Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sprouts & Pea

   Remember those pepper seeds I wrote about...putting them on damp paper towels on the warm radiators to sprout? Well...
They sprouted! I planted them on a "fruit" day according to the biodynamic calendar and yesterday I planted them into the soil on another "fruit" day. These guys are just coming out of the seed. Cool!

This is my method...the finger method. I just put a hole in the soil with my finger and drop the seed in and then cover it, water it, put the lid on, place it under the lights. Not much to it.

I have to say that sometimes I'm really glad we aren't a huge producer. Oh yeah, we could use the extra income and it would be great to feel like we are really packed with tons of produce all the time, to look out over the farm and have it chock full of greens all the time. To see thousands of seedlings packed into tiny spaces. To have everything that everyone wants, all the time.

But, I also don't have to use the gadgets. I don't have a metal soil block maker, a seed-drop-in-the-holer thingy, and don't have to transplant four times. We use the bigger cells so we only have to transplant once. We learned from experience of planting into tiny cells and then transplanting that it just set us back too much in our growing time. And, with only us three we chose plants that didn't need started inside so much, saving on space and electricity and time.

We also don't do farmers markets where we have to have tons of produce in piles. We don't grow a lot of greens that are in thick blocks of rows. And, we have a lot to learn. TONS. So...maybe someday we will be able to have a unique system for blocking soil, dropping seeds, etc. Maybe our desire to try to do it all will override my desire to enjoy digging in the soil.

And...maybe someday we will have other people to do all that. I personally like digging my finger into the soil, dropping the tiny seeds in by hand so I can pump all my love and good energy into them. I like talking to them, taking my time, knowing that I don't have thousands upon thousands of transplants to do later. My simple methods might sound kinda whimsical - how will I ever be a big business if I keep doing it the small way? Guess it comes down to my quality of life - this is quality to me...not quantity. So...

Did you know that the seed casing sometimes stays attached to the plant leaf as it sprouts? Maybe you've seen this. It meant that when I had a bunch of really leafy seeds sprouting I had to be careful to drop the right end into the soil!

These were a little further along than I like. But they will do fine. Serrano peppers!
I love doing this...planting the seedlings. My allergies kick in and my nose gets clogged, my eyes get itchy, and I have to take a break every so often to breath (all from the soil molds and dust), but I still enjoy it. I'm glad I only do this once a year tho.

We have a friend farmer named Alma Augsburger of North Avoca Farm. She grows quite a few pounds of pea shoots and tendrils for restaurants every week. She amazes me cuz she grows these all year long in flats under her grow lights. Her growing area must be like a little jungle in the winter. Very impressive!

Animal news...we had to take our piggy Pea to the butcher. She had bad back legs, bowed, and as she grew they got worse and worse. She got where she looked miserable and laid around a lot...not good. I'm thankful to her for her life and for the food she will give us, wish she hadn't had leg problems and could've stayed around.
   The ducks have figured out the water tank for the cows. They reach their heads up over the sides to slurp up the water. And, they are shy about it! I see them from far away, but whenever I get closer to take pic, they quit doing it.
   The little roosters aren't chasing me as bad as they were. I have a new strategy. Used to be we would chase them back. Then Marty accidentally caught one in a bucket, swung it around, and now it leaves him alone whenever he has a bucket in hand. For me...well, I turn around and face the little bugger. I quietly ask him if he is thinking. "Are you sure you want to do that? Are you thinking that is a good idea? Are you sure you wouldn't rather think some more about what you are going to do? Think hard now. It might not be a good idea." Strange...but he turns and walks away. Hm. Peaceful, calm, direct,

Have a peaceful, sunny day!


  1. Ah, my animal-whisperer daughter! I always knew it was with more than cats, dogs, and piggies, but never realized roosters were included. Should have though. And now you have divulged that you are a sprout-whisperer too. There's just no end to what you can do! Hope you're having a sunshiney day....

  2. P.S. I finally saw your dragonfly! Great!