Permaculture and arctic climate

While other parts of this country are ready for outdoor gardening we still have a lot of snow left on the ground. We live in an area where we have a really short growing season, I counted the days between the last and the first frost using a weather service and it was about 95 days. That's not much, but I can still grow a lot of food. Vegetables that need a longer growing season are started indoors during spring and I have a greenhouse to give them the best conditions I possibly can.

 Some seeds are sown when the frost hits in the fall, this year we sowed carrots and parsnips, that gives them a head start when spring comes since they can sprout when the weather is right and the soil reaches the right temperatures without my interference. I also use raised beds, that's the most important feature in my garden, without the soil getting warmed up in spring and summer I believe I wouldn't be successful at all.

It's a challange, but if it gives me tomatoes and carrots, chives and turnips I'll work around the challenges and get a nice crop of vegetables on a quite small urban lot.

We have about 1/3 acre and we have two large buildings, our house and a barn. I also have trees and a main road that goes by our yard. Another thing I need to take into consideration is snowload. I could probably get a very nice spot for growing along the wall of the barn, but any constructions that can't take the snow that comes of the roof is crushed. So I use garden beds that aren't that high, meaning they can survive the massive amount of snow that always come down in the spring from the roof.

The snow also means that we have plants that can survive when the temperatures drop below -30 while in other places they can't make it due to the low temperatures here the snow acts like insulation and keep dormant plants safe while we humans freeze our ass off in wintertime. I find that kind of nice. I also have perennials that break through in the spring before the snow has completely melted off, they come up every year no matter what the weather is like and I'm stunned at that willpower from such a small plant that just does what it's supposed to do.

My intentions is to write more about growing in such a harsh climate, I find it really difficult to get the right kind of information about arctic climates and food production. It's nothing new to these parts, but there's little and no information that really reaches out from the kind of knowledge that is kept here. I can't tell how the people here used to do, but I can tell you what I do.
I've been gardening for a while and I'm in no way an expert, but I can share my big mistakes and my small successes.

I learned this from another gardener here in Sweden, even if she's located in the south I can use some of the things she has done. Like planting potatoes in shallow trays using soil. They grow way better this way and that's beneficial for me.

Right now I'm reading about permaculture. I can see so many benefits that can be found in such a simple yet complicated system, but for me not everything works like it's supposed to do. So I'm aiming to use some of the growing methods and adapt it for this kind of climate. If I'll ever be successful is yet to be discovered. But I'll have to give it a try before I'll ever know. I hope that you're willing to follow me along this journey. I think there's so much I can learn and if I can get a abundant crop with such a short growing season I bet you can too.

Until next time, be well.


Popular Posts