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Sprouts

Amazon.com is a terrific source for certified organic seeds intended for home sprouting. Dress up salads, stir-fry, sandwiches, spreads, and other dishes with homegrown sprouts of all kinds. Follow this link to order your sampler or to find home sprouting kits.

 

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Vegetable Seeds Choose Life in a Small Kitchen Garden

I don’t think this is natural… and it’s even a little creepy. In real life, corn seeds dry out on the cob; get eaten by rodents, birds, and deer; and end up back in (or on) the soil before they sprout. Even if you don’t treat corn right, it wants to grow; it wants to make its own corn seeds.

The whole point of being a mature vegetable is to make more vegetables. Once you’re all grown up, you have only to spread your seeds so they can take root and produce new plants. As a vegetable seed, you do everything you know how to do to succeed; to grow into a mature plant so you can spread seeds.

To illustrate my point, the photo to the right shows an ear of sweet corn which, when I husked it, simply looked too old to cook and serve at a meal. Instead, I set the ear—along with husks from the night’s meal—into a compost bucket and set it on the deck rail. Then I kind of overlooked that compost bucket for a week or two. When I finally got around to dumping it, I found that the corn on the cob was growing.

I had not treated these corn seeds well. I hadn’t dried them. I hadn’t removed them from the cob. I hadn’t stored them in a moisture-free environment. I hadn’t planted them in well-nourished soil. I hadn’t kept them uniformly moist. Still, they did their best in the environment they had available.

I won’t make a habit of sprouting seeds in dishrags for my small kitchen garden. This was a complete fluke and it will never happen again (maybe).

A Tomato Seed Shows Pluck

Poor housekeeping in my kitchen should further make my point: I prepared a tomato salad during the summer, and used a Handi-Wipe towel to clean up the counter. When I finished, I rinsed out the towel and tossed it against the backsplash of the sink.

Apparently, I didn’t use the towel for a few days, but when next I picked it up, I found it had a passenger: a young tomato sprout had emerged from among the towel’s fibers. This was not the tomato seed’s natural environment, but still it managed to set out on its mission to grow up and produce seeds of its own.

Starting Vegetable Plants is Easy

Why am I telling you about my horrible housekeeping? To emphasize just how easy it is to start a garden: when you follow instructions in a “how to plant vegetables” article, you’re pampering seeds with an ideal environment; you’re bound to succeed! So… try it! Even if you mess up in extreme ways, your seeds will try very hard to make you successful.

Do you have examples of seeds sprouting—or vegetable plants succeeding—in unlikely environments? Please share your story in a comment!

 

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2 Responses to “Vegetable Seeds Choose Life in a Small Kitchen Garden”

  • Donna B.:

    heehee, I got a nice one:
    I’ve attempted [I live in Northern NJ] to grow Icebox Watermelon for two years now. I plant two per container, and pray one of them germinates – usually of ten seeds two will germinate properly, most get to the partially sprouted stage and I forget to water and they perish. Heh. Sad thing is by the time the poor things are big enough to GO in the garden – I haven’t properly designated a spot for them! So during the hot summer months the small containers sit on my front porch and slowly wilt away…
    Given up, I dump the container soil into a side garden where I have my ‘stow-a-way’ plants; things with no proper home, a staging area if you will. It’s hot, very dry [under/next to a large pine tree], and I never water it. But this summer? I got TWO… yes TWO watermelon plants that grew to flowering size! [of all MALE flowers, of course...]

    No fruit, but I was just happy to have grown the plants alive and flourishing! Even if it wasn’t intentional…

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Donna: I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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