We grow most of our vegetables in three unheated hoop houses, which allow us to grow year round, even through the coldest of Vermont winters. All of our vegetables are certified organic, which means that we never use synthetic fertilizers or chemicals. We also work at a small enough scale to be able to do all of our labor by hand, and don't use a tractor or any mechanical cultivators to grow our veggies.
This past season we were thrilled to expand our vegetable production into our first outdoor garden, which we created by sheet mulching (adding many layers of) composted soil and wood-chips onto part of our home pasture. This outdoor garden, affectionately known as the "keyline garden", because of it's design which follows the contour of the pasture, has so much organic matter and woody material that it does an excellent job of regulating moisture and providing nutrients to the growing plants. We began by planting vegetables in this garden, but hope to eventually transition to perennials and perhaps even fruit and nut trees, once the soil ecology becomes more ideal for these longer lived plants. In the coming years, we also hope to expand these outdoor "keyline gardens" to weave through our pastures, allowing our animals to graze in between them. For now, we are loving the opportunity to garden outside and to experiment with different vegetables and a different environment.