May 26, 2013

Seedling & OBX Update

As the seedlings were growing, it was a good of a time as any to skip town to the beach. Our early summer destination for the past few years has been the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

I couldn’t wait to visit my favorite earth-friendly brewery with the windmill, or as they say “The World’s First Wind Powered Brew Pub”-The Outer Banks Brew Station.
Outer Banks Brewing Station

Outer Banks Brewing Station windmill
You can always read up on wind power on your own time, but my favorite facts about this particular wind turbine are (from their site):
  • Maximum designed wind speed is 135mph
  • The turbine supplements the power and saves them between $150 and $250 per month on their electric bill (depending on the month). They use 100% of the power the turbine generates.
  • The turbine cost approximately $50,000.
  • At $200/month using the Net Present Value method, it will pay for itself in about 11 years.
  • It is designed for 30 plus years of service and has a 10 year warranty.
  • This system will offset approximately 1.2 tons of air pollutants and 250 tons of greenhouse gases over its operating life.
Annnddd…they serve delicious brews and food on top of that!

Here’s another windmill I spied while hiking the dunes in Jockey’s Ridge State Park:
Jockey's Ridge State Park
Some interesting facts about the park (from their site):
  • They are the tallest natural sand dunes in the Eastern United States
  • On average, the sand is 25-30 degrees hotter than the air temperature!
  • The park encompasses 420 acres, and includes a 1.5 mile trail, a 360 foot long boardwalk, and 1 mile nature trail
I came home to find that the seedlings had mostly survived my vacation, as I had forgot to assign anyone watering duty!

Here are some pics before the big replanting-to-garden session next week.  Hopefully all the seedlings overcome the vacation drought and are ready to go into the vermicomposty ground soon!
organic seedlings

organic seedlings
PS- Guess who also had a great time at the beach and dunes?
organic dogs

May 7, 2013

Getting the Garden to Grow: Seed Starting

Before I've even planted any seeds, the strawberries are coming up and the fluffy neighborhood bunny is already taste testing my crop!

I sent the other half of Lilliworm to put up the berry protection barrier, which you might remember from last year:
berry fencing
Once the berry crop was secured, I mixed up some peat moss and vermicompost to plant my starter seeds in. There was only one problem: the vermicompost was still a little...well, vermi-full. There had to be a brief recovery session before I could finish mixing:
vermicompost worms 
I made as many of the small seed-starter-from-paper-roll containers that I could with the rolls I'd saved, and found two smaller containers and some Dixie cups to make up the rest.
organic starter seeds
I planted peppers, spinach, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cilantro, cucumbers, and lettuce, and I labeled the starter "pots" with a Sharpie (RP is red pepper and T is tomato!): 
organic red pepper starter seeds

 The finished tray looked like this:
organic starter seeds
 The final step was to create the "greenhouse effect"...but in a good way!
organic starter seeds
Throughout the planting process, I noticed I hadn't completely de-vermed the vermicompost, so I set up a cup for the displaced worms until they could safely be returned to the Wigwam.

I'm sure this cup o' escaping worms would give my Mom nightmares- Happy Mother's Day!
red worms
Updates are growing as you read this...