The past few weeks our focus has been on producing plant starts for market and vegetables for a late spring or early summer harvest. Our methods for starting seeds has been an exercise in continuous improvement, especially since we use no energy consuming machines to do our work. Seed starting is done by hand so finding the most efficient methods is essential to our process. With current methods one person can produce about 7,250 plants monthly working about an hour a day.
In the past we’ve used plastic and hand-built wooden flats for starting seeds but for the number of seeds we’ve been starting makes the large amount of plastic necessary undesirable. So we decided to invest in a few human-powered soil block machines to eliminate plastic use and reduce the amount of wood we need as well. It takes more effort in the beginning as we are now making our own potting soil mix but we save considerable amounts of time and expense overall and we know exactly what’s in our soil because we make it ourselves by hand.