Aiming to keep my dirt-dwelling life simple, special and sweet

Sprouting Seeds with Newspaper Cups

THANKS Making Lemonade for featuring this post at your linky party :) I do hope that spring is on it's way....

According to Sprout Robot, it's time to start growing broccoli indoors. My seeds have arrived, and I was lucky to find a great recycled way to sprout seeds indoors. 

Pinterest provided a link to Cottage Hill's Recycled Newspaper Pots. Four of them fit nicely into a closed container, which sits comfortably on my dining room windowsill. This is a super-easy, and resource-wise, activity for starting a spring garden. 

Start with taking one piece of newspaper.

Fold the piece of newspaper in half.

Use a canned good and lay it on the newspaper at one end. The can should be about an inch or so from the bottom edge. 

Roll the can until it comes to the end of the newspaper. Roll tightly, but lightly, because the can will need to come out of the roll easily.

Use one small piece of tape to secure the roll.

Like a present, fold in  each side of the bottom and tape. 

I made a few of these and placed them in a planter that I had in the kitchen. Four fit nicely. I put about 1 cup of organic soil in each cup (1/4 cup at a time), followed by a few broccoli seeds, and then an 1/8 cup of soil on top. The seed package called for 1/2 inch of soil to be placed on the seeds. 

I have many seeds left over from this package, so they will go up to Michigan to my sister. When I opened my seed box yesterday, my dad told me that I had enough seeds to grow food on acres.... he is taking a bunch home with him. 

Eddie is very proud of our garden start, so far....

...and I'm excited to see these first seeds sprout! Once they do, I can plant the newspaper cup along with the seeds. The newspaper is a good addition to a garden. For you smart gardeners, is there something different I can do to hold the newspaper together instead of tape? Or is it not a worry to plant with the tape?

Garden Planning

After I read Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal Vegetable Miracle, I yearned for a yard and a garden. At the marina where we docked our liveaboard boat, rules prohibited the display of anything on the docks. That meant no flowers or plants that could provide fresh food during the year. Luckily, a farmer down the road from us sold all that we desired, but having a garden of my own is something that I did want to do. Being back on land, the small yard that I do have will (hopefully) provide for us this year.

My friend, Jessica, began posting on Facebook about the veggie catalogs that she was already looking through and it began my interest in whether or not it was time to start thinking about what I needed to plant. I would like to merely supplement our fruits and vegetables this year with produce from the local famers' market because I will have grown more than enough here at home. I went online and ordered from Botanical Interests because of their wide selection of organic seeds.

In Kingsolver's book, the yearly growing calendar - the Vegetannual - is one that she refers to and used when she was living off of food developed within 100  miles of her home. During the year, certain vegetables and fruits are "in-season". It is a wonderful thing to buy and consume in-season produce because it helps to decrease the resources and costs associated with growing, transporting, and maintaining the goods. This is something I would like to work toward doing - not only to stay healthy but also to live more in accordance with nature. When I go to the store, I do think about how much it actually costs to bring strawberries all the way to Maryland in the winter... it's a lot, financially and resource-wise.

On Pinterest I was lucky to find Sprout Robot - a website which tells a person what to start planting and when based upon the growing location.  This has really helped me to start planning my garden. This week, it's time to start growing the broccoli indoors. My seeds arrived yesterday, and the broccoli has been planted.