I know it’s a homesteaders pride and joy to grow your plants from seed, the first homestead activity of the year for many.
Well, not for me. After including the cost of seeds, potting soil, pots, grow lights, and heating the greenhouse (and don’t forget the time and heart ache of taking care of the tender seedlings, just to make a small mistake and watch them die), I think I’m better off buying them.
Well at least buying them the way I buy them, at 15 bucks a tray.
I go to the cabin deep in Amish country, right down the road from John Muir’s boyhood home. You can feel homesteading and the natural world come alive as the the snow melts. You see the plane clothed Amish working hard with smiles on their faces, driving there horse and buggy down the road, and tending to the ” English” people coming to purchase the seedlings that they have grown.
As I walk down the hot narrow aisles of the Amish’s greenhouses, I look at the tens of thousands of plants, hand seeded in trays, heated by near ingenious old school hydronic wood boiler systems. It’s easy to get carried away buying plants, and buying way more then you really need.
When all is said and done we came home with four trays, plus a few.
That’s 48 plants in each tray and well over 150 plants ready to go in the ground for under 70 bucks.
For me, this is a deal. I have many other things to do then worry if my seeds will be ready for spring. Not to mention the experience of working with these people in this country side is well worth the cost.
It was a relaxing weekend, yet I feel I was able to accomplish a lot. We where creative with the transportation of the seedlings in a small gas efficient SUV.
Once home we had the planting bug, and quickly got busy on our green house.
Now just because I don’t start most of my plants from seeds doesn’t mean we don’t do any from seed. I just start them later and I’m particular on what plants I start from seed.
Check out our older article from last year on starting seeds, and be sure to look for upcoming articles on our greenhouse house, what we did this spring and our future plans.