Early winter weather had been mild five Decembers prior to 2010, making growing cool weather veggies a delightful experience. This is a plus that Climate Change brings.
December 2010 was harsh with temperatures dipping down into the single digits. Abnormal weather extremes are thought to be a part of Climate Change. The nice big green house usually available was unusable due to incomplete rebuilding. These plants were in pots for portability. They were to be examples at a talk I was supposed to give on December 13th. (The event was canceled due to freezing precipitation in the forecast.)
Cold hardy plants are OK with their leaves freezing, but they will die if their roots freeze. Since these were in pots and not in the ground, they were at risk for freezing if left outdoors. So, I brought them in and they have managed to survive and grow a little under one screw-in type fluorescent bulb. A few leaves have been harvested every few days for a small fresh picked salad. The plants are swiss chard, chinese cabbage, pok choi, and two other Asian varieties, their name forgotten for the time being.
These plants were started from seed in mid September. They would have been up to three times as big if they had spent their entire lives with their roots in the ground outdoors. The seed came from some local stores that carry a nice selection of seed for fall harvest. (By the calendar, winter starts on the solstice, which occurs December 20 or 21st.)
The presence of these plants seem to be helping me sleep better at night. Plants use CO2 and exhale O2. So these green living things are adding quality to the air in my bedroom.
I sleep with my head under a tented sleeping bag. I used to get kinda smothery feeling under there. I notice the absence of that feeling of not enough air since the plants have been sharing the room with me.
"Why does she sleep with her head under the covers?" you may be wondering.
I do not have curtains in my room because I like to be awakened by the early morning sun. Neighbors have a light that shines into the window, annoying me; and the room gets chilly. The sleeping bag provides darkness and warmth.
From now on, I will have some kind of plants in my bedroom to improve the air quality and my sleep.