Although there is a 3 foot layer of hardened snow on top of my lovely cedar slab picnic table, I am still dreaming of greens… germinating, sprouting and beginning the food growing process again. The other night I was very diligent and made an inventory of our seed bank. I compared it to to my garden dream list which I have been adding notes to all year long; “don’t grow this again, make sure to plant more of this, a good companion of this is that….” you get the idea. I then mapped out a planting plan for our crop rotation and new expansions, and summarized what was left to purchase. Whew.
I trade seeds with friends all the time, and I often buy a few packs of seeds here and there (more so these days) but as it turns out I have about a dozen different types of peas this year which is funny because I didn’t harvest ANY last year! I just chopped and dropped peas as nitrogen fixing cover crops here and there. We also wished we had about a million more kale plants at the end of the season last year, especially after Mia discovered kale chips and started exploring marinades and took on our household snack production. I must have brought home kale seeds at every opportunity because I now have a hearty supply ! We also didn’t make any dill pickles last year and had a poor cucumber harvest, so that too has amounted to a dill ready supply of seeds! Funny how failures are so easy to remember!
I am really excited about the new and improved seeds starting system we are putting in place! We started by purchasing really lovely energy efficient ultra low profile grow light with reflectors. As you might imagine I have access to a vast array of retail shops specializing grow equipment for indoor harvests in my area, and there are many experts in this field, Lucky Me!
Presently I am eagerly awaiting my new SOIL BLOCKER system, and can’t wait to start using it to air prune my starts and remove the unnecessary step of transplanting out of pots and shocking and damaging little plants and their roots. After much reading I am also adding a fan to the seed start station, which improves the strength of the starts, just as wind helps trees grow strong, it does wonders for wee seeds. Finally the base and back of the rack will be wrapped in the wonder foil we are using for everything from window insulation to yurt insulation. It’s essentially bubble wrap sandwiched between two layers of reflective foil, and it should do a good job keeping all the greens warm and toasty.
I am using the wire rack greenhouse Helen gave us last year, which was a nice fit into the South window box, but my starts were often weak and troubled last year, I had to rotate trays daily and struggled with drastic heat changes and heavy arched plants, I lost whole trays of seeds more than once due to overheating and sweating too. Not all was lost, and as it was my first attempt to start seeds indoors ever, and I did manage to plant dozens and dozens of plants but my starts looked nothing like the starts I bought from the local green houses (obviously). My goal this season is to take one giant step closer to hearty strong abundant starts with all of these amendments! Here is to our expanded production needs being met.
Just some thoughts on my dreamy garden state these days.
In other news Dylan just built us a 1′-1″ scale house model last night… so I am making cardboad appliances, staircases and key furniture models today… pictures to follow when we roll out our final (work in progress) plans! Oh my.
It’s funny our new house is sitting on the floor our our current house and has taken up nearly all of our available floor space, ‘oh how we are longing for a real house. Exciting times!
Heading back to the big city soon for a quick resource mining / family visiting / ethnic food indulging mission, oh and I am going to spend the day in a session with Joel Salatin, Americans most influential farmer ! So very exciting