Today I went to buy seeds. The ones you see in the photo were not on my list, but I couldn’t resist. They were $1.99 each, and twice the size of the usual seed packet. Lots of seeds inside too. The little wee hot red peppers looked so cute I just had to buy them to try them out. And the ‘Sweet Horn’ (Corno De Toro Giallo)? OF COURSE!! Leeks, I didn’t have – but now I do! Same with the onions. I have lots of green bunching onion seeds, but none of the regular bulb style onion.
Since there’s a bit of a language barrier between me and the seed packets, I’m not sure if they’re untreated or not. I guess I’ll find out if there are any obvious treatments when I open them up, but because I’m not sure they won’t be for sale. At least not this year – if I save my own seeds then someday down the road it’s possible. For now I’ll enjoy them and keep you posted.
And speaking of keeping you posted, I should say that I finished setting up the other half of the greenhouse shelves today in the scorching heat of the sun! Hubby had set everything up so I just needed to wedge the shelves into place. They set up and tear down fairly easily, and are braced on the sides of the greenhouse. Quite a nice piece of engineering, I have to say. He told me that if he was charging me what customers of his company usually pay for his engineering services, I would owe him $1,000 for the day.
I can’t wait to get them fully operational. I’m not sure how well you can tell in the photo, but the shelves have sides all the way around. This is to hold gravel/soil and a heating cable, so I can warm my seedlings from the bottom. I really want to get some seeds out there soon, as experiments, to see how well they grow. But we still need to purchase the cables, and possibly a thermostat of some sort (more engineering….).
I spent a bunch of time on the weekend filling in the gaps of my greenhouse. Above, you can see one of the joints. One side has some foamy stuff squished in there, and other side doesn’t. This is what I was doing – squishing foamy stuff into the cracks. Thrilling.
But necessary. It will make a difference in the amount of heat retained in the greenhouse in the spring, when I’ve got my seedlings in there growing for you!
It seems there are so many details to work out these days, about everything related to the business. I’m still working on PayPal, hoping to have functional ‘Buy Now’ buttons on the website this week. And yesterday was a bit rough, with my SI joint acting up again it’s hard to function. This morning I actually used crutches around the house so I could get a few things done – like, oh, just helping my kids get off to school and everything that goes with that – but now that I’m warmed up I can actually walk without them. It’s a bit daunting to be in that much pain first thing in the morning, but now that I can actually move around and carry a few little things here and there, I’m much more motivated to work on things before the next attack hits! Luckily I’ll be going to see my friend Joanne, an RMT, tomorrow.
Oops – there goes my 15 minute timer. Must get off my hiney so the SI joint doesn’t seize up again.
As I have less and less in the garden to take care of, I gain more and more projects in preparation of my business product lines and presentation. Lately I’ve been working on a few things at once, one of them being my display space for the Guelph Organic Conference.
So far (this may change) I’ve got a 4×4 Garden Patch on the floor, a 4×1 Balcony Planter on a 5×2 table, and a ladder set up with pots of plants on it. And hopefully some white xmas lights or rope lights too on the ladder. There’s a banner on the backdrop. Oh, and this is all in a 7×7 space.
I’ve started plants, hoping I can grow them to a reasonable, healthy-looking size using my indoor resources.
That could be tricky. But, you never know until you try.
Last night we went to check out pricing for PVC pipe and plastic sheeting, because one greenhouse just isn’t enough for what I want to grow. I’ll need a second one in the later spring to house all the plants as I repot them into larger containers. It will basically be frost protection at that point – a ‘just-in-case’ shelter. Very temporary.
I’m also working on gift packages for Christmas (Little Bird Told Me Craft Sale), and have only one so far: ‘Sprouty Salad’. This will contain a pot, soil, composted fertilizer, misting spray bottle, a few other little things, and a package of seeds that contains a mix that will provide lots of flavour and crunch. I’m working on gathering the materials to plant one and see how it grows.
My guess, I’ll need to package the radish seeds separately, because they grow faster than the lettuce. The idea is to eat them as sprouts, which takes only 4-5 days!
I’m also working on some new pin ideas in preparation for the sale and the show – but those are top secret for now.
These are the ones from the first batch. I’m in the process of trying to figure out the best way to offer these for sale through the website – shopping cart services etc – so hopefully that will happen soon.
There’s nothing like 1,000 feet of altitude. It re-energizes and puts life in perspective in a way that a big thanksgiving dinner can’t. I love dinner, but flying in a wee airplane would be my choice if I had to choose between the two. My brother-in-law took up family members, a few at a time, for a bit of a spin in the Cessna 172 (4 seater) before dinner yesterday. What a treat – it’s been at least 9/10 years since I’ve been up in a plane that small!
The fall leaves were out in force, and many fields were cleared of crops and boasted perfectly straight lines – from disking or ploughing or seeding winter wheat? Not sure what. It was beautiful, though. We also flew over the local golf course, since he was going golfing the next morning and wanted to get the lay of the land beforehand. Such handy things, airplanes.
Airplanes also brought my hubby home safely from the DR Congo recently – so I guess airplanes are near the top of my thankful list this year. Also on the list are family and friends and all the usual suspects, but I’m feeling particularly thankful for the times I’ve spent with family and friends, not just the fact that I have them. Below is a photo of my girls and I, taken by my sister when we took our kids out for a hike at a favourite childhood conservation area – Mud Lake in Port Colborne. It was a fantastic time of exploring nature and being with family; another re-energizing experience.
We’ve spent time camping with friends this summer, which the whole family enjoyed, and we’ve worked on projects together. The greenhouse was a big one that I’m very thankful for – so many family members pitched in on that one.
I’m also thankful for the people in my life who have helped me decide to just give’er and do this “Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens” thing – and cut out all the extraneous miscellaneous superfluous jobs. I’m feeling more at peace with my direction in life, now that I’m following my passion for growing food and helping others grow food too.
And thanks to you who read this blog – I know somebody’s reading because it’s in the stats – even though there aren’t a lot of comments I know you’re out there. I appreciate you stopping by.
For most of this past spring, this is what my deck looked like: it was covered in veggie seedlings soaking up the sun. Can you see why my greenhouse wish came true?
Here’s my hubby, installing the automatic vent openers in the greenhouse. He likes to use the deck for a good BBQ every now and then. Come to think of it, I think I have a photo of him and the BBQ from this spring….. yep. Here it is:
Not a lot of room there. He had to move a few trays to be able to stand in front of the BBQ.
I also wrecked a good portion of his nice-looking grass when I built Big Bertha.
I probably have the most patient and understanding husband in the universe. He totally got why I needed a greenhouse. I’m planning to increase my seedling production this year by a factor of about 6-7. We don’t have enough decks for that kind of growth, so obviously the solution is to install a greenhouse.
Living things struggle when they don’t have enough space; plants need room for leaves and roots. If you look at the first photo again, you’ll see a white tray by the rubber boots. It’s filled with brassica seedlings – I think Collard Greens, but could also be Cabbage. They look similar at that age. If you look at the black tray with square holes right behind it (farther toward the top of the pic), you’ll see brassica seedlings there too. Compare the size difference – the ones in the white tray are twice the size at least. The reason why? Space. The seeds were all sown at the same time. The lucky ones in the white tray were transplanted to give their roots more room. You can see the effect that had: they are some pretty nice-looking seedlings.
I am so incredibly excited to have a real greenhouse in my backyard that I can stand up in! I look forward to spreading my roots and establishing this kitchen garden business. Thanks to everyone who reads and encourages and challenges me to follow my passions. I’ve got room to grow.
There’s something about seedlings that compels me to take care of them. I’ve loved starting seeds for as long as I can remember, and I’m thrilled to be starting a business that features organically-grown seedlings at its core. The sowing of seeds, the watering and waiting, the joy of surprise when checking on them one morning and finding that they have sprouted overnight – I’m addicted! What better way to feed the addiction, than share it with everyone else who wants to play too.
The photo of the basil seedlings was taken this spring, when I was growing seedlings for myself and for the Seedling Sale at Little City Farm, and for Bailey’s Local Foods, a food buying club. I had so much fun – it was hard work, but I enjoyed it – and I’m hoping to expand the operation to grow A LOT MORE. I will be opening my home greenhouse on Saturdays in May and June to sell seedlings and garden packages. I will be promoting myself more (see facebook page at right). I will be growing waaaaayyyyyyyy more seedlings (hooray! They’re so cute when they’re babies). In the coming months I will be pestering everyone I know, because I want to know what people want to grow in their gardens.
If you have suggestions, please make them heard!
Wow time flies – my girls are not babies anymore! Today I walked both of them to school, and they’re both staying there all day. Well, until 315 anyway. What a great opportunity for me to get working on my new business. After I play with the cat, wander aimlessly around the house, throw in a load of laundry, make myself a snack, and tidy the office.
I thought I should update cyberspace: we have a greenhouse in our backyard now!!! Huge thanks to family members who came to help – we could not have done it without you.
We had to remove some shrubs and a small tree:
Dig a trench and pack down dirt and gravel for a foundation:
Build a base and fill it with gravel for a floor:
Then open the greenhouse boxes:
Maybe read some instructions:
And after lots of pushing and pulling and shoving and clicks and head-scratching, here it is without a door:
The vents are wide open today – must be hot in there! They open automatically – the automatic openers were added, for free, to my order of the greenhouse. Greenwall Solutions Inc – great company to buy a greenhouse kit from if you’re in the market!
So that’s what’s been keeping me so busy that I haven’t had time to weed my garden, can peaches, or update my blog. Well, that plus children and the house and the new cat….