Spring 2019 Editorial

One of the biggest challenges when trying to grow food in Central Oregon is our short growing season. Therefore, one of the most beneficial tools you could have is a greenhouse.
The history of greenhouses has been traced all the way back to Roman times when they were called ‘orangeries’. By the 1800s they became status symbols for wealthier families, providing fresh vegetables and fruits, and growing varieties that were not commonly found in their climate. Pineapple, bananas or oranges served at a meal was very impressive. The greenhouses were also a place to grow flowers out of season to decorate with.
Root vegetables, brassicas like cauliflower and broccoli and your leafy greens can do well in the Central Oregon climate without protection. I’m no master gardener, but in my opinion, that list is where most beginners in Central Oregon should start. These will help you learn about your soil, plan your watering systems, notice first and last frost dates, pay attention to shade and sun. Once you are started and know you want to continue on your gardening journey, you are ready to invest in a greenhouse.
I think that greenhouses are appreciated more when they are designed to do more than gardening. Ideally, when I’m able to build my own greenhouse I would like to incorporate an area for reading. A comfortable Adirondack chair or maybe even a hammock. In the article The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Beginning Greenhouse Gardeners on page 4, Jason talks about planning for everything that you would like to use your greenhouse for — like meditation or yoga. If you include growing lights and supplemental heat it could be a great place to get your vitamin D in the winter time when it’s cloudy outside.
A greenhouse attached to my home has always been a dream of mine. I love wood heat but having to tote the wood into the house and spread dirt, dust and spiders everywhere is hard for Marcee and Emma to overcome… especially the spiders. If you attach a well-insulated greenhouse to your home and put the wood stove in there, problem solved! Ash Baugher of Against The Grain Carpentry talks about custom built greenhouses of all types in his article Greenhouse Considerations for Central Oregon on page 15.
Our #BeADoer article by Amber Rogers of Ramble Farm took an abandoned underground pool and turned it into a subterranean greenhouse! I even have an article about a combination greenhouse/
chicken tractor that is still under construction. From DIY to custom built greenhouse, we’ve got it covered in this issue.
I would like to invite you to show off what you do to extend your growing season here in Central Oregon. Please, join us on our HomeSpun Magazine Facebook group to post pictures or ask questions. I look forward to meeting you.


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