What goes into an Easy Peasy tray?
Our beautiful monthly seasonal trays contain 24 magnificent seedlings that provide the most sensational harvest, and it's all thanks to the hard work and love of our incredible team at the Mitchell's Plain nursery.
Not many people are aware of how much work goes into producing this tray of abundance. It's certainly no small task! So here's a bit about how we do it.
The first step is source heirloom or organic seeds. What is heirloom you say? Heirloom refers to open pollinated seeds that have been passed down through the ages, generally over the last 50 years, avoiding any genetic modification or tampering. They are strong, hardy and best when it comes to adapting to an environment. This increases the growth success of the seedlings and improves the nutrient content of the harvest. These seeds are generally not used commercially, meaning they are rare, in low supply, more expensive and not always available. It is important for the biodiversity and longevity of our planet that heirloom seeds are maintained. Organic seeds are those that have had no chemical treatment whatsoever.
The second step is to sow these babies. We have a small "hot-house" type set up that ensures the environment is warmer and more conducive for the seeds to sprout. Our growers can sow up to 3000 seeds in a day! Once these seeds have sprouted, within a period of 1 to 2 weeks depending on the variety, they are transferred into seed trays with a slightly bigger cavity to allow their roots to take. Seedlings with weak roots wont survive.
After these seedlings have grown a bit bigger, they are moved out of the hot house and into the main nursery where they are separated and planted in their very own cavity. This now gives the seedling the opportunity to grow deep, intertwined and luscious roots.
We can't forget about the soil! The separated seedlings are planted into soil our exceptional growers make themselves. The reason we make our own soil is that the nutrient quality is of the utmost importance for the growth and survival of the plant, not to mention the health it produces for your plate! Our head grower, Gail, has a secret recipe she has spent over 3 years developing. It begins with taking decomposed matter from the in-house compost heap and mixing it with all sorts of beneficial and organic elements. Sorry, we are not revealing our secret recipe!
Once we have our seedlings in their own cavities, they are left for another 2 weeks to grow.
This times perfectly to be planted into the various 24-cavity seedling trays that are then labeled and hand delivered to your pick-up node.
Our monthly tray takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to prepare depending on sun, temperature and the plant variety. It is a delicate, complex and intensive process that requires constant attention, care and maintenance.
We do this all so you have the perfect plants to grow and eat! Another way how we make food gardening simple.