I am excited to update you on the seeding operation which is currently underway in my kitchen. The seeds seeded on February 25th have (almost all) germinated and are now under lights, warm up and shaking themselves awake to the bright winter sunlight coming through my south facing windows, and warming, full spectrum flourescent light bulbs which will help these little creatures (as I see them) prepare themselves for the greenhouse. They are in teeny cell blocks (2 square centimeters, probably) and once they have a few “true”leaves (not the first ones that come up when the seed first sprouts, more like the second batch of little leaves), they will be ready to “pot up” (or on) to 1.5 square inch soil cubes. They kind of look like miniature brownie’s with sprouts poking out! This saves space, plastic, and time when it comes to potting up these little guys to their next size cubicle. These little cubes will then be transferred to the greenhouse to grow to full seedling size, get used to stronger light, cooler temperatures and then be ready to be planted straight in the ground (no waste!).
This whole process takes about 9 weeks, depending on the vegetable being seeded. So far, onion, eggplant, celery, cabbage, basil, tomato, pepper, stevia, parsley, kale, collards, and broccoli! Oh my! Two volunteers helped with the very tedious process of every so delicately placing one seed per cell block, labeling, and lugging everything up to the second floor (working in my new workshop in my basement at home!) where all of the seedlings were kept very warm in coolers with towels and glass mason jars full of hot hot water, which I changed every 2 days. Keeping it warm in there dramatically speeds up the germination time from weeks at room temperature to DAYS! at 75-90 degrees. It was impossible to tell how warm it was in the coolers without a thermometer, but when you stick your hand in there, it’s like your bathroom after a long hot shower.
An update in the greenhouse: We are having a volunteer workday THIS Sunday March 4th at 10am at 97 Webster Street behind the building. Come one, come all! We have installed a ventilation fan, made a little hutch for it to keep it out of the elements, nearly completed the end walls (plexi-glass is such a troublesome material to work with!!) fabricated latches for the double doors, constructing frames for seeding tables, build a raised bed and filled it will soil, build a drainage system, sealed the around the bottom of the whole greenhouse to keep out rain and figured out a fairly functional system for rolling the plastic up on the side for major ventilation once warmer weather comes.
There are still more CSA shares available! Please pass this along to your friends and family interested in purchasing a share at the beginning of the season. For questions or a brochure, email firstname.lastname@example.org