Gardens From Garbage
by Kathy Melton
Hello, all! Kathy here. Julie and I have been friends for quite some time and have had many exciting adventures together. (Someday I will have to tell the story of the plant sale, the wheelchair, and the overpacked car.) Over the years, I’ve learned lots of tidbits and wisdoms from Julie and I would like to think she has learned a few from me. One thing I learned early about Julie, and if you’ve spent much time with her, I imagine you know this too- she loves onions! I shared a photo on Facebook a few days ago, and it involved onions; it caught her eye so here I am with tips about growing your own
Perhaps you all have seen some stories floating around about starting a Victory Garden during this time of social isolation and staying home as much as we can. Gardening is a great gift, both in the fresh air and activity you can be involved in, and then of course because of the rewards of flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. But maybe you don’t have the time, space, or energy to create a garden. Or maybe you didn’t buy any seeds and plants before starting your period of isolation.
There is a way you can still enjoy watching something grow, in your own kitchen. All you need is a sunny window, a pot of dirt, and vegetable scraps. I happen to have a wooden box in my kitchen, which in fact was made for my daughter by Julie’s father years ago, as a toy box. I have lined it with plastic and filled it with potting soil, and it sits under the large window in my kitchen area. I was going to try growing orchids, well they are growing…but there’s still room in the box!
One day while cutting up some onions, I realized that these could grow into new onions to eat. So, I stuck the end into the box. The root end. For those few of you who might be true novices, that’s the end with the wispy hair-like bits on the bottom. Then I stuck in the end of a celery. And then a piece of ginger root. The onions have started coming up. The celery is up. And I think today I saw the ginger peeking out. I’m not sure they will ever be full fledged vegetables, but the greens can be cut and used in soups or salads. Plus, it’s just fun to see them grow. Garbage to plants! What could be better? It would be an especially nice project for children because these vegetable scraps come up faster than seeds.
I’m not a novice to scrap food growing. My compost box outside currently has several large potato plants about to flower and coming up under them are peppers and tomatoes. I’ve had to do some careful digging to protect them all, but I’m pretty excited to see what I can harvest. There are also several small mounds of dirt in my front yard with pumpkin seeds saved from last fall stuck in them. I noticed this morning that they are starting to sprout!
Look around your kitchen. You may find a real treasure trove of possibilities. It’s gardening, food harvesting, and science experiment all at once. Take pictures, talk to the sprouts. It will make you feel better. Really.