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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.
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Cont. Ed. Op.-Hot Frame Workshop-January 24

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Good evening Chicago Master Gardeners,

Just a note to let you know about a workshop on building a hot frame.

If you are serious about growing food here in Chicago, season extension is a requirement to prolong how long you can harvest fresh vegetables. With some material (plastic or something that light can penetrate through) covering in-ground crops, greens can often be grown through the end of November or early December. These are typically called row covers.

To extend the growing season even further, many people tinker with cold frames - a simply constructed wood frame with either soft or hard plastic in between. This solid barrier can be placed directly over spinach or lettuce that has already been growing (or to start early crops in March!) in the fall and provide real, additional protection to allow them to grow.

A hot frame, however, is a cold frame heated in some way to make it warm enough for the plants to grow. This workshop focuses on using natural materials (think decomposing manure!) to create the heat needed to warm up the ambient air within the cold frame. Ingenious, right?

The folks at the Drew Williams Science Society (who is hosting this and other events) will be sure to tell you all about their spinach growing experiments in cold versus hot frames. You will easily be motivated to go the extra step if you really want to produce more food.

At this workshop at the University of Chicago, be prepared to go outside to construct and learn how to maintain this wonderful addition to your edible garden.

Please note: You must register by Saturday, January 17th if you would like to attend!

Hot Frame Workshop details:

Saturday January 24, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the 61st Garden: Dorchester and 61st: Chicago
Cost: $20.00 per participant

To register call Laurie Thrasher at 773-702-0421.

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