Exuberance!


Channel Flat

I finally got off my tail and started the process of getting peppers and eggplant started. Above, in case you were utterly mystified by my description of a channel or germinator flat, is an image of the one I’m about to use for seed starting today.

I’ve half-filled it with seedling medium, and I’ll put the seeds in and cover with more seed-starting mix, then put plant markers in the ends of the rows. I only use these germinator flats for peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes which helps me save space until those crops need transplanting into bigger 4-packs–at which point they pretty much take over the basement.

Inspiration for getting off my butt and starting this project goes to this Exuberant Lady, whose blog I found thanks to her inspiring comments here on my site. She’s ahead of me on the seed starting, though I’ll wager she’s at least one zone colder.

After the seeds go in, I’ll have to sit down and watch a movie (oh, life is hard!). I am co-leading a discussion on The Future of Food tonight at USD’s Farber Hall, so I want to refresh my memory and come up with some good discussion material.

Pepper varieties I’m sowing: Bulgarian Carrot (hot), Hungarian Hot Wax, Ace F1 Bell, Nardello Sweet, and Italian Sweet.

Eggplant: “Black” and Lavender Touch–possibly the most gorgeous eggplant ever. I get this F1 hybrid through Pinetree Garden seeds, and two years ago won second place best of show with it at the Clay County Fair. It bears a white elongated teardrop-shaped fruit with a delicate “wash” of lavender–not really striped or streaked, but washed like a watercolor painting.

I love entering my veggies in the County Fair. Granted, the fair is pretty small, but I love bringing my veggies in and having all the 4-H ladies “ooh” and “ahh” over them and ask all kinds of questions. On the night the fair opens, going in and seeing all the exhibits and ribbons (not just mine) is a thrill!

Then I buy my little guy some cotton candy, and we ride the ferris wheel together in the sweet, warm summer evening.

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One response to this post.

  1. Wow, Rebecca!

    Being mentioned on your site made me feel like a celebrity! thanks!

    First, it’s you who inspire me! Now I’m suddenly considering taking some things to the county fair this year! (Our fair can’t be much bigger than yours, and even though by the time I get myself to the fair, all of the prize-winning vegies look a little past their moment, I still enjoy the garden building the most).

    Yes, I am ahead of you on seed starting…but only because I start things like snapdragons, leeks, onions, parsley from seed and they need more time. I’ve also started my hot peppers because they, too, are a little slow…and i’ve got a few baskets of mesclun, arugula, etc. under lights–to eat, not to plant out!

    But I haven’t yet started regular tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, my 8(!) basil varieties, or other herbs. No point in rushing those things here in zone 3 garden. I will say that I’m not sure of what zone 3 means anymore, now that the effects global warming are becoming more pronounced.

    Anyway, thanks so much for the reference to my site and for all of the fabulous inspiration you continue to provide.

    Think Spring!
    DJ (a.k.a. Exuberant Lady)

    P.S. Eggplant plants are so beautiful! and it’s one of my favorite summer vegies. I grow 5 varieties, but not “lavender touch.” I’ll be sure to try it next year. I do grow another beauty, “Rosa Bianca”–roundish, and lavender and cream. Absolutely gorgeous!

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