On Sunday March 4, nine participants met at the Food Program Greenhouse to make up a shared starting mix and begin plantings for the 2012 growing season.

After discussing the components of the mix and comparing with other recipes, we made up a large batch of starter mix, washed containers in soap and warm water and began planting. Seeds planted included 3 varieties of yellow storage onions, one type of red storage onions, summer leeks, moss curled parsley, two types of celery and fennel. In addition some previously sprouted red stemmed celery was transplanted into larger pots as well. Some members took the seed trays home to germinate in the warm and will return them once sprouted and the plants will be shared by members of the group. Some trays of starts are for the food program and will be transplanted out at participating farms later in the spring.

Our basic recipe for the seed starting mix was as follows:

1 part coconut coir – presoaked

1 part compost

1 part sand

1 part perlite

We experimented with plantings in both the straight mix and in a mix topped with fine vermiculite to see what the difference might be in terms of germination and surface contamination by algae or mold.