A NEW ADDITION TO THE GARDEN – COLD BOXES

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Gardening season is here! 

Well, okay.  Technically, gardening season is almost here in our neck of the woods.  But as any gardener worth their salt will tell you, dreaming up your garden plan is half the fun!  Just thinking about how you’re going to orient this year’s prized plantings easily helps you push through the final stretch of winter that occupies the weeks before you can actually get to play in the dirt again once planting season finally arrives.

We are especially looking forward to getting back in the game this gardening season because our efforts were obviously subdued last year with Riley’s arrival and we’re chomping at the bit to get things cranked up.  So much so that we decided to add a new piece of infrastructure to our homestead by building two new cold boxes.  Eventually the plans are to build a full size greenhouse, but these cold boxes will certainly meet our needs for now.

A cold box is essentially a mini-greenhouse that allows you to start your seeds, protects your seedlings from frost during the late winter months and allows you to “strengthen” them by exposing them slowly to the elements before eventually transplanting your seedlings into your full size garden.  Cold boxes can also be used to grow smaller plants with shallow root systems if you are so inclined.

We were able to up-cycle a couple of reclaimed window frames from a friend and we knew precisely how to put them to good use.  One of the frames was missing two panes of glass, but this was easily remedied.  I picked up a couple of acrylic sheets to replace the panes and left the job to my wife Alice.  Moments later she had trimmed them up to the right size to replace the missing panes and I added a little weather caulking to seal them into place. The two boxes framed up turned out to be 32″ x 31″ and 36″ x 28″ respectively.  I made a quick trip to my local lumber yard to pick up one 2 x 12 x 12 and one 2 x 12 x 10 to use for the frames and got to work.  A little bit of quality time with the circular saw and the power drill and we were set.

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Up-cycling reclaimed materials, gardening and power tools.  How could this day and this project not turn out great?  These cold boxes will be a tremendous addition to our homesteading infrastructure and we look forward to getting years of use out of them.  I’m certain we will pretty them up a bit in the near future and we will let Riley lead the way on that portion of the project.  I honestly can’t wait to see how they ultimately turn out.  I promise I’ll keep you posted!

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