Melchers Era Cold Frames, unrestored
Built in 1923, these sunken cold frames provided insulation to overwinter plants, extend the growing season, start seeds, and harden off plants. Cold frames typically have a transparent covering to allow light in while providing wind protection. A layer of manure from the cow barn was put in the bottom of the beds. This layer was covered with soil; and seeds were planted in the soil. As the manure decomposed, it emitted heat that gently nursed the seeds into germinating. A large vegetable garden provided fresh produce and strawberries for both eating and making homemade wine. A fruit orchard with apple, pear, peach and nut trees was also located in this vicinity.