Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well, being a state employee my office was closed yesterday. With all of my time spent on the Obama site voting for what should go in the Citizen's Briefing Book, I noticed he was pushing for Americans to spend MLK day in service to their communities.
I thought to myself, "Self, that is an excellent idea." So, I went to one of the service websites for Des Moines and looked at what was scheduled for MLK day. Sadly, most of the options were painting or heavy lifting or flood cleanup. I figured in my 3rd trimester, these were not things I should be doing. So, I gave it some more thought. I wanted to do something at least slightly in the spirit of the day. So, I decided I'd spend the day in the basement setting up my seed starting area. At least that work would go towards providing the community with local organic produce. And plus it's been on my todo list for months. :-P
Steps completed:
1) attempt to control draft coming in under back door. This thing leaks like a sieve and I know the cold air goes straight down to the basement. So, I picked up and organized the can collection that was cluttering the area and put the heavy wool army blanket down along the base. It's not 100%, but it's definitely better.
2) general clutter cleanup. My garlic and onion braids made a little bit of a mess on the floor of the basement. I brought some of my perennials inside for the winter and they were randomly scattered around the corner where I want to grow. So, I picked everything up and swept the dirt and the leaves and the onion skins up. No need to grow in a dirty space. :-)
3) table building. I have two 4 foot grow lights. Nothing fancy, just florescent grow tubes in housings. My original plan was to used them on the existing shelves in the basement. Sadly, only one would fit. I couldn't figure out how to do everything I want to do with just one grow light, so I had to build something for the 2nd light. Cheaply. :-D My solution was two Rubbermaid containers with some pegboard that dear hubby salvaged for me a couple weeks ago from his work. Not the most permanent of work tables, but sturdy enough for seedling trays.
4) bring down/set up lights, fans and warming mat. One light is completely set up, on a timer with the fan happily oscillating on the shelf. The other light needs to be hung, I just need to drill some holes in the exposed ceiling beam and screw in my hooks to chain the light to.

So, a most successful afternoon project. I should be able to grow at least 30 of the seedlings we'll need for the CSA beds this spring. That will save us a good chunk of money and allow us to control what kind of plants we grow.

In separate news, the cloth baby care items took a big step forward this weekend. A million thanks to Mom for driving over on Sunday. We got the first two diapers done! I'll make some more progress on the bags and miscellaneous stuff and post a pretty pic sometime this week.

Did anyone else have any exciting MLK day projects?


Donna said...

Were you growing all those seeds in your basement?!

Jennie said...

No, that was a picture I borrowed from the internet. It's kind of my dream set up. I could plant an acre with a set up like that.