It’s been a month since we last wrote about our seed starting progress. We knew that starting out in March at the farm would provide some challenges with the seed starting since their isn’t a greenhouse on the property yet. After the onions came the brassicas, for example, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Though many varieties in the brassica family can be direct seeded later in the season and do just fine, we find there are several advantages to starting them earlier in a warm space. A 6-8 week head start before transplanting them outside will make the plants better able to stand rough weather and they won’t be as likely to be chewed up by slugs or flea beetles.
Since we are aspiring to grow enough food for ourselves all year and support a farmers market June through October we have run into a problem. The space to start that many vegetables seedlings takes up a tremendous amount of room! And there only happens to be a very tiny amount of room around the woodstove itself for actual correct germination temperature. Not to mention where to put all of those seedlings that do germinate since the temperature outside is still close to below freezing at night. The way this farmhouse is designed is very interesting, since it’s so big it’s hard to heat space effectively in here, which is a downside to the seedlings as well, especially for the hotter loving crops like tomatoes and peppers. I suppose it will be nice in the summer since it acts like a root cellar staying so cool. We are trying our best to work with what we have. Plan B is to make cold frames soon when the weather starts warming up more than it is now!