In the age of consumerism, we have a habit of buying something when we have a need. It makes sense to just run out and get it immediately. That same attitude is easy to extend to our gardens. We need basil for the season, let's run to the nursery and buy a plant. However, gardening is about the experience. We are working to bring new life to our environment and get pleasure from watching our plants thrive. To maximize our joy, why not start with growing our own seedlings?
Starting a garden, caring for soil and plants, and watching it grow to the day where you hold your first tomato is incredible and kind of addictive. When growing our own food, we want the best from start to finish (i.e. soil, plants, production, compost, water, etc.). Getting the best is not always easy as it takes effort and hard work. Even if you create the best nutrient-rich soil, your garden production may not be successful without good seedlings. Like everything in life, it is all about balance.
At One World Center, we grow our own seedlings of several reasons.
1. We can control the quality.
We grow our seedlings from organic seeds from good sources. Using good quality seeds is the first step in getting produce with the most nutrition. Organic seeds have a natural base without chemicals or other alterations. To support our seedlings, we make sure we prepare the soil naturally with lots of nutrition and no chemicals.
2. It is cheaper.
Buying a packet of seeds and producing a tray of seedlings is more cost effective than buying a single plant. Of course, planting seeds take work but we consider that as part of the fun. Growing seedlings can be compared to caring for a baby. Without good nurturing and love, they will not grow up to thrive. It is a great joy to watch these “babies” grow and become stronger with time, water and sun.
3. We can customize our yield.
Depending on the size of your garden and how much produce you would like to harvest, you may need lots of plants. Every year, we produce hundreds of seedlings for our garden farm. Our ultimate goal is to supply our kitchen with fresh produce for meals in our dining hall. We love being able to harvest the vegetables in the morning and serve them for lunch.
You might have tried to grow seedlings before without luck. Maybe the seeds did not germinate or the seedlings grew thin and weak. They may have simply died from overwatering or too little water. Do not despair, growing seedlings can be difficult but every failure leads to success. Be detailed in following the directions and remember that they are your “babies” and will only survive with your love and care. We encourage you to continue trying and learn as you go.
New to gardening or want to improve your knowledge? Join one of our monthly Garden Farming Workshops and get some directed, hands-on experience.