We're gearing up for the 2012 market season! Come and visit us at the Lancaster Farmer's Market on opening day, this Saturday, May 5, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We'll be selling sustainably-harvested wildflowers, plus perennials, Japanese maples, and herbs. See you there!
We've been busy building a 4-foot by 8-foot propagation bench in the greenhouse.
It's lined with roofing felt to hold the sand bed and heating cables. Inspired by an idea we found at Annapolis Seeds Blog, we used 60 feet of roof de-icing cable (plugged in to a nearby GFCI outlet) embedded in sand as a bottom heat source (200 pounds of sand shown in the picture below):
After 24 hours, we're getting a surface temperature reading of around 80 degrees. The cost of the roof de-icing cable is roughly half the cost of commercial soil-heating cable; estimated energy usage is the equivalent of three 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. We covered the cable with 1/2" additional sand:
and topped that with ceramic tile that we had left over from tiling the dining room:
My husband bought a 135-year-old farm 25 years ago. He moved in to broken windows, cracked radiators, crumbling walls and ceilings, partial floors, a deteriorating porch and chimney and a well-established mouse population.
Since then, his spare time has been spent re-plumbing, re-wiring, rebuilding, re-roofing, adding on, dry-walling, painting, insulating, re-siding and re-windowing the entire house. When I moved in eight years ago, I pitched in and did what I could: tiling, wallpapering, painting, dry-walling and fence building.
We're not done yet.
But we have a nice little 5-acre farm for growing organic vegetables and keeping chickens. I started out by selling produce and eggs at farmer's markets and our roadside stand and have expanded to growing herbs, small fruits and specimen perennials.
And we've got a big old kitchen where we turn what we've grown into meals, can and freeze, make yogurts and cheeses, dry, bake, compost and experiment.