Windowsill Garden

mn-ag-in-the-classroom-lg
Windowsill GardenWindowsill GardenWith spring still months away, an easy way to get growing is with a windowsill garden.  The best part of this garden is that it just takes a few kitchen scrapes from plants, water and light.  The new growth of green leaves will help beat the winter blues and maybe even inspire kids to eat more veggies!

Windowsill Garden

Materials

  • Produce – beets, celery, basil, garlic, and yams are good options
  • Water tight container – glass, ceramic or plastic containers are all good options.
  • Warm, well lit location
  • Water

Procedure

  1. Rinse produce well.
  2. Follow directions for specific produce specimens below.
  3. Set the “garden” (collection of produce) in a warm spot where it will get about 8 hours of sunlight each day.
  4. Check the water every day and change it every 3-4 days.
  5. Use a spray bottle of water to mist the leaves every few days.

Beets
A. Slice the top ½ inch from a fresh beet with its greens still attached.
B. Trim the greens, leaving about ½ inch of stem.
C. Rinse the beet top then place it in a shallow dish of water.
D. Little shoots should appear in 3-5 days

Celery
A. Trim a bunch of celery 3 inches or so above its base.
B. Place the base of celery in a shallow dish of water.
D. Leaves should grow out of the center in a week and tiny roots will also sprout from the bottom.

Garlic
A. Tightly pack several peeled garlic cloves in a small container and cover them with water.
B. Roots should appear within the first few days, and then sprouts will emerge from the cloves’ tops within a week.

Yam
A. Wash the yam well, and then cut it in half.
B. Place the cut surface in a shallow dish of water.  Leaves will appear in two weeks.

Discussion Questions

  • What plant parts does each piece of produce represent?  (beets = roots, celery = stems, garlic = bulb, yam = tuber (modified stem)
  • Which crops are grown in Minnesota?  Where and when are they grown?  (use the Minnesota Grown website as a resource, specifically A Seasonal Look at Fresh Produce and their searchable data base of producers)?
  • What environmental factors cause the produce parts to grow? (light, water, warm temperatures)

Additional Activities

  • Keep a Plant Journal to record start date, then add sketches, measurements and notes as the days “grow” on!

For further information about the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program visit www.mda.state.mn.us/maitc or contact Al Withers, Program Director at alan.withers@state.mn.us or Sue Knott, Education Specialist at sue.knott@state.mn.us.

This entry was posted in Fun Activities, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, MN Ag in the Classroom. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s