Successfully Raise and Transplant Seeds

The only thing more sustainable than growing your own produce is growing that produce from organic, heirloom and heritage seed varieties.

| August 2016

Not everyone who wants to begin living sustainably can move out to a homestead and work their own land. Sometimes this effort must start in an apartment, in a city, in a suburb. So how do you live frugally in such a compact space? Lolo Houbein has the answer in her book, One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening (The Experiment). Here, Houbein outlines simple ideas for food preservation, original recipes, and various sustainable techniques, from composting to water conservation. And at the core of all of this are the dozens of different plans for plotting a garden in three square feet of “magic” space, as well as the explanation behind why these designs can successfully produce an abundance of fresh produce for your home throughout the year. With these tips, you can hone your green thumb no matter where you live.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening.

Seeds and Seedlings

The giving garden has to be a sustainable garden, because above all, it is the seed base for the future. The seeds nature drops, the ones the birds drop in, and the seeds we gather, dry, and store, ensure that plant-friendly micro-climates continue as long as we are here to gather, maintain, and sow, and to refrain from interfering too much.


The inventors of the commercial seed packet were the American Shaker gardeners, adding value to their products. Growing vegetables from seed is extremely economical, especially with open-pollinated seed, as the resulting plants produce seed true to type to save and plant again. These well-tried heirloom and heritage varieties, kept going by farmers and gardeners since the beginning of time, produce seed reliably.

Why is this so desirable? Just as you appreciate the taste and quality of homegrown vegetables, so you will appreciate the taste and quality of heirloom vegetables. Some may not produce as prolifically as hybrids whereas others may outperform those. Grow a variety of vegetables, rather than overproducing a few.

An heirloom is something precious passed down through the generations. In my understanding, an heirloom vegetable is from before the time of widespread commercial genetic engineering, like seed my grandfather grew because his grandfather told him it was dependable.

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