Seeds are greatly on our minds just now! Our farmers grow most of their crops from seeds, many of which they save from the previous year’s plantings. While some plants, like garlic and fava beans, can be sown directly into the ground in the fall, a lot of others need to be started indoors early in the year. In order to have crops ready for market in the spring, the farmers start such seedlings from January onwards, using methods to help the seeds germinate properly and protect the young plants from fluctuations in temperature and moisture.
There are various ways to protect seedlings – cloches, cold frames, germination cabinets and heat mats can all be used.
Over the years the Hali farmers have experimented with different methods, notably germination cabinets – simple, enclosed wooden cupboards equipped with timed lighting – that were housed in the basement of the farmhouse. The amount of moisture the cabinets generated started causing problems elsewhere in the farmhouse, so we’re now looking to build a dedicated germination room on the farm where light, temperature and moisture can be safely regulated.
Proceeds from our Saanich Seedy Saturday this coming Saturday will go towards building this necessary out-building, so thank you in advance for coming along to support the farm’s work in growing new farmers!