TEHKUMMAH – Getting the highest possible yield out of a garden does not require a mass amount of growing space, something The Island Gardener, Anastasia Eranosova, has proven with her very productive plots which make up only one-third of her half-acre property in Tehkummah.
A big part of her output comes from a small greenhouse that hosts a few rows of plants. This is a year-round operation, with temperatures inside reaching as high as 34°C in January due to a unique insulation system.
The outer plastic walls on the sides and top of the structure are made of two layers of plastic. A fan blasts warm air from the greenhouse in between the layers and serves as both an insulator and an amplifier of the greenhouse effect to heat the inside space. The ground never freezes, even in the winter, and it helps to offset the effects of winter.
Items are planted in October and grow until about December when the available sunlight dips too low to be productive. They remain in a dormant state until February, when the oncoming spring sunlight finishes them off for an early season harvest.
Ms. Eranosova also has a plein-air garden surrounded by a deer fence to ensure her plants stay free from hungry foragers. She is experimenting this year with planting cover crops that can be tilled into the soil as a sort of “green manure.” Ms. Eranosova also plants crops that can enrich the soil, such as beans which infuse the ground with nitrogen. This helps to ensure the soil can provide enough nutrients for other plants. She runs drip irrigation tape throughout her plots to simplify the watering process.
Ms. Eranosova and her partner George Kopylov have installed beehives on the property to encourage pollination. They don’t have any major plans to sell their honey yet, though, since their production is on a much smaller scale than would be feasible for any sort of distribution.
For more information about Ms. Eranosova’s gardening business, visit her website at: