It’s eternal summer in the greenhouse

It may be winter outside, but inside the greenhouse, tropicals flourish.
It may be winter outside, but inside the greenhouse, tropicals flourish.

It may be winter outside, but in the greenhouse, it’s always summer no matter what the weather. It’s humid, warm and when the propane heater gets going, almost hot. I love it. Winter in Oklahoma isn’t that dreary until after the holidays. Right now, blue skies reign mostly supreme. You just never know what kind of morning you’ll wake up to . . . today, a heavy fog, but it burned off rather before I got outside. I was working on the book, and deadlines come first. Some days in December are almost warm in the 60s. Others reach a high of 30F. We have weird yet wonderful weather until  Christmas comes and goes.

January and February make me think I’ll lose my mind. Skies are often cloudy, and the temperature is even more frustrating as we travel further from the sun. We never know what kind of winter we’re going to get. However, in the greenhouse, all is warm and wonderful.

Inside the greenhouse, you can see the controls at the back of the house, along with the electric heater.
Inside the greenhouse, you can see the controls at the back of the house, along with the electric heater.

I pinch myself every time I open the door. I can’t believe we really bought and built it. I’ve always wanted one, and I saved my earnings for three years. Yes, three years. Writers don’t get paid much anymore. Ha!

Propane heater for the greenhouse. Bill thinks he bought it a little large.
Propane heater for the greenhouse. Bill thinks he bought it a little large.

I planned to use the unheated greenhouse to harden off seeds as part of my seed starting routine. Then, I realized I wanted so much more. I need a place to go when the cold winds rattle my my very soul. I need to smell summer fauna, and maybe a flower or two.

Not just want, but need. I need a lemon tree. I know, it sounds decadent, but lemon and mint are my two favorite flavorings. Mint is easy to grow almost anywhere. However, to grow my own citrus would be a dream come true. I’m going to buy a lemon, a lime and maybe even a tangelo or kumquat. That’s next spring’s challenge. I’m going to grow mint and basil over winter. I will always have both. Hurray!

Now, for some technical info. Bill and I first put in an electric heater, but we worried about two things. One, if the power went off,  the heat would too, and that could quickly turn into a problem. The other concern was cost. Electric heat is much more expensive than propane heat. We elected to have two separate heaters, propane and electric. Since Oklahoma’s weather is variable, we don’t need the pilot light lit all the time. So, if we forget to turn on the pilot light and get a sudden downturn in temperatures (like the end of this week and part of last week), the electric heater will come on. It’s a two-stage system for two people who might forget. I also talked Bill into a carbon monoxide monitor to make sure I don’t gas myself in there. The propane heater is much more cost effective than the electric one, as long as we have propane in the tank outside. Next time, I’ll talk about the water situation. This post is getting rather long.

Carbon monoxide monitor for the greenhouse, not cheap, but worth it I think.
Carbon monoxide monitor for the greenhouse, not cheap, but worth it I think.

I make the small farmer rounds everyday. First, I visit the chickens, then grab the mail and finally, head last to the greenhouse where I open the door to find . . . .

Agaves hanging out in the greenhouse. While agaves don't need to be kept this warm, it doesn't hurt.
Agaves hanging out in the greenhouse. While agaves don’t need to be kept this warm, it doesn’t hurt. I have these on the right side where nothing is watered much.

Summertime has again arrived.