Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mostly about Planting Seeds...

Radish Seeds
  My Johnny’s Seeds have arrived! Well almost all of them…all but one package (which is back ordered a few more days) and the potatoes. It was enough for a beginning.
Lucy "helping" plant seeds

    I want to talk a little about the goal of this venture because it may make the process I am following clearer. I think that anyone can grow lettuce, carrots, etc. (though I have failed even at that) However, I have a grander scheme. I don’t just want to plant, watch them grow, eat, then start all over. We must eat more than once every three months, so I think I have come up with a sustainable system. I am planting based on a two adult/two children appetite. Counting in the variable that my wife doesn’t like the taste of anything green and Lucy is just as happy with rice and beans, we may need even less. This works out in round numbers to 12 Lettuce, 12 Spinach, 6 pokchoi, 12 beets, 36 carrots, and 36 radishes every two weeks. I devised the “divisible by six plan” because the basis will be egg cartons. Starting today, I am planting a few egg cartons every 2 weeks. Once the harvest starts, I will then have harvestable, all organic, loved, cared for, beautiful vegetables every two weeks, with none of those terrible, toxic, deadly pesticides you hear about (although we've eaten our share of non-organic and haven't died yet :-) This is, of course, marring natural disasters, inquisitive dogs, forgetful gardeners, and other phenomenon.
   The process: #1 Steal the egg cartons from the recycle bin (you should have seen the look on its face when it realized it had been swindled) #2 Plant in rows #3 Mark rows #4 Watch and water.
   Once I begin to see sprouts, I will plant them in the hoop house and cold frame. The carrots and radishes should be able to just grow through the packaging, so I can plant their whole cartons. The leafy specimens, I will separate and plant with adequate spacing. Then marking the cold frames and hoop house by dates, I should be able to track them with mathematical precision and watch the cornucopia of organic goodness fill up! (Aren't I "poetical"?)

Egg Cartons filled with Dirt

Radish Seeds getting planted

Cartons ready for transport

Notes: There are a couple small but important notes here for the few weary travelers who have made it thus far.
1) If you buy johnny's seeds, they come in these really nice resealable packages. Don't rip off the top before reading the label.
2) You can buy "pelleted" seeds, which means they have a clay around the seed that will break down. This helps when trying to plant one seed at a time. They are a little larger and easier to handle, though about a dollar more per package $3.95 instead of $2.95. I plan on buying all pelleted from now on.

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