zaufishanmuslimness

Eco Muslim Photo Diary: In The Greenhouse

Bism'illah, in the name of Almighty God. As'salam`alaikum chumps and chumpettes. Lemme get straight to what happened in the green...

Bism'illah, in the name of Almighty God.

As'salam`alaikum chumps and chumpettes.
Lemme get straight to what happened in the greenhouse.

I walk into my dilapidated shed - which looks deathly - and got covered in cobwebs *WOAURGH!* so after that was spruced up I gained zuhd-mode and grabbed some pots and seeds.

Ingredients:
• packets of seeds and dried seeds from 2010compost soil • plant pots • trays • gloves • wellies • and eco-muslim face. Go!

1. Tomatoes, henceforth known as Toms. The babies look like sesame seeds; you get around 1500 to a packet which need to be finely sprinkled over compost soil and covered with a thinner layer of more soil.


I've made trenches because I know they'll grow slowly and can be easily shifted out at a later date for more room. If these are sown in March/April, within a couple of weeks they should seed (they have!).

2. Aubergines. These round orange seeds are the offspring of aubergines, carrying the DNA for future generations. It's quite scientific all this y'know, but that's all I know about them... These are a little more expensive than Toms and are fewer in number. They too need to be finely sown with plenty of soil and a thin layer covering them. They don't grow as fast as the other veggies but still need the TLC - Talking to, Listening To, Comfort. I have around 50 seeds to play with.

 3. Next up, OKRA! I dislike okra. When it's raw it tastes like gum and when cooked it oozes out all wood-sappy and sticky. That's not a vegetable, that's a bloody alien! But, my parents like'em. This is what okra seeds look like: tiny peas or dried chick peas. I only have about 25 of these from the packet which makes it easier to plant them evenly spread apart. My seed tray is 14" x 8" x 3".
Fill the tray with seed compost to 2/3 of the height and gently firm down; place the seeds however you want keeping in mind the space for growth and movement. I used a ruler to calculate the distance. Yes, I'm a Nerd^2. Cover with enough soil to fill the tray so the seeds are under an inch from the surface. You don't need to water immediately but they will need nourishment within 24-48hrs.

4. Courgettes are what we English call zucchini, the American description. This is most annoying really because my American comrades look at me funny when I say "corr'jjzhetts". Zucchini seeds are the living seeds from last season's vegetable; they look like sherbert drops, are hard shelled and need to be grown 1 seed to an individual medium sized pot. This is because within a week the seedlings make a guest appearance and within two weeks they shoot up, paired leaves, all green and cocky. Alhamdulillah, because of their fast growth rate you really need to make sure they're well looked after: water 2-3x a week, give seed food and let them grow wild.

(Pause to say hello to the travelling ankabut - spider - that found its way down my arm and across my hand)


5. Last up and star of the show is sweetcorn.
Sweetcorn seeds are literally the dried "fruit" of cobs - the individual puckered yellow pockets of scrumptiousness. They're larger than all the other seeds that I have, they don't look like they could grow again (but they do!) and like zucchini, need to be planted 1 seed per pot.

I have saved last year's plastic cups (recycling), although they're not biodegradable (eco flaw). Fill each post almost to the top with soil and pat flat, push a single sweetcorn seed in the middle and cover with more soil and pat down.

Now what?
Place all your trays and pots in a greenhouse close to the windows and on the highest shelves. If you don't have a greenhouse, place them in your attic, or in a conservatory: basically in a place for optimum light and heat. Considering I live in rainy England, the highest temperatures for spring are around 20º degrees celsius, if even that. Seeds need temperatures of 15º degrees celsius+, so after checking my greenhouse thermometer, we're good to go insha'Allah.


It's best to water everything lightly immediately to initiate growth, otherwise you can come back in a day and water them then. By lightly I mean NOT soaking. Add seed feed within the first week.

Cover everything with a propogator lid if you have one otherwise cover with sheets of glass or plastic to concentrate the heat. I found some plastic wrapping which I taped over the sweetcorn.


The final batch. My greenhouse is full but empty - soon I shall have little green things to nurture and tend to. Insha'allah. The spirituality in growing seeds is wonderful; it's a maternal and magnetic pull towards The Divine. Alhamdulilllah.

That's all for today, it's time for 'asr salah and I'm grubby and look like Worzel Gummidge.

Peace and respect and wholesome jihad,
Zaufishan, the eco muslim.

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