Feb 252016

greenhouse speaker empty tablesOne of the field trips Jack and I went on in January was to a greenhouse.  The original plan did not have this as a stop, but sometimes you have to go with the flow and I think this turned out really well.  The person showing us around had about an hour’s notice that 50+ home schoolers and their families were wanting to come visit.  He did great!  His own kids, toddlers, were even there.  I suspect it was more of a “let’s go see what Daddy does at work” sort of thing, but I thought it was a perfect addition.  He also was fairly relaxed, which I suspect comes with getting to be in a greenhouse all day, I would be fairly relaxed too.

The photo above shows part of one room that was awaiting trays of plants.  The amount of space they  have to fill is several times the size of my house.  A few of the greenhouses could have fit my house twice and still had extra space.  This greenhouse complex is one belonging to a nation wide brand. The amount of plants coming out of this one set of greenhouses is amazing.

greenhouse tray filling station collage

Here is where it all begins: filling trays with seed starting mix (top left), making holes and dropping in seeds (lower left), adding a covering (bottom right), and watering the appropriate amount (top right).  Everything runs like clockwork.

The soil mix is added to the large hopper in bags that are as tall as me.  These bags come from somewhere off site and are delivered, each on top of their own pallet.  Yes, BIG bags of soil mix.

The trays are labeled with the type of plants to be started in them.  Someone in the office prints these off and attaches them.  Once they are wheeled out on a cart to this station, the workers do not need to count or thing much about what is to be going in them.

greenhouse seeds started

greenhouse seed starting trays

This is one of but many ‘arms’ of the greenhouses.  Each contains plants needing similar growing environments.  While it was cold enough for the ponds to be frozen outside, many of us had to strip off our coats and pull up our sleeves while here.  In warmer months, there are vents that can be opened.  Each end also held a fan to aid in air circulation.

greenhouse potted plants cutting source

Some plants do better propagating via cuttings.  There was a room for that, too.  These lovely ladies get to spend their day being pampered with food and individual drinks.  Later, they are the source for hundreds of new plants.

greenhouse cuttings taking root

Some plants will get too big for a table and are placed directly on the gravel floor to grow.  These cuttings have already rooted and were transplanted into pots to grow more.  They will not be ready to ship out for quite some time. which makes it important to get them started early.

greenhouse hanging baskets

Pots, pots, and more pots.  Everywhere we looked there were hanging baskets above our heads.  It seemed like any space they could put them, they did.  If you look close, you can see they are hooked onto a chain of sorts.  This is actually a conveyor belts, making it possible for a person to stand at one end and hook the hanging baskets on from one location.  It also aids in their removal. Due to the amount of light that enters these greenhouses, having hanging baskets above other growing plants is not an issue.  Actually it is a great use of space.

greenhouse floor childrens feet

By the end of the tour, the kids were tired.  It had been a long day.  I, however, was re-energized; a good thing as I was the one who had to drive back almost 2 hours.  In all, I think it was a great change to the schedule and would do this again.

Mar 152014

Garden Update 2014

This past week has seen me doing very little in the way of gardening.  I was able to take a few minutes here and there to thin out the seedlings I have already started.

So what was I doing instead of gardening?

  • Catching up on over a week’s worth of laundry – something that is possible now that it isn’t 5 degrees outside
  • dental appointments
  • having required home visit for our foster care license
  • finished patching kids’ jeans
  • making the spare bedroom visitor friendly again.  It had become a catch-all room plus a DIY project in progress.
  • making our bedroom visitor and kid friendly (chose to place these visitors here due to the work we are doing in the spare bedroom.  It is very much not kid friendly right now.)
  • making meals for the freezer
  • finding an outfit to wear to court
  • updating my wardrobe (if I was going to toss out clothes I needed enough left to actually have something to wear, by choice I don’t have a lot of clothes – I decluttered 9 shirts)
  • setting up and going to MOPS
  • entertaining 2 different sets of overnight visitors
  • watching a friend’s kid (my kid loved the impromptu play-date and lunch out)
  • going to an all-day conference

Oh, yeah and ADOPTING OUR KIDS!!

I was hoping you all would understand why this just wasn’t the week to be doing a lot of gardening and why my posts have not been my normal schedule.  It has definitely been a full week, and the house looks so much better for it.

picked up bedroom

This upcoming week has a lot more free time, very few required places for me to be or things to accomplish.  I  plan on making the most of it while I can.

Gardening and Home Goals for the week of March 16, 2014:

Call school to inform them this will be the last week in preschool for my youngest.

List all the start dates for the seeds I have.

Start seeds that should already have been started.

Work on removing 2 lilac bush stumps.

Plant peach tree? – I may hold off on this one for another week.

Add mulch to areas around the yard, if the mulch pile is no longer frozen on top.

Declutter 49 items.

Cook and freeze pork roasts in refrigerator.

Create more omelette kits for freezer.

Plant 200 – 300 onion sets – if ground isn’t still frozen.

green onions in raised bed 2I am very ready for the 2014 gardening season.  However, if I don’t start now with my garden jobs, soon it will be an overly busy time and I’ll get behind.  The warmer weather will appear before we know it – though I’m not convinced we are through with snow storms or freezing temperatures.

How are your gardens or garden preparations coming along?