This title was inspired by a beautiful spirit; a reader that found this blog and knows what it means to be part of a global community. As a lover of words, I was inspired by his…enough to borrow them.
It’s seed starting time here on the farm – and we are planting seeds of revolution. Revolution against a broken food system; revolution against greedy capitalism; and revolution against oppressive systems in the food industry and in food access.
Who knew revolution came in a tiny 2 by 2 inch block of soil?
This was my first time using soil blocks to start seeds -as opposed to flats or trays. It’s a brilliant method, mimicking the land so that – outside of the metal tool to form them and a piece of wood to sit them on – nothing but the structure of soil and water is needed to hold the seeds. This saves from using and wasting plastic; and when starting thousands of seeds, that’s a lot of plastic avoided.
Technically, we were supposed to start seeds almost a month ago (and we did start some over the last couple weeks, this post is a little behind), but due to the flood and playing catch up repairing damages to the greenhouse, we’re only just now getting back on track.
We started out with organizing seeds by plant family. Keeping them in a dry, sealed place.
Next came scheduling in start dates based on the type of crop (cool weather crops like kale start now, while warm weather crops like okra will start later); and based on how many days the seed needs to germinate and grow (parsley and peas take a while so they were some of the first to go in). Peas were put directly in the ground ’cause they can handle frost, but most other things started at this time of year in this cold region have to be started in a warm greenhouse to shield from the weather.
This means getting the greenhouse warm. Most farms use propane heaters. But that’s costly and this farm has close to zero dollars. Our capital comes from generous donations as we grow and build up our production and market enough to make income; even then, high income on small farms is almost an oxymoron these days. We’re planting seeds of revolution first; profit second. (Not all small farms would agree with this business model, Joel Salatin’s farm in particular)
So we go old school: warming the greenhouse with an old wood stove. Around here things are saved, salvaged and even pulled out of dumpsters. So we acquired an old rusty wood stove that still bakes bricks of firewood like it’s nobody’s business. After building the piping for it for days and splitting wood with an old axe until it was stacked high between the soil block tables, our seeds are happily starting to stretch their arms up to the sky.