Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Time

Yes, I know that the correct spelling for the herb is t-h-y-m-e.  This post is about herbs and time, so I thought I’d toss in a catchy title, just to see if you’uns are awake J

As mentioned in an earlier post, it is not exactly the right “time”
for the regular home gardener to be starting seeds. Most seed
companies recommend starting indoors 6 -8 weeks before
outdoor planting is ready, in our area May 15th is the target
 date. But, “time” is what I’ve got a little bit more of these days,
and besides, I like to see a bit of green sprouting on cold February
days. Today I took a few minutes to start some herb plants, just to
 see what will happen.
Herbs are not the easiest of plants to start from seed in a home
situation. Greenhouses use germination chambers to get these
little buggers started. We can duplicate the process at home,
though, and expect some level of success. No victory, even a small
one, is wasted time in my book, so I went for one today.
This is the process that I use to start all plants. Note: if you’ve
never started plants from seeds before, I suggest you begin with
 really easy ones, like marigolds or tomatoes. But I digress; back to
 the business at hand.


1.     Cover your work surface with newspapers or an old vinyl cloth for protection and to make clean up faster.

2.     Gather your supplies. You need:

a.     Pots with drainage holes if you are not planning to transplant later, which I used since I am starting a small amount. For larger quantities, use cell packs or egg cartons.

b.     Potting soil

c.      Plastic food storage bags for pots, plastic grocery bags for cell packs on trays

d.     Seeds

e.     Craft sticks or plastic plant markers and marking pen

f.       Water

g.     Tray to hold the pots

3.     Put each pot in a bag and fill the pots with soil

4.     Water the pots. It is important to do this now because potting soil has vermiculite to help retain moisture, and the soil sort of bubbles up when watered for the first time. If the seeds are placed in before the initial watering, they usually float together and end up in a pile instead of being dispersed over the surface of the soil.

5.     Sprinkle on seeds. As you can see, they are small. I put a few in the palm of my left hand and then sprinkle the seeds on the dirt with my right hand, much like when adding a “pinch” of “this” or “that” to whatever I am cooking.

6.     Cover the seeds with a small amount of dirt.

7.     Lightly water again.

8.     Label each pot with the craft stick or plant marker

9.     Bring open ends of the bags over the tops of the pots and close with a twisty tie. The bags keep the moisture inside. There is no need to open the bags to water until you see sprouts.

10.    Seeds need heat more than they do light, so place your tray of pots in a warm location. I use the top of my refrigerator.

11. Now you can relax and let the seeds to their thing. Check on them daily.

12.  This is IMPORTANT. As soon as you see sprouts, open the bags so that air can get inside. If you don’t, too much moisture will cause “damping off”, which means the plant will begin to rot at the place where the stem meets the soil. And then it dies. Not good.

13.    If you are transplanting, wait until the plants have 2 sets of leaves on their tiny stems. Most herb plants do not like to be transplanted, so I start them in the largest pots that I have room for. But mostly I buy my garden herb plants from Toni Norwood, who has a germination chamber and is a pro at starting seeds from plants.

That’s all there is to it!
This post has evolved into one of my famous “Epic Sagas”, but before I end it I have to mention that I can never write about time without thinking of Pink Floyd.


 “…Ticking away the moments
That make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours
In an off-hand way”
Marcheta *ticking away moments

No comments:

Post a Comment