February 3, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

 I have written many times about living according to seasonal changes because going with the flow seems to always improve mental/physical health and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. That was all well and good, until I got my greenhouse last year. Greenhouses are "season extenders" or even, capable of allowing us to garden all year. That is the dilemma in which I  currently find myself. Those sungold grape tomatoes I am harvesting sure are tasty! So are the arugula, lettuces, radishes, onions, brocolli, chard, carrots, herbs and lemongrass. And I bet the zuchinni that is blooming will be a welcome dinner guest in a month. Not to mention, that I can start seeds earlier than those without a greenhouse and begin harvesting spring greens 4-6 weeks earlier than normal gardeners in my region. So, where is the "winter's rest"....the down time?  I am a bit frustrated, but coming to a place of balance. I am noticing that while I  can grow things all year, even so, there is still a rhythm to it which depends on my old friends- moon cycle and light and there is still attention that must be paid to individual plant needs. I actually, have simply created another cycle to observe and interact with and I can feel OK with the decadent luxury of winter nasturtium flowers as long as I respect that greenhouse plants will grow at their pace and I am not going to get a great bounty--because I won't totally try to re-create nature with elaborate heating/light systems. I also decided to use the same Biodynamic gardening calendar to plant/harvest on appropriate days as I do in the summer gardens. My greenhouse is attached to my house, so it gives us heat on sunny, winter days--no matter how cold, and our house keeps it warm enough so that we don't have to use extra heat. I don't have any light, other than the sun, so I am dependent on seasonal light to get my seedlings going. While I do not eat asparagus in winter--even though it is available at stores (because it is a spring tonic),or strawberries in December..... I do want greens and would buy them, but growing them allows me to at least be eating fresh/organic produce. What I can't do is eat  huge salads every day, or have enough tomatoes for regular mayo/tomato  sandwhiches.

One really interesting outcome has been that in late winter, where we are now, the ground is frozen and usually we have snow, but even if we take walks, you can't see all the signs of spring until much later. In  a solar heated greenhouse, the plants begin to respond to natural light changes in early January and right about now, greens are growing a bit faster and blooms are more plentiful--so I can see the spring stirrings already that the plant kingdom and our animal friends can feel and  that our bodies are noticing, though our minds may not.

I am still in the process of figuring out the most efficient way to make this compromise work on a lot of different levels and to continue going with the tide....of getting a little extra from nature, but still following her wisdom.....another learning journey.