Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Two Birds with One Stone

Lately on various farming forums, I hear “there aren't any lady farmers doing farming how-to videos!”

And, I get asked sometimes how I start seeds in the winter here at my farm.

(I can hear it now - As if N. Texas really has a winter. But really, it's not like it's hot here all year round either, so for seed starting purposes, yes, we have winter temps to contend with, even if you Iowa farmers think we're wimps because our average low is 10F and that rarely happens in most winters. Just for the record, this year I had two consecutive nights of SEVEN degrees F - and yes, it killed most everything I had planted.)

So, back to the two issues. Let’s tackle both of them with this one entry!

I guess this blog will kind of turn into a vlog - with the occasional video going forward - and eventually, once I master it, a podcast, too. But don't worry, you'll be able to access all of it from this one spot! So be sure to bookmark it! But, I'm definitely a lady farmer, and I'll do my best to show you "how to" do stuff. So there's my contribution to resolving the lack of lady farmers with how - to's on line.

Now, it takes a bit of time to edit videos and I'm just learning the ropes, (and farming about 3 of my 14 acres on my own full time, too), so they'll be pretty brief and a little amateurish for now. But you'll (hopefully) be able to get the point and learn something from them. Feedback is good - just be nice. :)

So here we go - and while after 10 years I don't profess to be a pro, quite the contrary, I still consider myself a rookie, I’m going to share with you how I start seeds in the winter on a shoestring budget! 😉

Here’s a little video on it I did.

But in a nutshell;

  • I bought a used waterbed heater on Ebay, although I’ve seen new ones for pretty cheap – like, $50 or less, 
  • I slipped it underneath an air mattress, purchased for less than $20 at a big box sporting goods store, that was filled about half way with water. 

 That's IT! 

This creates a nice big heated seed starting bed! 

I can fit a dozen flats of seeds on there, get them germinated and even keep them warm in the event of a deep freeze, by covering them with a frost blanket over night. 

The soil temp when I went in tonight after chores was a cozy seed starting happy 70 something degrees. That's just perfect for starting your warm season seeds! On a sunny day, you may have to remove them from the heated bed if the temp starts to get too warm. 

Easy peasy! Much less expensive than a half a dozen seed starting mats and/or a fancy artificial lighting set up. (My greenhouse is pretty simple, but even if you set up on a table in an extra room with a trouble light and a sunny south window, this will work.)

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due – this is not my brainstorm, but that of retired farmer Gene from Oak Ridge Valley. He was always very helpful and sharing in ways to help other farmers grow – and I wanted to pass on that knowledge in the same tradition.

So there you have it, ladies looking for a lady farmer on You Tube, and How To seekers for seed starting on a shoestring budget!

Farm On!

Here's to Spring! Hurry up!!


Eat Your Food - Naturally!