Sustainable Living

How to Grow Vegetables in Winter?

How to grow vegetables in winter? It is well possible! You know that we live in a cooler climate zone where summers are short, cool, and rainy. Some years have been quite warm, but we get temperatures around 20 -24 Cel and much rain most time. It is not bad, because we still have it warm enough, and most importantly, we have enough water whereas other countries get it so hot for weeks without any rain. For the excellent growth of your vegetables, you need sun and water.

Also, because we have much rain, we get many snails eating our plants. But there are enough possibilities to prevent them from consuming our food. There are only a few vegetables we can grow in our garden in the winter, like kale, and these cabbages are very healthy, especially if you eat them in your salad raw or drink them in your smoothies.

Is Living Sustainable Possible in Winter?

kale in the garden

Yes, it is! There are some methods of growing your vegetables in winter; even you have dark and cold days. Of course, most people here in the Netherlands don’t own a big garden to place a conservatory for growing vegetables. And you need to have heating and a humid climate to make it work; therefore, you also need a thermostat. It is not very cheap to create a climate in your conservatory to grow great vegetables.

So, I prefer to grow winter vegetables in my garden because they are used to the cold weather and are healthy and strong!

If you want to live sustainably in winter, there are many possibilities to prepare the vegetables you have harvested in summer, like fermentation, freezing, drying, or packing them in jars. I know many methods from my mother, who always have been busy preparing our vegetables and fruits for the winter, like storing apples and potatoes in our cellar. Of course, when we reached Spring, they have looked really dehydrated and wizened. But we still used them! In these times, we didn’t know better, and nowadays, I am so glad that I still know about the possibilities to create storage for winter. My mother also made juice from different fruits, but I like the fresh-made juice the most.

A perfect method to get enough Vitamin Bs is to sprout seeds in a glass jar. I sprout all kinds of seeds and grains. They have an alkaline effect and provide many great nutrients we need in wintertime like Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, phytonutrients. I use them in my salad, but you could also put them on your bread. Alfalfa, broccoli, but also kale are great seeds to sprout. However, you can use all kinds of seeds; there is no restriction. It is easily done, and in this manner, you take care of your body very well.

sprouted vegetables
Photo by shivaraj s from Pexels

In winter, I love food that warms my body and spends much energy, so I cook a lot of bone broth and stews where I use much real butter and lard from the organic butcher. Wintertime is really a challenge to have fresh produce, but if you like kale and carrots, or other cabbages like I do, you can’t go wrong.

In Germany, we eat a lot of stew with smoked meat. It warms you because of the healthy fat and the cooked vegetables as well the meat. It is important to consume energy-rich food; otherwise, you get cold. I do a lot for my immune system, so fermented food and warm meals are important. But I also drink many nutrient-rich, freshly made juices, including grass and algae. You need acidity food for your energy, but also alkaline food for detoxification.

A Cold Country-What Can I Do?

All Northern countries are the same when it comes to food. I know that in Norway, people dry fish to make it preservable. They have their way of storing food.

However, winter is a good time to visit the Sauna to strengthen your immune system and walk a lot in Nature. We all need oxygen very much and movement to get stronger. Combining it with healthy food brings us back to former times when people stored food for winter and strengthened their immune systems.


Food has to be nutrient-rich, but also to be warming. If you look to the Inuits high in the North, you will see that they have originally consumed much fat from the fish they have caught. Nowadays, they live as unhealthy as the rest of the world. Their original food has made them resistant to the cold weather, whereby the junk food they are consuming now makes them weak. You can observe this phenomenon everywhere in the world. The junk food comes from Northern America and has not brought any blessing to the people.  Thanks to Mac Donald and other fast-food chains, many obese and unhealthy people are walking on earth. But we can change it!

People have lost their origin and contact with Nature. If they had continued the way their grandparents have lived and collected essential information, they would be stronger than they are now. But people worldwide have chosen to follow industry and an ill-making system. Big Pharma, Big Industry, and Big Tech pollute our environment for their own profit and pay nearly no taxes. We are the payers, money, health, environmental pollution.  The governments worldwide don’t do anything against this. They are talking a lot about finding solutions to fix the climate, but actually, we, the common people, are paying a huge price.

If we don’t let hear our voices, our children will live in a world that is so polluted and changed, suffering from all kinds of diseases and disasters. We need to overthink our consumption behavior, our attitude to plastics, and our food choice; the only way to force these Giants to stop polluting our planet. Living partly or completely self-sufficient will surely help. Still, our politicians must forbid the influence of the climate, like darkening the sun and genetically modified plants and animals corrupting the originals. Men can’t make it better than God already has created it; only make it worse. The Earth is no playground for such scientific trials.

However, growing vegetables and herbs inside the house are not difficult if you have the right system. I used to have a bulb for supporting plants with the light they need in winter, the ultra-violet light. Now you can purchase bulbs that are more electricity-saving and more convenient to use. People who are growing Hemp plants illegally in their cellars are using such a light installation. We can use UV light for our vegetables and herbs. Many people are using an Aerogarden, a complete system connected to a computer taking care of the right condition for the plants. I didn’t know before that these gardens exist.

What is an Aerogarden?

An aero garden is a hydroponic system for growing plants inside your house. As long you have access to power, you can do it anywhere in your house. An aero garden is an electronic tool designed to grow plants and herbs without too much human attention. You only need to program it when you first place your seeds inside, and its light and watering system will do the rest of the work for you, and you don’t even need soil. All year-round, you have the possibility to grow vegetables and herbs inside the house. There will be no snails eating your plants. I think this is really a great opportunity of living self-sufficient.

an aerogarden

These plants growing in an aero garden have more nutrients than the plants coming from the supermarket. Plants need a certain ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium to grow and become healthy, strong vegetables. But also calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals as selenium, iron, zinc, and others are vital for their growth. The aero garden systems work with a fertilizer system, a hydroponic system where you don’t need soil, but the nutrient solution containing the minerals the plants need. So you are actually better at caring for your health by using these systems instead of buying vegetables in the supermarket. I think it is a great way to grow vegetables in the winter. If you have a spare room in your house, you could use a bigger or several aero gardens. The only thing you need to do is renewing the water solution and check if the system works right.

Combining an aero garden with winter vegetables in your garden, you can already profit from harvesting strong, healthy vegetables.

The prices are quite different, cheaper for smaller systems or more expensive for a bigger aero garden. I have seen a great website about aero gardens and will provide you with the site’s name.

It is My Aero Gardening | Growing Plants without Dirt!

You will learn everything you need to know about aero gardens and growing your plants on this site.

 I will not receive any commission recommending this site to you. I will only help you if you need support and desire to know more about these systems.

How to Grow Vegetables in Winter?

The aero garden is one possibility of growing your own vegetables in winter and is very convenient. But there are other possibilities of living self-sufficient in the winter. Always the best is that you have harvested many vegetables and fruits in autumn and have stored them in different ways, making them available for consumption in winter. I discussed already the fermentation process, but also the packaging into jars. I do freeze fruit and some vegetables for later use, and I cook jam.

storage of vegetables in glass jars

I grow kale and carrots in my garden; that is a great time because I am not bothered by snails or caterpillars. There is a butterfly who loves the cabbages and leaves his eggs on the leaves. They can really cause a lot of damage to your produce. I love the insects and try to support their increase; therefore, I leave some cabbages for the caterpillars. This is a great solution, and the caterpillars will become butterflies next year. I always do this because I know there are so few butterflies left. We need to give them a hand!

However, I also have vegetables inside my house, growing with the help of UV light, but in soil. It is possible if you try to avoid a dry room climate. Not too humid, but also not too dry. If your room is too humid, you breed the little fruit flies, and you don’t want to have them in your house.

Growing vegetables without the aero garden are much more effort, but I don’t mind. You also have great results, and using organic soil will grow strong plants. The only disadvantage is to balance water, soil, air, and light. Using an aero garden is easier and comfortable. However, if you use a corner of your room, you will see great results as well. Try it out and let me know how the results have been. I would love to know!.

Another possibility is using a glasshouse, but you need a heating system; otherwise, your plants might die. But if you grow winter vegetables, then a glasshouse is an excellent solution. You don’t need the heating. I always prefer seasonal vegetables because you reap more nutrients if you grow vegetables and fruits according to their seasons.

conservatory, vegetables
Joao Jesus, pexels

Final Thought

Growing vegetables in winter is a great possibility to live self-sufficient and healthy. If you are too busy to grow them yourself, you could use an aero garden that takes the vegetables. It is not so much work using the aero garden. But maybe you would like to grow your vegetables in your garden. Try it out, and let me know! It is always a learning process, and you will be surprised how yummy self-grown vegetables are tasting. I am always open to advise and experience! I love to hear from you!

All Your Best,



  • Christine

    Glasshouses are beautiful and you can grow vegetables in them all year but they are also expensive. The aerogardens are a great solution. I’ve read about them before and I have been thinking about getting one, just to try it out.
    What are good winter vegetables to grow in your garden?
    I also leave some fruits for the insects and birds and I take the rest for myself. It works out perfectly that way. The use of insecticides has destroyed so much and it affects plant and animal life. I am one of the very few people in my neighborhood who doesn’t use pesticides and you can see the difference, but I am also noticing changes. This year, for example I don’t see so many daddy longlegs. Every year in the summer I have hundreds of them and I always leave them alone because they are a natural “pesticide”, they take care of other insects. This year I have only seen 2, I think … and it worries me.

    • Sylvie

      Thank you very much for your comment, Christine! You are very right! I have the same problem in my neighborhood, where they use all kinds of toxins. I noticed the decrease of the bumblebees, and so my vision is to create a wild garden with many different flowers for the bees, bumblebees, and other insects. The garden is small, but I have done a great job, and this year we noticed quite a lot of butterflies compared to other years. Also, my bee colony is back, and I had a great time this summer. Still, the bumblebees are coming less and less. That worries me.
      I grow winter vegetables like kale, carrots, and cabbages, which all are very healthy. We humans need to consume vitamin A for the skin and eyes, so carrots are quite good in my smoothies.
      We were thinking of putting a glasshouse on our rooftop to grow snail-free vegetables, but the roof needs to be strong, and we need to ask an expert first. I have tried to grow vegetables in pots, but it is always better to grow them in the garden soil, especially our rainy country makes the soil in the pots too wet.
      An aerogarden is really a great solution, and soil is not needed:)

  • Hannie Mommers

    Oof, I remember the Dutch cold and wet weather from way back when, and my vegetable garden was always a mess during wintertime. Such a difference now that I am living in a warm climate. My vegetable garden is not as full as in summertime, but I have several things that grow well.

    Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, oak leaf lettuce, white and kidney beans all do well. The strange thing is, the peas grow great, but they don’t bloom. Very weird.

    I have now sown carrot, chamomile and some more beans in the house in small greenhouses.

    Aside from the assurance that we are eating organically and healthily this way, it’s also so satisfying, don’t you think? I consider myself lucky every day that it is so wonderfully sunny during the day. The nights are cold, but that’s healthy for us too, isn’t it?

    • Sylvie

      Thank you for your comment, Hannie! Yes, I don’t like this grey and wet climate here. It isn’t easy to grow vegetables, but of course, certain seasonal vegetables are growing very well in winter, and I love to consume them. It sounds excellent your vegetable garden in Spain. If we are retired, I believe I would love to move to a warmer country with a lot of sun. I feel like an old cat, needing more warmth. 🙂

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