Last year was not a good summer for gardening at my house.
It was our first summer in a new house, and between my toddlers keeping me busy and a list of other good habits I was seeking to sustain, I ended up really doing nothing toward my garden. My one half-hearted attempt to do not nothing was when I tried to get rid of the grass covering a section of lawn that I thought I might want to use as a garden THIS summer. To my great pride, I was not completely unsuccessful in that endeavour.
This year is already off to a better start. I am not promising a good garden this year, since I’m still very very much in the learning, experimenting, amateur, making mistakes phase, but at least I should make some kind of progress this year.
I found out that you can put some kitchen scraps into water to get them to grow into new plans. You can do it with lettuce, garlic, onions, and sweet potatoes, among others. Those are the ones I have on my kitchen sill at the moment.
Sweet potatoes take a really long time to grow in water. My two sweet potatoes have some fuzz floating around their base, which I hope is what will develop into some roots eventually. Not much to look at yet.
My lettuce is looking good, and I’m already learning how to make it grow better. I think, or at least I hope, that I’ll be growing lots of lettuce in my garden this year, from reusing scraps that I got started in water on the window sill.
My allium vegetables are developing more rapidly than the sweet potatoes, but more slowly than the lettuce. They’ve started growing some thin little roots and stretching up little green things at the top. Not as lush and glorious as the lettuce though, not yet.
I know there are other plants you can start like this. Basil is one I’d love to try.
But basically, I’m really excited about this approach to gardening. I would be buying these foods anyway, and so it doesn’t really cost me anything extra, even in terms of inconvenience. And I have this food to put in the water in the first place because it’s food that my family buys and eats regularly anyways, so if I succeed in growing it there will definitely be a place for it at the Ottens family table.
I have many dreams of things I’d like to be able to do in my gardening, and it will probably be years before I get around to doing all of them. For the time being, if I can get this particular experiment off the ground then I think I’ll have a good gardening base from which I can build in future years. I’m quite excited and hopeful.
In a few months, I’ll be putting some little green plants into the dirt. Until then, my family gets to have a little miniature green garden growing out of some clear glass and plastic holders (old tomato sauce jars and hummus containers, for now). It feels like an excellent beginning.