Anyone who knows me knows I am a pretty decent human parent. I can not only keep kids alive, but much to my surprise they grow up to be decent human beings (in other words, not major @$$holes). I’m a mediocre cat parent (after all, who is really in charge of who there). Dog parent… well… that is still to be determined. She’s very sweet and loving OR an extremely hyper crazy barking dog. No in between.
But anyone who really knows me knows I am a terrible plant parent. I have zero green thumb. Sometimes I’m not even sure I have thumbs at all. It’s not just with house plants- it’s also vegetables that have suffered under my care. I’ve under-watered. I’ve over-watered. I’ve under-sunned. I’ve over-sunned. I’ve sang them the wrong songs. I’ve had them in reach of the cats who thought they were dinner. The problem with plants is that they don’t actively tell you they need water. Kids nag you till you feed them. Dogs dig at their bowl until you feed them. Cats enter in the night and start gnawing on your flesh if you haven’t filled their bowl for days. Plants?? They’re too damn quiet.
But, I am a whole new self-sufficient woman. At least, I’d like to think that I am, which I think is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome as a grower.
With my newfound love for all things zero waste, I decided to start growing vegetables at home – from existing food scraps. That’s right. Things I otherwise would have thrown in the compost. And no investment (well, I did have to get some other planting things and soil). We moved into a new home a few months ago and one of the perks we’ve noticed is the big beautiful living room window that welcomes the sun every afternoon. Even the afternoon sun in the winter is hot, and we have a large window ledge. In fact, we have other window ledges in the house too- perfect for plants! I’ve never had a window ledge to work with before. I blame that for all my previous dead plant issues.
I chose some items that other “experts” said would grow well. I don’t know when they’ll be ready to replant and whether they can stay indoors and continue growing properly until our Canadian winter is over. I guess I will figure that out when the time comes.
So far the romaine lettuce is really taking off. I’m confident that with several lettuces growing at once we may someday be able to make salads.
The celery grew quite quickly in the beginning, and shows great promise even though it has slowed down.
The green onion is growing splendidly. I hope to never spend money on green onion/chives again.
The cabbage and iceberg lettuce are trying to decide if they are going to grow. We think there are signs. We are all waiting patiently.
The carrot tops have finally started to grow. So has the parsnip, which we had almost written off for compost.
The red onion was the only thing that went to the composter so far, as it was clearly rotting and not leaving a good smell.
It’s pretty exciting to watch something grow from scraps you would otherwise have thrown away. And it’s not just me that goes to the window eagerly to check on their progress; the entire family is invested in it. Our 10 year old is excited because where we are growing our own food, “we will be ready for the zombie apocalypse”.
I hope it doesn’t come to that. But if it does, I’m going to enjoy eating a darn fresh caesar salad before the zombies eat my brain.