the class instructor is demonstrating is the quick cuts green harvester, that provides a quick way to harvest salad greens.
Four Season Forward Workshop Instructor Clara Coleman said, “It was developed actually by a 15-year-old Amish kid named Jonathan from Tennessee and his idea was how do we use a power drill and attach it to a basket that would help the greens be placed into that basket cut at the same time.”
Specialized tools help to speed up the harvesting process and others like high tunnels, low tunnels, cold frames and quick hoops protect cultivation in frigid temperatures.
Four Season Forward Workshop Instructor Clara Coleman said, “It’s more about having the protection, understanding the light levels that change, as the winter comes the temperatures, and how to protect things through the winter.”
Spinach, arugula, and carrots are just a few of the cold hardy crops that can still be grown using the proper techniques during the winter.
Today’s workshop was hosted by the Southern Aroostook Soul & Water Conservation District. All of the demonstrated tools used in the Four Season Forward workshop are available through the Johnny’s Selected Seeds company, www.Johnnyseeds.com