Here's a wee gardening update about our "experimental tomatoes" that came from the compost heap back in September -- about three weeks ago, we decided that it was costing too much energy to keep our greenhouse warm for four tomato plants (one of which never did set fruit -- I think it was a Brandywine variety that needs more sunlight and heat). So I closed the greenhouse, brought our 3 cherry tomato plants into the dining room, we did battle with any number of fruit flies that came with them (organically -- cider vinegar is irresistible to fruit flies), and waited. And voila, we have some gorgeous little red tomatoes for Christmas.
Lee has been researching ways to store heat with phase-change materials so that the greenhouse won't dip below zero without a heater. It's almost managing to do that already, as we've got two big covered barrels of water which moderate the temperature fairly well (the temp this morning is +1 C (30 F) -- when the temp was -20 C (-4 F) or colder in the last weeks, the coldest it got was -8.3 C (17 F) overnight). Once we have the heating issue solved, the next trick will be to get our light figured out -- I'm suspecting our fourth tomato plant didn't fruit because the sun isn't strong enough -- and likely won't be until March, when I start seedlings all over again. As for these plants, while they're flowering like mad, and I'm finger-pollinating, the blossoms aren't turning into any sort of fruit -- again because our light is low, and the dining room window isn't a good place to set up full-spectrum grow-lights. They'll just have to do the best they can without.