This year, we're changing alot about where our plant material comes from. in the past, we've bought much of it as plugs (very small plants) from large growers in California. Now, we're buying seeds and, with the help of an experienced greenhouse grower in Rockbridge County, we're starting our own plants.
There are a number of benefits to this. First is variety. We can do far more different kinds of flowers than when we buy from large growers. We can experiment with things we've never tried and just do a few, rather than 200 at a time. Second is cost. We expect we'll cut our cost for plant material by abbout 65 percent this year on a per-plant basis.
and our first little seedlings just started coming up a couple of days ago. here they are - baby Stock plants. Aren't they just darling?
We are using the soil block technique for starting everything. You can google it and find out more. In the past few days, we've seeded about 4,000 plugs, almost all perennials and biennials that we'll plant outside in low tunnels around March 1. Included in our first planting are carnations, columbine, delphinium, sea holly, sweet william, and foxglove. Here's the planting at Mountain View Farm Greenhouses, ready to go under the mister and start germinating.
Speaking of low tunnels, here's our first one. It's got poppies, godetia, and some experimental ranunculus and anemones in it.
Here's the high tunnel mechanism that raises and lowers the sides.
... and some nice irrigation drippage going down on tulips.
Inside the fence in the main field, cover crops are growing...
there's a forest of t-posts to pull...
and the chickens are fertilizing beds.