Yesterday I planted starts in plastic cells for transplant.
The plastic cells I used for these new starts were meant to belong in plastic trays. I am currently using all the plastic trays for micro greens. To create a replacement holder I lined a re-purposed bread tray with the plastic cut from the spent soil bags. Each tray fits about 150 starts that can all be moved together. I have 2.
For the seed start mixture that filled the cells, I combined; peet moss, mushroom compost and our garden bed soil.
The moon is nearing the end of the second phase in the sign of Taurus. This phase is ideal for above ground crops while the sign is favorable for short sturdy growth. I planted Super Red Cabbage, Denali Cabbage, Collards, Arugula, Leaf Lettuce, Creole Onion, and Bolero Carrots. These seem to be ideal candidates for the astral influence.
I am keeping the starts in a compost heated greenhouse. The bottom is piled 1/8-1/4 high with compost on all sides. As the leaves fall off, the compost gets higher and the sunlight lasts longer. Providing a warmer and more stable temperature.
Happy Halloween, eat local leafy greens to counter the mass produced processed candy you might indulge in this week.
Yesterday as the moon began decreasing in fullness and entered into the third phase under a water sign, we planted Red Ace Beets with Dwarf Siberian Kale as companions, more Sugar Snap Peas under a trellis, and a fresh seed crop of All-Star Lettuce (includes Green Oakleaf, Red Oakleaf, Green Romaine, Red Romaine, Lollo Rossa, and Redleaf) to endure our Texas winter. We added more drip lines to insure even saturation which is very important to prevent seedlings from drying out.
The Sugar Snap Peas are producing pods, and we have large green tomatoes I am waiting to see ripen. The tomatillos are abundant. Cucumbers fruits are appearing. Peppers are growing large and ripening with color.
This Saturday we will have All-Star Lettuce, and a 13 seed blend of micro-greens for certain.
The cucumber beetles were collected over a couple of weeks and stored in a jar of alcohol.
We have a concrete slab/scrap grill in the middle of the garden. A fire was made here with dried grass and sticks gathered from dead tree limbs.
The alcohol caught on fire to burn the bugs from above and below. The fire stayed hot by constantly being fed more kindling. The smoke caused a large amount of the insects to fly away.
The bugs were thoroughly burned.
The char remains were crushed into ashes. These ashes were spread on all the beds throughout the garden. During the peppering of the ashes I didn’t notice the presence of any cucumber beetles. Later in the evening the beetles were back seemingly unaffected by the preparation. Further research is needed for a more affective method of nontoxic insect controls.
We’ve been looking into and practicing some biodynamic methods of gardening, which may go one step past organic in wholesomeness. As biodynamic methods have a spiritual connection to encouraging plant growth. Biodynamics takes into account; astrological placements under the conception that the cosmos reflects itself on the earth and expresses itself in the life that springs forth, so time at which preparations are taken to ward off pests and encourage more vigor in cultivated species may increase effectiveness.
We wouldn’t label our produce biodynamic, or organic because we would first need investigation and testing. Also we aren’t the types to encourage government authorities to inspect the details of all dealings. It is our belief to appeal to, and earn the trust of our customers by doing the best we can with what we have to create fresh and unadulterated produce. We would like our market base to know their farmer and be free to ask any questions and share any concern. We strive to give transparency of the food we want to share with you. We would value highly our backyard produce over anything that came from 100s of miles away, because it is ours and we know what’s on it and where it came from. It grew where we grow and lives with us. Love is in this food. Matt and Andrea tend these plants every morning. We physically touch them with bare hands and consciously praise them for their beauty and bounty. We serve as their protectors as we attempt to rescue them from destructive pests. We find great importance in being connected to what feeds us.
In our biodynamic practices we are paying attention to the moon phase and sign. Being aware that root crops should be planted in the waning phase of the moon and above ground crops in the waxing phase. The moon phase is split into quarters (new moon, 2nd quarter, full moon, 4th quarter) for more specific chores to be more affective during times of greater influence. Every 2-3 days the moon cycles through a different sign that is correlated to an animal (zodiac), body parts, elements, and planetary influence.
- Aries – ram, head, fire, Sun
- Taurus- bull, neck, earth, Venus
- Gemini- twins, arms/chest, air, Mercury
- Cancer- crab, breast, water, Moon
- Leo- lion, heart, fire, Sun
- Virgo- virgin, bowels, earth, Mercury
- Libra- scales, kidneys, air, Venus
- Scorpio- scorpion, loins, water, Mars
- Sagittarius- archer, thighs, fire, Jupiter
- Capricornus- goat, knees, earth, Saturn
- Aquarius- waterman, legs, air, Uranus
- Pisces- fish, feet, water, Neptune
For my current, very basic, knowledge I constantly reference; the Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac, A 2012 Seasonal Gardening Guide, Astrological Gardening by Louise Riotte, and Agriculture Course by Rudolf Steiner. So that I may know the indicators of influence for each species. The farmers almanac online is an invaluable source of information on the subject.
Today we are under the barren sign of Leo, striking in the heart, during a particularly destructive moon phase (4th quarter), the death of the old moon, and I have collected cucumber beetles in a jar with alcohol. I am going to burn them into ash and sprinkle them over my veggies to deter these species from returning. This will be my first biodynamic preparation and I am enthusiastic to take note of it’s effects.