photo: State Library of New South Wales via Flickr

Happy Sunday, my little boysenberries. Here is all you guys need to know about food safety this (or any other) week:

Don’t eat commercially produced sprouts. Period. No matter where they come from; no matter how the growers say they are grown.

Just say no. Grow your own at home. Don’t use Thompson and Morgan seeds (supposedly their seeds are one of the major sources of the E. coli scourge in Europe). That…is…all.

And in slightly more useful news:

We have, as expected, completely run out of prepared growing space at Chez Siberia. No place to tuck a seedling or sprout. Zippo. So, I went to our local home and garden center (one of the horrible huge national chains – sorry; this is all we’ve got at the moment now) to ask if they had ‘grow bags’.

You’d have thought I’d asked if they carried dope. “Never heard of ’em”.

Now, I haven’t looked for these in a long time; once upon a time, this was a product that was farily easy to find: heavy duty plastic bags, prefilled with growing medium, that you punched holes in the corners for drainage and either punched holes in the top or put slits. They were laid down horizontally. You could use them to grow anything from potatoes to squash. Now, if you want ‘grow bags’, you can find heavy duty plastic bags that YOU fill with medium and when I did a quick and dirty search on the web, what is out there is a bag that can hold up to 10 gallons of media and sits vertically, like a pot, with drainage holes and so on.

Which a) was not what I needed and b) was not what I needed RIGHT NOW.

So, we made our own, using left over feed sacks and compost (our good stuff; not the crappy stuff from the township landfill which is mostly undigested wood chips). Now, we have feed sacks around because we raise chicks and turkey poults but for those of you who do not, any really heavy duty left over plastic bag will do. Fill them full of media, staple them closed at the top if you like (we didn’t; I just rolled the top over but your mileage may vary), and lay them down in a sunny but not hot spot (like, unless I were going to grow peppers in them, I would not put them on the black asphalt driveway, ok?). Another idea would be to go get the biggest bag of planting mix you can find and use that (my only beef with those is that they usually have so much peat in the mix that they dry out very quickly and you have to keep watering them, which is why I like compost so much). Punch holes in the bottom corners of the bag for drainage and either cut X-holes in the top or long slits to allow you to transplant what you need.

Which in Aunty’s case was a whole lot of basil (which we have discussed before) which had completely outgrown the flower box I’d already transplanted the seedlings into. I’m hoping this will keep us going for the rest of the summer, though as I harvest other short term things out of the garden, I have other celery and basil seedlings in other six packs that I can transplant into THOSE holes.

I see a whole lot of pesto in my future.



Snarky housewife from Upstate New York. Into gardening, fiber arts, smallholder farming.