But first, what a cute little egg! The little "new" banty pullet from last year's chicks must be laying, now graduated to full-fledged hen status. She must be so proud. Every time that happens, I have to just stop and smile at how adorable the little egg is. I used it and a few of it's brethren to make some giblet gravy, hence the decimated onions and garlic skins around it.
I bought a soil warming cable from Farmtek a couple weeks ago and decided to set it up today. Initially, I was hesitant to use regular potting soil for fear of it getting too hot when it was dry and possibly having some of the organic matter catching fire. I asked Neil at NG about it and he pointed out that it won't really get that hot, just hot enough to start seeds. Doh.
I put about an inch of nice, sandy potting soil down first, spread evenly across the table. I cut some hardware cloth to fit, zip-tied the cable to it per directions (easy-peasey ~ just put the thermostat somewhere around halfway between the center and a side of the table), and put another inch of sandy soil on top. Voila!
I'm so jazzed! Can't wait to start pepper seeds and more tomatoes.
Speaking of tomatoes, here are the Beefsteaks and Fox Cherries I started a couple/few weeks ago. I'd put two or three seeds of the Fox Cherries in each cell because they were old seed. Well, in some places all three seeds have sprouted! Looks like I'll have some separating to do, but I surely don't mind. That's just more plants for the library plant sale.
Here are the other seeds I planted a while ago. Left to right ~ Castor Beans, Luna White hibiscus and Green Globe Improved artichokes. I just love seeing all the little green heads poking up! Can't wait to get them into bigger pots and some into the garden. I'll plant just a few of each (two in the case of the hibiscus) and offer the rest at the plant sale. I hope they sell ~ being "exotic" to most people, they just might.
And most of the cuttings ~ about three hundred and I'm just getting started.
Now that I've got the warming table, I'll be starting a lot more soon. I haven't tried any of Grandma Wall's pomegranate yet, nor her fig tree or the beautyberry by the creek.
I figure if I make a dollar a plant, I'll need about a thousand to make enough money for the fence and startup materials for the Learning Garden project. So I'll start many more than that to have a few to pot up and grow larger for the next sale. I'm also thinking I'll save seeds from all my heirloom and open pollinated veggiesto package up and offer for a donation to the garden project. Might make a few more bucks that way, and it'd be fun to get more people interested in growing the old varieties and saving their own seed.
I don't know if I've mentioned the Learning Garden project here. Kelly Baty and I have an idea to start a vegetable garden at the library to teach people how to grow their own food. It's sad how many people have no idea that it takes more than just tilling up the dirt and plopping in some seeds. In this economic climate, it's scary to think how many people are completely dependent on others for their food. Kelly and I are aiming to rectify that by teaching anyone who wants to learn how to grow atleast a portion of thier own food in their own backyard. A fence to keep the deer out is the first step ~ and the estimate for materials is $800. So, my goal for this year is to raise a fat grand from my propagation attempts. Bet I can do it. ;)