Phew! What a busy week.
First and foremost, thank you all who have backed my project! I'm so close to being ten percent funded and that feels HUGE to me. I know there is still a long road ahead but I think this is a horse that will finish strong. I've sent emails to all of my personal contacts, dredging up lists from the near and far distant past and this week will begin contacting those in the garden world that don't know me. Bloggers, garden writers, growers, foodies and anyone else I can think of. One great thing about the new kitchen gardener is that they are a passionate lot.
If you have personal contacts that may be interested in this project, please forward the link. And if you have ideas about groups you think I should contact, please let me know. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to hear from you, there or through this site.
On the design front - The GROWcube in the video is a model that I put together from sheet plastic. The actual, plastic injected, GROWcube trays will be slightly rounded on the bottom edge making them easier to clean, and cuter. It will have some raised circular bumps in the corners (bottom of trays) so that the tray is not sitting flat on a windowsill, and it will have a small drainage hole on the side of the tray to prevent overwatering.
The plastics manufacturer that I will be working with suggested that I eliminate the light green sides and replace them with inserts. I'll put together a drawing in the very near future to illustrate how the inserts will be modified.
In the model, there are 25 cells that measure a little over 1"square and 3"deep. My original home made units had the same exterior dimension (6.25"x6.25") but there were only 16 cells. The cells were larger (1.5"x1.5"x3") and were a better size for some plants (tomatoes and peppers, for example) and unnecessary for others (mostly greens). Ideally, the GROWcube will be sold with 2 sets of inserts, one of each size, but initially I'm going to have to forego that as it would add another several thousand dollars to the machining cost.
My inclination is to go with the larger size, as it is more versatile. Greens don't mind being doubled up in a cell but toms and peps would rather not have roommates. If you've got feedback, please let me know.
Growing salad greens- In my strong opinion, and because I eat a lot of salad in the summer, this is the single best garden thing you can do for your own health and the health of the planet.
Why? Because greens are highly perishable, very often not terribly fresh when purchased and they need to be eaten very soon, they require frequent trips to the grocery store to assure nominal freshness. You can see where I'm going with this. Calculate the gas miles to get them from the farm to the grocery store, then from the store to your house and you begin to see your salad dressing as being unappetizingly petroleum based.
Also, because greens and herbs top the list of most expensive produce. Here's an interesting link http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2009/01/most-profitable-plants-in-your.html
Also, because they are beautiful and gladden the heart. And because of the awesome variety.
Anyway, I'll tell you how to grow greens in a small space in another post.....
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A PDF of how to make containers for seed starting from common household items. What works, what doesn't and why. How to modify and make adaptations so they do work. PLUS when, why and how to use peet and manure pots.
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A PDF of how to build a redwood box to grow salad greens. With dimensions, supply list and growing tips. And the PDF above.
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