We had been looking forward to our soil block party for so long and it really was a success. We had a total of 18 people including children, so it felt like a full house but everything went so well and I think everyone had a great time. Here is photo of our friend Jordan making some soil blocks.
This is what the blocks look like, Jordan's wife Fran later told me that she thought they looked like brownies ;) They do have a delicious sort of look to them. The soil was made from a mixture of peat moss, mushroom compost, green sand and colloidal phosphate. Cam and Adi mixed the soil in a large plastic tub and then added filtered water to get the moisture level perfect for forming soil blocks.
Our friends Seth and Alicia are total sustainability rock stars (aren't they cute?) They'd probably say they're more like wanna- be's but these two have the heart for it, that's for sure! They were so gracious to share many amazing varieties of seeds with everyone. I don't remember now, but I think I started at least 10 varieties of tomatoes between our own seeds and the seeds other brought. I can't wait to watch our little seedlings grow. It's so incredibly gratifying.
Sacha is enthusiastically seeding her soil blocks while Seth and Alicia work on their own seeding project. It was so much fun to see everyone just digging in and having fun with this whole process. We ended up using the lid of a shoe box size plastic container as a tray for the soil blocks (you can sort of see what the boxes look like in the above picture on the side table to the right, behind Alicia .) Cam had the brilliant idea of using the lid for the blocks and then placing the container over the top to create a mini greenhouse. Then the whole thing should be placed on a low-temp heat mat of some sort to help the seeds germinate properly.Adi was so excited to have this many friends over. I think there were a total of 8 kids. And being that this was the first time Adi had to share her toys with so many others, I can say that I'm totally impressed with her graciousness.Wow, we were so excited that everything went so well. We're anxious for the next party in a couple of weeks to start transplanting. We'll keep the blog updated as our seeds begin to sprout.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We are so excited to get ready for spring planting season. In the past we have used the soil block method which is recommended by Elliot Coleman of the Four Seasons Farm. We love using soil blocks and have always planted way more seeds than what we needed and gave at least half of them away. While it can be fun to give plants away we always had more than we could get rid of which felt like a shame. And in this economy, we're feeling like this year is a great time to empower others by teaching them what (little) we know and do this organic growing stuff in community. We'll make the blocks together, share seeds and get together every couple of weeks to transplant the smaller blocks into the next size up. What a great excuse to get together.
And because I long for organization, I created a social network where we can start discussions, share photos and tips and just continue the community atmosphere in between meetings. If you're interested, check it out: Iowa City Environmental Ministry. In the near future, a house group will be born focusing on our faith response to being stewards of creation. We will pray, discuss and act through this group, engaging in a variety of activities to help others live more environmentally friendly lives. We're really excited about the possibilities.
So Saturday is our first block making party, I will take lots of photos and report back.