Monday, February 27, 2012

Seedling Experiment Update

Saraiah's calendula

You might remember that when I planted my seedlings this year, I planted them in a variety of containers.  I had run out of the little expandable peat pellets and wanted to find out what would sprout my seedlings best.  So far, everything I tried has worked well except the egg carton cups cut out and used independently.  Here are our babies!

Calendula growing in the top of an egg carton.  This was easy to keep moist...we kept it on a cookie sheet and i poured water around it and keep a  clear plastic greenhouse type lid over it.

Basil growing in toilet paper rolls.  The dirt goes all the way to the little canals that carry water around in the tray below.  They stayed moist well.  A plastic clear lid was over them.

These eggshells were drying out on my windowsill, waiting to grow new things.  The seedlings planted eggshell dirt stayed surprisingly moist.  I did sprinkle water over them, and had poked drainage holes in the bottom.  

Baby tomato plants!  
You can see some of the egg carton cups cut out with seedlings and the egg shells with seedlings.  The egg carton cutouts were the hardest to keep moist.  I will need to watch them so my new baby plants don't die!


A birthday in the infirmary

Thursday and Saturday night, our sleep was punctuated every 20 or 30 minutes by someone throwing up.  When springtime is near, not only do the plants awaken, but so do the germies.  Usually in the springtime, someone in the family manages to pick up the barfing bug, and this time it was our youngest, Maia.  She was sick all night Thursday.

We went on a field trip to Padilla Bay the next day, had a day's reprieve, then Saturday, night the other four children were sick all night long.  All seven of us slept in our room. I'm sure we've never had this brand of family togetherness before.  The closest we've come to it is when we all got campylobacter food poisoning in Hawaii.  This time, we were generous enough to share the flu bug with grandma and grandpa via Maia before everyone got sick full tilt.

After our bleary-eyed barf night, I woke up and came in the kitchen to see that many more of our seedlings had sprouted!  This was a pleasant birthday present for my husband, who turned 38 that day.  We gave Brandon his precious birthday gift of noise canceling headphones and the kids turned into tv zombies for the rest of the day.  It was an odd way to celebrate a birthday.  Randomly, throughout the day, i kept thinking of the leprosy patients at Kalaupapa on Molokai back in the day when there was no cure for that disease.  Our one night and day of misery and isolation were nothing compared to the way those people were required to live.
It snowed while they were barfing.  It was beautiful the next morning.

  A friend brought over some herbal wonders to help, a  computer guy type gift from her husband to mine, and some special coffee.  She also brought something that is rare to the mother who has just spent the previous 12 hours holding heads over bowls, rubbing backs, seeing dinner in a new and unappetizing way, dumping bowls, rinsing and then repeating.  She brought me some sanity.  Even though I had announced via social networking that people should stay clear, she came anyway, and I'm thankful.  I spent the rest of the day making somewhat bland foods to try to coax the various stomachs back into the real world: waffles, homemade tortillas,  mashed potatoes, and for Brandon's birthday: peach pie.
My newly fixed drum carder.  Carding alpaca fiber is one of the things I did that day.

That evening, as we were about to eat our mashed potatoes and follow up with the peach pie, the power went out.  We got all the candles ready and were about to have a happy time singing by candlelight when the power popped back on.   We blew out candles, sang him happy birthday, and went to bed.  This morning everyone is healthy, and Brandon and I never got sick.  Hopefully it'll stay that way!  Happy weirdest birthday ever, my dear husband!