Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homestead Experiment #1: Newspaper ‘Peat’ Pots

Today my cooped-up family was inspired by the sunshine to start our seeds. Of course, the sun is deceptive since it was still in the 40's, and the seeds would still be liable to freeze at night. So, we decided to place our seeds in pots lovingly (read: roughly) handmade with newspaper. I had seen the idea in the Econobusters Molly Digest (February '09, The Old Schoolhouse) and it looked straightforward enough. With instructions and a pile of newspaper in hand, we spread out in driveway and began.
First, we were using a half-pint canning jar. You can use whatever size you deem appropriate for your seeds, but keep in mind that you have to fill that space with soil. We didn't want to use too much per seed.
So, we took one page of the Sunday paper and tore it down the middle so we just had one 'side' of the paper. Then we folded it in half lengthwise (think long and skinny) and rolled the jar in it keeping the bottom edge of the jar along one side of the paper.

Next, you stand the jar up with the paper around it, and shove all the extra paper at the top down into the jar loosely.

Then, pick up your newspaper blob and pull the jar out from underneath. Turn over and place the jar back in the cup to mash the 'floor'

Pull out your jar again.

Voila! A newspaper peat (pulp?) pot!

We filled those, and a few leftover peat pots from last year, with the seeds for zucchini, brussel sprouts, pie pumkins, and broccoli. Since our growing season is cooler and shorter, we have to start summer veggies indoors sooner. Spring veggies like greens, radishes, carrots, etc. can be sown right into the ground because our summer is comparable to spring in the lower 48.
So, I would count our Homestead Experiment #1 a great success! It was cheap and my 6 year olds were able to roll the pots on their own after a couple of tries. Now, hopefully we'll see some green popping up in those handmade pots soon!

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