View at night of the back perimeter of the Twisting Roots farm, with the Full Moon and Fog. I have missed this weather in Oregon.
We are up at the farm in Oregon, and it is cold out. The logical place to grow the microgreens now is in the garage as there is no place indoors where we can keep it heated.
So my first worry was too be able to keep them at about 70 degrees so they can germinate. John came up with the idea of using a space heater on low. I ordered some Vivosun heating mats also.
I also am using coconut coire either for the whole substrate or mixed half and half with potting soil .
Above are the trays that I weighed down for 3 days, then I flipped the tray to keep them in the dark.
Red Acre Cabbage
Along with the microgreen shots, I am experimenting with salad cups.
I had some concerns up here in Oregon that I didn’t in Palm Springs.
I am worried about the temperature and the humidity as well.
So I used the coconut coire to lightly cover the seeds. I learned that from Pepe a microgreen grower that feels it is a very neutral substance that will keep the seeds protected. So he puts a light coating over the top of the seeds.
Dec 18 day 4
What a disappointment this has been to see the beets and the amaranth dying.
It looks to me like either too much water or a fungus that eventually rots the stem. Sometimes referred to as damping off, it is a fungus that eventually rots the seedlings. They looked as if they were doing fine then they are starting to collapse and fall over, or just wither. The beets are falling faster. Not a good Christmas present but I should expect some. Also the seeds may be too crowded.
I immediately took the towels off the new crop fearing that I am creating too damp and warm an environment for the fungus to grow. It is not getting any ventilation either. I shot them with a bit of hydrogen peroxide.
This was a quick test to see how the microgreen shots would do using paper towels instead of soil. A special thanks to Tikki O. for her youtube of growing microgreens on a moist paper towel.
In this post it will be an ongoing discussion of this book I am studying. For those that are not familiar with the “Lean” philosophy, it was developed by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota for improving production using 5 principles he developed to increase “Value” which he defines as the product or service wanted by the customer. Now that seems obvious except that he will use this term throughout the book in different ways. Like the term “value stream” refers to the line between, the moment you have a concept of a product to the completion of the sale to the customer.
The Tightening the Bolt Thing ;
“..It is only the last turn of a wrench that tightens a bolt and gives value to the product.”
This sounds a bit strange at first but it causes you to think about the steps in your production in different ways.
So if you are picking lettuce and walking 20 steps to put it in a bin dirt and all, then washing it, drying it then let it sit in a refrigerator before you package and bring it to market where you sold it took the money and then went to the bank.
There are a lot of wasted steps here…….
What if the customer bought your head of lettuce online, stopped by on his way home from work you cut a head of lettuce, packaged it and let him go home and wash it.
Ben will talk about the 5 “S” of Lean
5S represents Japanese words that describe the steps of a workplace organization process. English equivalent words are shown in parenthesis
- Seiri (Sort)
- Seiton (Straighten, Set)
- Seiso (Shine, Sweep)
- Seiketsu (Standardize)
- Shitsuke (Sustain)
The sorting principle that Ben talks about with your farm is to get rid of anything that doesn’t add value. There goes that value word again. He talks about getting rid of anything on the farm that doesn’t directly add to the value of your product. If you just like some process or tool that isn’t necessary it will impede your progress, slow you down, distract and work against you. For instance a pile of scrap metal or wood. Extra garden tools that you haven’t used in years that clutter up your storage. Perhaps you have products that you sell only a few a year that don’t add much to your income.
Ben says that this is an ongoing process, they are always on the lookout for ideas to lean up their farm. I always thought several spares of tools was a good thing but the Hartman family farm feels that the hardware store is a better place to store most spare parts. If it doesn’t take that much to replace it then get rid of it. Realize the space it takes and the time to manage it also costs you money, probably more than what you save by keeping it.
The Kainexus Blog describes well what Ben is talking about in overall principles, in this post on “The 7 Wastes of Lean”.
1.Overproduction; is a form of waste. If you produce too much you have to find a way to discount and sell it, give it to a food bank, or dry it. All things that are couter productive to your basic product that is bringing in the dough.
2. Waiting; refers to breaks in the production cycle from beginning to when the customer gets the product. On the farm this could be walking to far to get a hoe, or a process that causes a mess. Ben says that when they processed tomatoes too many fell on the floor and got stomped causing a mess.
3. Transport; This is similar in ways to waiting but particularly deals with transporting the product. Ben says that the experts of “Lean” teach to ask Why you do anything 5 times to really get to the reason and see if it is important. Ben said they found a more efficient way to deliver there CSA’s using a lock box in a convenient storage area in town where the customer could pick it up anytime.
More tomorrow on this continuing post.
I did also some Microgreen shots in K-cups that was a blead of Broccoli, Basil and Arugula
and I did a Broccoli Amaranth blend and a Basil
You never think that they are going to germinate. “Did Iget the soil to wet? Are the seeds no good?”
It just takes time.
Basil – Genovese – Microgreens Seeds × 1
Cabbage – Red Acre – Microgreens Seeds × 1
Amaranth – Red Garnet – Microgreens Seeds × 1
Broccoli – Waltham 29 – Microgreens Seeds × 1
K Cups , Basil, and mixed greens
Microgreen Crop Nov 10, 2018
I used about 2 teaspoons of each seed except for the peas which was ½ cup
I covered these for 3 days weighting them down then uncovered and put under T8 Fluorescent lights.
Growing these in the garage with no real natural light.
The growth seems very slow.
I am at Day 5 right now and they just seem to be popping up.
Progress seems very slow
I am wondering about the temperature in the garage as being too cold. Perhaps I should take them outside during the day heat and light and then bring them back in for supplemental light.
The Peas I have uncovered the weight after 3 days and then turned the cover over on them to see if they grow less fibrous being grown in the dark.
They are barely above the soil. This seems very slow. Perhaps this is also due to the heat in the garage.
I did take them outside yesterday to warm them up even though they were still covered.
The Beets not doing much after 6 days
Red Cabbage germinating only on one side
Arugula spotty germination and low stem.
The Greens are doing well though the growth seems stunted. The stems seem short. The trays have evaporated and it was time to water today. I did a bottom watering.
Dropped the Broccoli tray and saved a few seedlings but wonder if they will survive. I transplanted them into a smaller container.
I have had some damping off in areas and I feel that is probably due to the lack of evaporation in the soil and being too cold in the garage which hinders the evaporation and is just not the best for germination.
The soil was a bad choice. I used Miracle Grow Garden soil instead of potting soil. I think I should buy some new soil and vermiculite just in case.
The short stems may be due to uncovering them too soon. Corey said that he covers his Amaranth for quite a few days otherwise the stems are too short.
Planting too dense also can be a problem. That can cause damping off or other problems.
Pea Shoots looking nice, uncovered them to take a pic.
Harvest day after 2 days of light.
After a week of letting them sit after harvest
The growing has gone on.