Learning About Seed Starting From The Homestead Atlanta

A few weeks back, I attended my first The Homestead Atlanta class. The Homestead Atlanta organizes convenient classes on a variety of key homesteading skills, from butter- or cheese-making to blacksmithing and leather working, from brewing and vintning to foraging and gardening. The mission is to “promote the wellbeing of individuals as well as the health of the community and environment through experiential self-reliance and sustainability skills education.” Word cannot express how down I am with all this.

The Homestead Atlanta Seed Starting class

A slide from the Seed Starting talk

Making seed starters out of newspaper

Making seed starters out of newspaper.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to jump in and get involved ever since The Homestead Atlanta cropped up in 2012 and I finally took the plunge with Seed Starting for Spring. Our instructor was Mike Cunningham of Country Gardens Farm and the class was held in Red Wall Studio .

Mike Cunningham did a great job going through over all of the elements involved in starting successful seedlings. We covered seed, soil, amendments, temperature, light, humidity, and watering and I feel more prepared for this spring season than I ever had before! I have done a decent job at germination in the past, but my seedlings have never been happy.

Part of the talk included showing us a few different options for ensuring the seedlings receive enough light, including an overview of how to build an indoor light stand that is adjustable to your seedlings’ needs.

Mike's light rig

The indoor light rig for seedlings.

My flat of bok choy

My flat of bok choy.

Seedlings in classLastly, after the comprehensive talk and a question-and-answer segment, Mike set us each up with a little 6-pack of his special seedling soil blend and some seeds to plant in them. I wound up sowing my flat with bok choy.

That weekend, Adam helped me make a light rig of our own so that we can raise the healthiest seedlings we can! We used PVC pipe, chain, a shop light, and daylight bulbs to make it, and my little bok choy seedlings have loved it. My indoor and overwintering plants have perked up as well!

Allred family seed starting light rig

Our light rig, with my light-starved plants getting some light therapy.

My seedlings 2014

Baby bok choys.

Bok choy seedlingsIn the next couple weeks I hope to continue to apply my learnings as I get things ready for The 2014 Allred Family Garden. I’ve bought all the supplies to make my own special seedling soil blend from Amazon and local sources, and I’ve dusted off the seed catalogues I’ve been getting in the mail, and the Garden Planner I use – I’m getting ready!

My first class with The Homestead Atlanta was everything I’d hoped for, and I can’t wait to attend some more. Plus, with my Georgia Organics membership, I get a discount. I’ve got my eye on Fermentation Fundamentals, and the Edible and Medicinal Plant Ramble.


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

One thought on “Learning About Seed Starting From The Homestead Atlanta

  1. PS: I’m going to make it my mission this year to update about the garden at least four times… usually I just write about spring planning when it’s dreary out and then never say another word. Well, not this year! (Hopefully.)

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