Our 2012 Fall Festival in October was once again, a huge success. Thanks to Boggy Creek Farm for hosting and for everyone that donated their time and energy to making it possible. We had over 20 of Austin’s best restaurants, 2 chef demonstrations, 4 bands, a silent auction and much more. If you missed this one, be sure to plan for 2013 – the date in October will be posted on our website as soon as it’s confirmed.
To see photos from the event, click the picture below and then click the next image that displays.
There’s still room to register for our Seeds to Start workshop this Saturday the 26th where we’ll move the transplants to individual 4 inch pots. For dates of other upcoming events like our spring dig-ins and training workshops, please visit our website.
A lot has happened since my last post – we wrapped up our fall dig-ins in September, we had our annual Fall Festival in October, we held a gardening workshop in November, and completed part 1 of our Seeds to Start (STS) workshop a couple of weeks ago.
I’d like to post a few notes and photos from the first STS workshop so folks can see the progress of the plants before the 2nd workshop in a week or so. Next week, I’ll go back in time and post some pictures from the wonderful Fall Festival we held at Boggy Creek Farm in October.
There was a great turnout for STS in spite of the cold morning – about 18 brave souls joined us to start seeds for our spring gardens. We started a couple of varieties of tomatoes including the yummy heirloom, Brandywine and some Sweet 100 cherries. We also started peppers and eggplant.
We followed our usual process of starting the seeds in flats lined with newspaper using Vortex Germinator soil from The Natural Gardener. A couple of us divided the flats up and each brought 5 of them home to sprout. If all goes well, we’ll return them on the 26th for the second workshop to transplant to individual 4 inch pots.
I have a few pictures below from the workshop and 1 of my setup at home with warming mats to keep the soil temp where these spring veggies need it – around 70 degrees. I use fluorescent lights with standard bulbs (not grow lights), but as I’ve described before, I use 1 cool and 1 warm bulb to provide a more complete spectrum. Now that they’ve sprouted I can take the flats outside on warm days to get the real thing. Even soil moisture is essential during germination so I keep a spray bottle close by. All of this is tucked away on a tarp under a table with the lights hanging from string.
Keep in mind that this same process works well on a smaller scale for your home gardens. You can use a variety of containers if you don’t have flats including egg and milk cartons. You can also sow the seeds directly into 4 inch pots either by putting 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and keeping the strongest – this removes the need to transplant later. Alternatively, you can start 10 or 15 seeds in each pot and transplant them to individual pots once they sprout the 2nd set of leaves – usually in a few weeks. Keep the soil warm and evenly moist and keep the lights close to the pots once they sprout. This is a great way to always have plants ready to go in the ground when the weather is right.
As I mentioned, I’ll post some pictures from our festival next week and otherwise, hope to see you at the 2nd STS workshop or our spring dig-ins. We’ll also have another gardening workshop coming up – visit our website for more information or to register for these events.
“A plot of dirt can be a great place to start a revolution.” Amen to that, and big thanks to Patagonia (see post below) for their generous grant to Green Corn Project as well as Patagonia’s GCP shout-out. Funding like Patagonia’s helps score us sorely needed supplies and lets us do more of what we do: “…empower people with knowledge and skills to create an immediate benefit in their lives,” as Patagonia puts it.
That immediate benefit is a lovely payoff for our volunteers, but while it’s fulfilling to feel the appreciation from folks as we help them create their backyard food garden, it’s thrilling to consider that each dig-in plants another seed that grows the r/evolution toward healthier living for all of us. Plus, it’s superfun to see the garden and the new gardeners flourish over the season! Just one example with some awesome East Austin second-graders on garden plant day:
And these great junior gardeners on one of many harvest days:
Come join the revolution!