Crofting: Growing Like Mad!

Pumpkin seedlings

I don’t think any common domestic food-producing plant that grows with the wild abandon of pumpkins and cucurbits-in-general. A little soil, a little water, and they burst out of their flat oval seeds like startled ducks off a pond.

We are in the sub-arctic northeast of the continent, and plants must grow like mad if they stand a chance to produce fruit, seeds, and set up a new generation. Our growing season can be as short as 100 days.

We try to extend that season by starting seeds indoors, and transplanting them to a sun-warmed garden after the last danger of frost.

windowsill tomatoes - Hungarian Heart cultivar

Watering all these plants stuck on tables and makeshift shelves and on the top of the refrigerator involves more than a gallon of water and standing on a chair. I dream of a greenhouse next spring – although that will involve a second woodstove to stoke and fidget over. And buckets of water to carry – but what’s another bucket or two?

7 thoughts on “Crofting: Growing Like Mad!

  1. On the subject of crazy plants you should see my green house and kitchen window. I have tomatoplants that are already close to the height of a grown man and I have almost fully grown cucumbers in the kitchen window. I have a pickling cucumber which would cover the earth if allowed. Oh well, if they are growing this much they will hopefully also bring a lot of produce, I hope… I love growing stuff though and when I get my garden I am afraid I will turn this into a full time job while probably still having another full time job.

  2. Good job.. I’m in hopes if you make it back to Maine must come visit to see my greenhouse.. Its my small one we took down our big one when oil prices went up and stopped selling…

  3. Nice you have an enclosed porch to grow your plants. Between the high winds and the drop in temps some nights, I’m having to drag my plants in and out and that isn’t too good for them either!

  4. Magdalena,

    I pray your growing season will be a most prosperous one, and that you are blessed with a well-heated adequate greenhouse next season!!

    We take for granted that in 99% of the country, even during winter, crops can be grown of one variety or another. A growing season from end to end of barely 100 days would scare the blazers out of me!! 🙂 God bless your crops and enterprise!



  5. Having grown up in upstate NY, I do understand. I remember Daddy lamenting a year when the last frost was in May and the first one was in early August. 1970-something I think. I was a kid. My Hungarian Heart ‘maters are waist-high and I’ve suckered them & tied them up already. Dealing with bacterial wilt on some of my other tomatoes—scary stuff. “They” say it’s incurable–the only thing to do is pull up the plant & burn it. I took some garlic, macerated it and put it in about a quart of water. Dug around the plant ’til I could feel roots. Put some of the garlic-water around the roots & covered it up. The plants SEEM to be recovering a little. Too early to claim victory, but at least I know I didn’t just give up. Here’s hoping you never hafta cope with that disease.

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