Monday, March 9, 2009

Newpaper Seedling Pots, Gardening for Your Fellow Folks, and Unemployment

February private-sector job losses are worse than expected, as expected.

In the NYTimes:

ADP said private employers cut 697,000 jobs in February compared with a revised 614,000 jobs lost in January. The January job cuts were originally reported at 522,000.

Economists had expected 610,000 private-sector job cuts in February, according to the median of 23 forecasts in a Reuters poll, which ranged widely from a drop of 730,000 to losses of 500,000.

About 700,000 new people are going to need your help. Food banks are already pushed to the limit, and they need more help.

It's time to plant a garden for your fellow folks.

If you live in the North, it's time to start your seedlings. Below the fold is a video showing how to make easy origami newspaper seedling starting pots. They're free, biodegradable, and organic. I made two dozen last night during American Idol.

Starting seedlings indoors is one of the best ways to start your garden early. I shoveled 1.5 feet of snow off the driveway yesterday, by hand, with a shovel, so I really want spring to come so I can plant my flippin' garden. Seedlings are at least something pretty and warm and growing in the house.

Winter Garden

Now, we should plant our gardens on the cheap, as the point of these gardens is not to grow $3 Lima beans. If you're going to spend $500 growing $200 worth of food, it's better to just donate that money to the food bank. They'll know what to do with it.

Seedling starting kits run $8-$40 at my local HD. And they look puny.

Newspaper seedling pots are free, biodegradable, and organic.

Newspaper Origami seedling pot

Plants you should start from seedlings: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. Squashes are also good to start.

These newspaper pots are quick and easy, plus they are only two sheets thick on two sides and the bottom, so you can plant the whole pot in the garden and the roots will quickly penetrate the newspaper and turn the whole thing into biodegraded mush.

They also have nifty flaps to label what you planted in each one.

After I fold them, I store them stacked under a heavy book to press the folds even more. That makes them even sturdier when you fill them with starting soil and plant those seeds.

Pots under book

I nestle them in a big, plastic tray or a low cardboard box lined with a lawn and leaf bag.

(Hee, hee. You can see my pajamas under the glass table.)

Happy planting!

TK Kenyon

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