Cold Frame Ramp-Up

KevinCold Frames, From the Garden, Lactuca Micro Farm, Shoulder Season Gardening, Summer, Veg, Vegetables1 Comment

Wow have I been blog absent. Not a record stint, as I’ve had a few since 2005 when I started, but this one’s up there. Sorry about that. Back to regular programming.

As it turns out, me bringing my greens to market in Ep 45 has steadily evolved into a bustling little business that Travis and I are having a lot of fun with. Lactuca Micro Farm is rockin it. 124th Street Market days have continued to sell out more often than not, and every week or two there seems to be a new caterer or food truck wanting to procure a regular supply. Cool stuff. Lactuca’s about to tackle the City Market downtown. No problem with demand for custom greens.

Now to supply. Demand is heavier than anticipated. Thankfully, there’s room to ramp up on the production front. For my setup, that means cold frame construction. Problem is, I hadn’t planned for this. At all. So I’m just now figuring out how to edit my current mid-season garden gong show to include new frames for greens seeding. Also planning where future frames will go. Why cold frames? Hail storm protection, for starters. Seem to get a weekly reminder of that. Another biggy is I just lost a nice bed of lettuce seedlings to house sparrows while I was away on holidays. Need to screen the seedlings from them, which they seem to pummel at the 1/2″-1″ mark. Biggest reason is for cold and snow protection in March/April, October/November when we’ll be able to produce greens in shoulders seasons without going down the energy consumptive greenhouse road. Those are a lot of good reasons.

This build: 2 2X10s. One for the back board, one cut in half and cut at angles to adjoin the front 2×6. I put 4′ 2×4 down the middle. It provides support, but even more importantly I find that brace allows you to grab something when reaching deep into the middle of the frame. Cost is about $15 I’d say for the frame as a ballpark figure. The lids or ‘lights’ will be the same as my other frames: plexi gleaned from a greenhouse kit someone was offloading on kijiji, screwed to some 2×2 frames. This one’s seeded, each half into quarters, so 8 varietals. Doesn’t look like much now, but it will through the 2-4 week mark, after which it will be harvested and re-seeded for September harvest. Growing stuff is fun.

One Comment on ““Cold Frame Ramp-Up”

  1. Bob in Edmonton

    Nice work! I just started pulling the last of my spring cold frame carrots and will be redoing the one frame I have into two, shallower beds (easier on my back). Glad the market is working out!

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