Gardening is a constant learning experience

Gardening is a constant learning experience

by Muriel

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I used to live in Santa Clara county in California- one of the four areas in the world with a Mediterranean climate and an absolute heaven for a gardener once you’ve amended your soil. I was lucky enough to have a plot that had been receiving regular contributions from the family farm for nigh on 25 years. The resulting combination of climate and soil meant that I got bumper crops all year round. Then we moved to the Cascade Mountains of Oregon…..
Living in the mountains, gardening is something of an art form– we have had recorded instances of snowfall in every month of the year, so there is no such thing as a frost free growing season, though we can normally hope for about 90 days. I have been experimenting with cold frames to grow some of the hardier crops such as mache and carrots through the winter, and I’ve gotten involved with a Community Greenhouse project- the local nursery provides space for us to start plants indoors so that we can get a head start on the short growing season. The soil is volcanic, with very little tilth, so we are planting in raised beds, straw bales, and this year I constructed a growing box.
Experimentation is showing me which plants and varieties do best here. Eventually, I hope my new garden will rival the old one.

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