On Friday December 18th, somewhere in the channels I surf on cable television here, I caught a brief exposition about a new (to me) system of planting that I think would be worth exploring for both current and future situations. Unfortunately, I did not take notes, and at this point cannot recall where I saw the presentation or who was involved.
A quick search on Google revealed US Patent 3362106, which sounds similar but was definitely not the system I saw.
The inventor had prepared seed packets with nutrients and embedded them in a sheet of black plastic. The packets were laid out with optimum distances for the type of plant to be grown.
The sheet appeared to be about one meter wide and two meters long, so that it was easily deployed by the demonstrator over a flat raised bed of soil.
After the sheet was smoothed out, the demonstrator applied a spray of water to the sheet. The packets were (apparently) water soluble, so that the seeds were (presumably) free to begin growth in the starter mixture.
The plastic sheet would act every efficiently as a weed barrier.
If anyone sees this system please let me know by private email, and I will be happy to extend this thread.