Friday, March 9, 2012
Making Soil Blocks
We used a recipe straight from Eliot Coleman, the Green Thumb Guru of the East (and possibly the world, I had no organic greenhouse/coldframe experience before coming here, and had only heard of him through Jon). Anyhow, the reasons to use soil blocks instead of traditional plug trays are numerous, including: more substance for the plant to grow in, creating a healthier plant; less transplant shock, as the plug can be put directly into the field, or potted up to a bigger plug as needed; less plastic to throw away; plus, you get to get really, really dirty when you do it, which is always a bonus!
Having only 2-1/2 weeks of experience to draw on, I can't say for certain, but this week everyone's mood has been a little more upbeat- the kind of upbeat that comes with being around things that are growing, atuned on the good energy that gives off.
Anyhow, here are some photos of us making the first of the soil blocks; today is not such a nice day, but from my perch in the Studio I can see Jon and our new WWOOFer John from England blocking away in the house greenhouse- pressing down the mold in a bucket of soaked block mixture, pulling it up and expelling the perfect little cubes with already-poked holes, planting the seeds and stacking the trays.
Things are plugging away here: we picked up John on Tuesday and Alendandre from France last night, both WWOOFer's (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) will be around for the next couple of weeks while we continue maple syruping, woodlot maintenance, firewood gathering, prepping the soil beds as weather allows, and erecting the first of our two new caterpillar tunnels on the farm. We are now 6, and when Melissa and the kids are able to make it out, we are 9, and with Peter visiting from Toronto this weekend we'll likely be a dozen at least... a real farm family!
Lisa has been giving the sheep extra attention and love, Flicker and Robin are due to lamb on April 7th and 30th. It was so nice yesterday we were able to let them out in the paddock, and I sat quietly with them for over 15 minutes, during which time they didn't seem to take a break from munching grass to even look up!
The bunnies got a new home yesterday, and seem to enjoy being outside, despite the 100 km winds last night, and the slushy snow falling today. It seems like as soon as it warms up and all the snow melts and turns the farmyard into a mud bog, it freezes and snows again. It's like Mother Nature is purposely drawing out the sapping season, and teasing us with the promise of spring.
Posted by Teri at 7:24 AM