Fiddlers Farm’s “Community Supported Seedling Club” takes the guesswork out of planting a vegetable garden – not just for summer harvest, but all the year round.
How Does It Work?
Each season for Spring, Summer, Fall and over Winter you have the opportunity to receive a flat (tray) of season-specific plant seedlings. This takes the guesswork out of the growing season and provides new and experienced gardeners with the seedlings they need, at the right time for planting.
Depending on the season and the type of vegetable, your plants may come in 6-packs or in 3-4″ pots. A flat contains 12 6-packs, 18 pots, or some combination of the two. You choose the vegetables, herbs and fruits that your flat contains. (Variety lists here).
You order and pay a $10 per flat deposit ahead of time and specify your preferences for the “your choice” varieties. I grow the plants for everyone, plus extras as insurance. When the time comes to make up and supply your flats, I start filling orders in date order, so the earliest orders will be most likely to get all their top “your choice” picks. Because growing seedlings is not a fail-proof operation, sometimes I’ll run out of some varieties earlier than I hoped. The later you order, the less likely it is that I’ll be able to fill all your “your choice” spots with your top picks – that’s why I ask you to specify your preferences in order of desirability, and pick more choices than are needed to fill the flat.
Part of the community-supported agriculture model is the sharing of risk between the producer and the consumer. In this case, you the gardener helps the grower bear the uncertainties of weather and crop yields. So, you specify “your choice” crop preferences, and I do my best to deliver what you prefer, although I can’t guarantee you’ll always receive all the exact preferences you specify.
Benefits for the gardener (that’s you!)
- I supply varieties which grow well right here in Powell River – no guesswork as you try to choose big-box-store varieties or pick from an overwhelming seed catalog
- You get varieties that do well in the garden, not varieties that look good on the shelf as seedlings but may not give you a good harvest
- You get healthy plants with good root systems – ready to take off and grow well in your garden
- Your plants have not been traumatized by being allowed to dry out or starve – they are healthy and ready to grow to their full potential
- Plants are organically grown – no residues of chemical pesticides or fertilizers going into your garden or your food
- They are ready to plant – no need to buy equipment or find space to grow them from scratch, no need to remember to start things in the middle of summer ready for your fall and winter garden
- I grow as carbon-friendly as I can: I make my own potting soil, minimise use of grow-lights, re-use containers and minimise plastic use, and grow plants right here in Powell River
Benefits for the Grower (that’s me!)
- I know what you need me to grow – less wasted seeds, potting soil, space and time, fewer leftover plants
- Your deposit helps me pay my up-front costs: I don’t have to carry debt and pay interest while the plants take their sweet time growing to sellable size
- I don’t need to artificially “push” plants to grow unnaturally fast, or grow varieties that look good as babies but aren’t the best for food production or flavor
- The weather- and critter-related risk is shared instead of being all on me
How much does it cost?
Each regular flat costs $35: for that you get between 18 plants and 72 plants, depending on the size and whether they are in 6-packs or pots. You pay a $10 per flat non-refundable deposit when you order, and the rest when the plants are ready.
“Spring Pea Special” flats of just peas are specially priced at $18 per flat for 72 plants.
Delivery is available within the City of Powell River at $10 for the first 1 or 2 flats: more flats are $2 per flat. For example, it would cost $14 to deliver 4 flats ($10 for the first two plus $2 each for the other two).
How to Order
Order online (see the chioces under the “Order” item in the menu at the top of the page), print out an order form (coming soon) and mail it in, or order in person when you see me at the Winter Market or Seedy Saturday. Once I receive your order I’ll arrange to get the deposit from you (online via Paypal/credit card, by mail, or in person). The balance is due when your plants are ready.
When & Where Do I Get My Plants?
I’ll email or phone you a few days before the plants are ready for you. Once you have paid for the remainder of your order (online, by mail or in-person), you’ll be able to collect your flats of plants at a pickup point of your choice, or I can deliver to your garden for an additional charge.
If you return plastic flats, pots and packs in usable condition (ie not cracked or split or falling apart) I’ll give you a trade-in allowance on your next flat of plants.