Indoor Gardening

ben-basil.JPGSummer gardens are in full swing. What if you didn’t plant a garden, does that mean that you’ll have to wait until next spring? No, you can garden year-round indoors!

The benefits of involving your child in gardening (indoors or outdoors) are many, especially for the picky eater. Gardening is a natural way to include multi-sensory learning for the picky eater.  But not all of us have the time or place to plant a garden. Perhaps you live in an apartment or work full-time. Did you know that you can engage your child’s imagination and interest him in previously rejected vegetables by growing your own…indoors.

You know what they say, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” That may be true for cake, but you can have your avocado and eat it, too.

I just purchased this bag of avocados. Avocados make a great indoor plant, even if you won’t be able to grow an avocado indoors to the point of enjoying its fruit.

Ben is holding a basil plant. In the fall, it will be placed in my garden window.

After eating an avocado in a salad or dip, clean the avocado pit and root it by suspending it in a glass of water. With the pointy side up, place toothpicks into the seed about ½ to 2/3 of the way up the avocado. Suspend the seed in a glass of warm water and be sure that the water doesn’t evaporate. The top portion of the seed shouldn’t be covered with water. Be patient, a root will appear somewhere from the second to fourth weeks. Then watch out, the avocado can take over a kitchen counter!

Garden Window
I have a garden window and for years I used it only for showy plants. The last few years, I’ve brought in parsley and basil from the deck in the autumn and put them in my plant window. They do quite nicely for several months. If you have a sunny window, you’ll want to think about putting some small pots with herbs.

zach-sprouts.JPGSprouts are baby plants. They are full of nutrients. They have a greater concentration of proteins, vitamins, and minerals than at any other point in a plant’s life. Sprouts are a staple for many worldwide diets. They are easy to grow, economical, and one pound of sprouting seed can usually generate about five pounds of food!

Sprouting is easy! So easy, kids can do it, even toddlers. Just add water to sprouting seeds. The only thing you’ll need is an inexpensive plastic sprouter. First soak the seeds overnight. I use a small glass jar. Then pour the seeds into the bottom of a sprouter (a basket or a colander will do). Rinse with a gentle spray. Place the basket on your counter and gently rinse two times a day. In a week, you’ll have sprouts. Add them to salads, in a smoothie, stir fry, or eat by the handful.

Zach is displaying sprouts that are ready to eat. You can see a small basil plant on the kitchen counter behind him.

For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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