Monday, April 18, 2011

Seeds SOWN Sunday

The Bathroom Farm is becoming reality everyday and yesterday was the first step away from planning the vertical vegetable and herb garden in my bathroom and into the actual execution of the project. I truly believe that it is 100% possible to empower yourself by growing your own food and also believe that good results are attainable by anyone regardless of economic situation or skill level. After all, I am starting from nowhere with nothing and no clue! I do have, however, the willingness to learn and am fearless to fail forward until I make this work.I spent part of the winter reading about gardening and studying seed catalogs and websites. I decided the best way to proceed IS to make Bathroom Farming accessible to ALL.

In America,neighborhood food sources are vanishing every day especially in
urban areas where financial stress is increasing. Therefore, I decided to make the first version of my Bathroom Farm using grocery store seeds and materials commonly found around the house and neighborhood. I love all of the designer seeds available on the market through specialty garden shops. However, the seeds from the grocery store, as well as bedding plants, are produce department food items and are eligible items to be purchased with food stamps. I purchased the potting soil from my neighborhood dollar store within walking distance of my home. Everything else was upcycled, salvaged and repurposed from my very awesome personal collection of quality junk. Bathroom Farming affirms the idea of a food democracy.

I did buy a few varieties of seeds from fellow Etsy sellers because the grocery store selection was lacking some of
my favorite produce items. You see here Step #1: soaking some seeds for planting. I purchased these Minnesota Midget Melon seeds from WallFlowerStudio on Etsy. The California Wonder Pepper seeds came from Cubits on Etsy. These seeds required soaking for three hours before sowing. Seed packets have information about preparing and sowing seeds. It's a good idea to read them carefully!

In addition to the melons and peppers, I am also growing oregano, chives, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, sweet basil, cilantro, parsley,Swiss chard, spinach, carrots, lettuce,cucumbers and green beans!

twitter friends @PLANETPALS, I decided to recycle
toilet paper roll cores for my seed starting tray. Eight half cores fit nicely into an aluminum bakery product pan. I put a layer of scrap cotton batting in the bottom of each pan to help keep the seedlings moist. Four of those pans fit perfectly side by side into a salvaged wicker tray. There was also room for a row of tiny terra cotta pots I needed for seeds that required being sown more deeply than 1/2"

I also started a larger terra cotta pot with cilantro because I have had good results from growing those seeds in pots in the past.

I taped labels on the outside of each container to
identify the contents before packing them into the plastic wrap lined tray and covering them with plastic wrap.

The seeds are resting peacefully now on the plant stand in the house! This house was built in 1892 and was not "electrified" until many years later. The architect who designed this building provided an ideal area designed exclusively for plants.

Looking down the side of the house, you see our 21st century ramp.

Looking above the ramp, you'll notice a pair of windows neither in line with the first floor windows nor the second floor windows. This is the location of the plant stand on the back stairway.

This is a large flat surface with two south facing windows and one east facing window. The windows have holes bored at their bottoms to allow air to circulate which prevents legginess in plants. The surface of the plant stand is a slab of lead. The lead prevents moisture from seeping into undesired places in the building and retains heat from the sunlight flooding in through the large windows during the day.

I am looking forward to learning more about the plants as they grow which will help in the design of the Bathroom Farm. It will not be long now before my room renovations are finished!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Passing of Time on the BathroomFarm

Winter has come and gone and the changes in the seasons brings an awareness of the passing of the illusion of time. It was very cold and wintry when the renovations begun on the room I normally inhabit in this house. Things may seem to be moving along very slowly, but they are, in fact, moving at the perfect pace. Perhaps age has changed my perspective about time. I just see time as something that IS. I always believe that the time is exactly right and there is always plenty of it.

There are 20,000 flower bulbs planted in the .96 acre yard of the house and spring becomes an event to be savored. After an especially brutal winter, it was pure pleasure to see the crocuses leading the progression of blooming bulbs.

The natural cycles of the seasons and the changes in the plants truly fascinates me. I like to be aware that persons with outdoor gardens are starting seeds at the first signs of spring. Because my garden will be indoors, I do not feel the pressure to do anything but enjoy the season.

The main attraction of the spring flowers are the thousands of every imaginable variety of daffodil. The current property owner once owned a daffodil farm so there was an abundance of bulbs available to be planted. The flowers make me think of, exactly that, abundance. Rich and lavish abundance. There are many lessons to be learned from spring flowers. I love how they can endure the lingering winter
and rebound unscathed by the meteorological adversity.

And, rebound, they do! There were even some early bird tulips blooming a few days later. It's inspiring to see how easy nature forgives. It's inspiring how nature can transcend time and move forward in its own time. I feel no need to judge or be judged and simply relax and know that all things are well.

Everything we believe about time we have created ourselves. For more than 35 years, the owner of this house believed
that it was built in 1893. I recently found a recorded Test family member recollection that the house
was built in1892.
It was still very long ago and there have
been many chang
es to the real estate from the way it was originally envisioned by Charles E. Test.

I wonder what he'd think about
his manicured lawns reclaimed from wilderness being returned to a naturalized state with an amazing display of haphazardly planned flowers welcoming spring to Historic Woodruff Place.