Happily there were soil block makers for sale at the Heritage Festival. I've always thought they looked pretty cool when I seen them on the Internet, but wasn't quite sure if they'd work well. The Gardeners Workshop had a booth and was demonstrating them. You could even try your hand at making a set of soil blocks. I was sold and bought the small size to try at home first. If it works as I think it will....I won't need to purchase the large block maker.
The soil block maker is a device that makes little soil cubes for starting seeds from a specially mixed soil that holds together. The benefit is there is no plastic pots to mess with and the roots do not become pot bound...they simply grow out of the block. The only caution you must take is when watering. You must water the blocks from the bottom gently as not to wash the soil blocks apart.
Here is a link to The Gardener's Workshop if you might like to purchase one....I'm going to explore the site some more later...it looks like it might have a lot of interesting information.
I bought a small bag of already mixed soil so I could start sowing seeds as soon as I arrived home from the festival. September is a huge planting month here. Yesterday I planted 5 carrot varieties, 6 onion varieties. and 5 squash varieties. I know it seems a little late to start squash....but I'm trying something a little different. Our occasional light frost or freeze doesnt' really happen until late December or January. I'm betting I can get a crop before then, and if I protect the plants they may keep producing right until spring. These seeds I directly sowed in the garden. In my soil cubes I sowed 4 types of lettuce, 6 types of cabbage, 2 types of kale, cauliflower, Romanesque, broccoli, cilantro, leeks, celery...um...I think that's it....anyway I think all around the soil block maker is going to make sowing certain seeds and spacing them much easier....and less wasteful of the seeds.
Here is a picture of the soil block maker and the left over soil!
The Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor. It contains complete plans for making a sturdy long lasting solar dryer as well as solar info, tips and recipes. Byron loves it. He already has plans to make a dryer.