Sprouts, Growing Your Own Organic Produce From Food
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There are so many foods you can grow starting with the parts you usually cut off and toss (into the compost bin ;-). When I was first married, I started a compost heap on a little spot of barren Earth under my landlord’s living room window! We lived in a little one bedroom apartment a block from the beach. Outside of our living room window was a defunct fountain, that I spent countless hours bringing back to life with the help of my husband and encouragement from the other tenants in our small apartment building.
Next door to us, with a common wall, the building owner’s daughter and teenage granddaughter lived with their 17 year old tabby cat. The daughter managed the building. Sorry, I digress. The compost idea was a good one, but the location was problematic. You might be thinking it was because of the odor. That wasn’t it. It was the heat. Compost heats up. I’m lucky I didn’t burn the building to the ground!
Before I realized my compost pile had to go, something miraculous began to happen. In that hot heap, just outside the door, things began to grow! Untended, unaided by me; celery, carrots, onions – began growing – spontaneously. I started to experiment. I had never thought about the connection between growing food and eating food in that way before. Sure, I knew apples grew on trees, but I never made the connection between eating an apple and actually growing an apple tree from the discarded apple core. It seems obvious, now. If you never really gave it much thought either, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Potatoes – Yup. The eyes of potatoes are new roots growing. You can put a whole potato in the ground and watch it grow. It’s a fast growing plant and you get to dig in the dirt (fun for kids) to harvest your crop.
- Onions – Super easy and they make cool flowers, too. Plant with the pointy end up and the root (looks kind of like hair) end down.
- Garlic – Break apart a head of garlic and plant a few cloves in the garden – like the onion, pointy end up. Plant garlic and onion a few inches below the surface of the soil as they will need the support for their flower stalks.
- Carrots – Cut off the tops and start them growing again in a saucer of water. Once roots appear, plant in the garden. You can probably start them in the ground, but you need to keep them moist for them to get growing.
- Celery – Cut the whole bottom of your celery off about 2 inches above the base. Plant the base.
- Beans – Place in a saucer of water. Not all of your beans will sprout. Take the ones that do and transplant to your yard. Most beans are climbers and will need support.
- Cantaloupe – Separate seeds from the melon flesh and put them in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel. Tape the baggie to a sunny window (behind a curtain, if you don’t want everyone to see your experiment – of course anyone passing the window on the outside will know what you’re up to!). When seeds sprout, choose the strongest ones and transfer to soil.
What produce or herbs are you growing? Tell us about it in the comments below!