With 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!
- 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
- Rinse produce well.
- Follow directions for specific produce specimens below.
- Set the “garden” (collection of produce) in a warm spot where it will get about 8 hours of sunlight each day.
- Check the water every day and change it every 3-4 days.
- Use a spray bottle of water to mist the leaves every few days.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Knott, Education Specialist at email@example.com.