By Adrienne Miller of Sterilite Corporation
Happy Spring!! Phew, what a winter! From holidays to snow storms, I for one am ready for some sunshine and fresh air!
This year my family’s resolution is to become at least 20% self-sustaining with our nutrition, and to decrease our waste by 10%. We aren’t farmers, we love cuddling animals, and we live on a quarter acre lot in a small city. SO, how. How can we lessen our foot print, grow our own nutritious food, and control our food waste back into the earth? We started with some seeds.
When my son was born I stocked up on ice cube trays to make and store his baby food into perfectly portioned meals. But that was 2 years ago and now I have all these ice cube trays sitting around. Seed starting kits can get pricey, and you probably have all the elements already at home! So, grab those old ice cube trays and let’s get started!
First, we drilled some drainage holes into the bottoms of each tray. For the blue trays we were able to nest them into a secondary tray to drain – or to water from the bottom, which some plants prefer! We put some old fish-tank rocks in to the bottom to allow for airflow.
For the white trays we grabbed an old baking sheet, and sat them on there to catch any water – or to water from the bottom.
Next, we built some popsicle stick teepees, used a permanent marker to label the tray, and got the plastic wrap ready.
Using a spoon, we scooped the starter soil ($4-$6 at the hardware store) into each cube, sprinkled in the seeds and patted down the soil to tuck them in.
We got a travel spray bottle, filled it with some warm water and misted all the trays. Next, we placed our teepees at each end, and wrapped plastic wrap over the tray. We found the sunniest spot in our house, and waited. After about a week, things started sprouting! That’s when we took the plastic wrap off, so they could get some carbon dioxide.
Tomatoes are one of the plants that love being watered from the bottom, so they went into a white tray with the baking sheet. They also require a lot of water over time, so this method has been beneficial for upkeep versus spraying them 3 times a day. No one has time for that.
For this round we planted zucchinis, tomatoes, summer squash, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil. We’ll do a second round once these trays are freed up! Then we’ll find some space outside for a raised garden once the snow goes away. By reusing what we have, and growing our own organic, reliable food, we are well on our way to our goal of 20% nutritional self-sustainment this year!
I’m hungry already.