Shut Er Down

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We stopped heating the greenhouse last night.  It’s been in the 20’s overnight and doesn’t pay to keep heating it for just a few things.  It has a propane heater and its own tank.  We picked the meyer lemons and brought the lemon tree inside to live with our other potted citrus for the winter.  We picked the hot peppers and have them air drying to end up in hot pepper flakes.  We brought the cucumber plant and the ghost pepper plant inside to see if we can continue to force them to yield.  We got a really late start on the ghost pepper when we received seeds in July so it’s just now flowering.  They are the world’s hottest pepper at a million scoville units.  A farmer has been selling them for $5 per pepper at a neighboring market.  I have one I am drying for pepper flakes and seeds and we’ve got the plant so there’s that.   It’s incredibly expensive to heat the greenhouse in the dead of winter.  It’s pretty huge, 16′ by 40′.  We tried the first year we had it and lost power around midnight that January in below zero degree weather.  By the time we woke up and realized we had no power therefore no heat, everything was frozen.  We lost all of our potted citrus, vegetables, hibiscus, herbs, saffron.  Since then we don’t even try.  The tropicals come inside and the cool season crops stay down there for an extended indoor season.  We also entertain in the greenhouse.  We’ve got our old dining room table set up there permanently.  We had guests over for dinner this weekend and had dessert in the greenhouse.  I call it destination dining on the farm.  With the heater going we had gingerbread, sour cherry pie and blackberry wine by candlelight with the moon glowing through the covering.  It’s hard to believe a commercial greenhouse setup can be magical, but it can.

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