February 19, 2014


It's that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the nights warmer. One day I can smell spring in the air, the next day it snows! The hens are starting to lay more aggressively. This means its time to start seeds!

Tomatoes germinating under an Avocado Tree in the kitchen!

For us, this means starting the slow-growing and warm-loving Solanaceae crops, such as tomatoes, eggplant and sweet and hot peppers. It also means starting the cold-hardy plants such as broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Since the greenhouse is still in construction, the kitchen window sills are once again being utlized to start plants.

A cold frame just outside the kitchen

Earlier this winter, I also experimented with germinating seeds in the dark of winter. Andrew had just finished a cold-frame, and I was curious how long it would take for seeds to germinate with only natural lighting and no additional heat.

I seeded kale, radishes, and apparently some carrots in the beginning of January. Here is a picture of how far along they are now in mid February. During these 6 weeks, we have experienced several days of single digit temperatures and a couple weeks of overcast skies. They are little, yes. But these were pretty harsh conditions. Plants continue to amaze me.

Kale, radishes, and carrots in the cold frame