Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Propagation Table How To...

So the as spring has sprung, we've started planting our seeds, but to get a head start on germination we built a propagation table.  We used heat cables to supply the bottom heat to increase soil temperature in the soil flats; this improves speeds up germination rates.

We started with a piece of OSB plywood, and screwed some 1"x2"s (ripped 1x4s) for edges and placed plastic on the bottom to hold the sand. We got some playsand disperse the heat more evenly.  It took 3 25kg bags of sand for the whole project.

We poured 1 bag for a bottom layer.  We just used a dust pan to spread the sand, maybe a trowel or something might work better, but anything can be used.

Thermostatically controlled heat cable, adjustable at 40-100*F for varying germination temps.

 Once the heat cable was spread out in an even pattern to disperse the heat throughout the entire table, we covered it with a layer of sand.  We watered the sand to increase the heat dispersion and to increase moisture inside the system, like water vapour in a greenhouse.

The table fits 16 10"x20" seed trays.  We're starting onions, leeks, and rosemary with the first batch of starts.  Next up will be parsley, rhubarb, and celery.
After a day of heating up the water has condensed on the plastic and drips back on to the flats, this is keeping the soil moist and decreases the need to water the seedling, also decreasing disease and pathogens, though the seedlings can't stay in too moist of an environment once they have emerged.

That's our propagation table, once the greenhouse is up, we'll be making 3 more so we can accommodate all our seed starting flats, we;ll need lots more room once the snow FINALLY melts!

Here's a link to find the thermostat and heat cable:
It was the cheapest place I could find the heat cable and thermostat, its in the states, but shipping and customs fees were reasonable.

I'm listening to rap right now and its got me amped up and wanted to sign-off with some cool phrase, but sadly I'm a white male farmer...I'll try next time, night all!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Food e. Farm Feature


So maybe you have noticed, whoever "you" might be, who am I kidding there are no real followers of the blog yet, so no "you" haven't noticed the new gadget next to the posts, but for any of you wondering its one of those hipster twitter paper.li things.  You know the website that lets you make your own newpaper looking bloglike pages.  So I decided it would be a great way to help get out all the ideas bouncing around in our heads, and all the exciting events happening in the agricultural and food industries.

The paper highlights issues around organic and sustainable agriculture and farming practices, along with homesteading ideas and stories around peak oil, renewable energy, the dangers of GMOs and pesticides, as well as trending issues on twitter on all these topics.  There are photos, links, and videos supporting all the stories and help get you to where the information is.

Here's the link Food e. Farm Feature , check it out, share it, subscribe it, show it to your friends, there's lots of good info flowing so check it often!

Oh by the way, we're getting lots of our seed orders in, and I will be starting the seed propagation table tomorrow hopefully, the next project (after some seeds are started) will be the solar collector to heat the greenhouse!  I'll post some picks of the progress!