Thursday, 17 April 2014
There's nothing quite like pegging the first load of laundry on the line for the season. It's a meditative activity, and one that I've missed. Feeling a warm breeze blow through my hair while the sun shines on my back is heavenly after a winter of bitter cold.
We're currently enduring typical Spring weather in Alberta - snow. It won't last long, so I'm directing my energy into the greenhouse in preparation for what surely will soon follow -garden planting time!
Our worm farm is thriving and I'm mighty thrilled about that. Worms of all sizes can be seen plus plenty of eggs. I take that to mean that conditions are just right for breeding. We collect the liquid that drains out of the bottom which is like black gold - looks a bit ick, but I assure you, it's valuable stuff! I've been diluting it and watering the greenhouse with the solution. Let's see how the seedlings respond. Step inside the greenhouse...
I've been busy in here (which I must say is a LOVELY place to spend time on a blustery Spring day). It's crude and utilitarian, but it works! The warmth and light are a major tonic for this winter weary soul.
Can you see the cold frames on the right side? I seeded those a month ago and they are limping along... Because our greenhouse is uninsulated and unheated, it's really functioning more like a very large cold frame rather than a greenhouse. To give me a further leg up - I've been experimenting with positioning the cold frames IN the greenhouse - essentially a cold frame within a cold frame. Results are mixed. Because we still received quite a bit of snow after I seeded the frames, I had trouble keeping the snow off the roof to allow enough light for germination and growth. The roof pitch just is too shallow to shed all the snow. Temperatures were suitable to germinate cold weather crops (winter lettuce, kale, radish, etc), just that low light level held me back, I think.
We use sawhorses with old doors and pieces of 3/4" plywood to rig up makeshift seeding tables. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done. I like the temporary nature of it, though - we can set up and take down in minutes. This year, we won't be growing tomatoes in here again - there's a new set up coming for that (stay tuned!). Instead, I've got peppers, eggplant and melons reserved to grow in the greenhouse beds.
As of today, I now have every surface in here covered with pots (must be close to 500 now). I seeded a massive selection of heirloom veg, herbs and flowers all with a nod to nurturing our bodies (and the bees that are to come). I'm busting with the enthusiasm and optimism that only seeding time can bring! Even though we're a month away from planting in the gardens, the next 4 weeks will see a steady increase of green growth in the greenhouse... my favourite place to be just now :)