Don't Throw It, Grow It!

March 12, 2011

A few years ago, everyone in my husband's family had the same idea for Christmas.  Quite a few different members of the family independently stumbled across an awesome book, and then surprised each other with it for a Christmas gift.  We were one of the lucky many to receive this present.  The book was called Don't Throw It, Grow It: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps, and it has rocked my world.  (Just like Carlee, and her bread book, I'm a bit of an evangelist.)

The premise of this book is that you can take the seeds, pits, or cuttings from fruits, vegetables, and spices, and actually grow them in your own house.  I'd certainly tried planting planting beans or avocado before, but kiwi or papaya? Wow!  Planting these was a totally new concept to me.  (Not to mention the new plants that the book introduced me to like malanga and loquat.)

Now I'm not going to lie to you.  My husband and I have been planting our "kitchen scraps" for over two years now, and we have yet to harvest and eat something.  We've also had our fair share of total planting failures (read: no-show plants, and even a rotten seed or two).  However, it's been fun!  It is so rewarding to plant something from seed , and watch it grow into a mini-tree.
Papaya - planted from seed early 2009.
The Don't Throw It, Grow It! book gives you details on how exactly to get your seed, plant it, and treat it right for optimum growing, but don't think that you need this book to tell you how to experiment with seeds, dirt, sunlight  and water.  That's what the internet is for, right?

You also don't need a lot of supplies to grow things in your home.  Dirt is essential for most plants, and of course water and sunlight in varying degrees are too, depending on the plant.  Pots are helpful, but yogurt containers will work nicely, too.
Pomegranates, grown by my Mother-in-law.
We have been truly surprised by the look of plants whose fruits are familiar.  I live in Canada, so most tropical plants are a rare sight to me, especially in their seedling form.

The mango plant has ridiculously large leaves.  Grown by my brother-in-law and his wife.
You will also be amazed at the tenacity of some plants - the sheer volume of leaves and roots that some plants put out are incredible!

This sweet potato, shown in early and later stages,

was also grown by my brother-in-law and his wife.  Isn't it amazing?
If you've got kids around, growing plants from the seeds of food you actually eat is a great way to teach the life-cycle.  I'm sure many kids do that think food just magically appears in the grocery store or in the fridge at home.  Any of you have husbands that think this way, too?  Early this week, I planted beans and wheat with my three-year old daughter.  When we discovered the teeny green plants poking through the dirt, the look on her face was priceless.  She acted like her own child had just been born.
Can you see the "babies"?  Two wheat and one bean sprout.
I hope I've inspired you to plant a few seeds today.  Have you had any success planting seeds from "scratch"?  Please tell us about what green things are growing at your house.


JoDana said...

Such a fun thing to do. I've tried Avocado's and beans but who knew a sweet potato could look like that! amazing! Hope you don't mind I pinned this! :)

Melissa said...

Another great idea for our future home school. Thanks! :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...