Monday, 3 June 2013

What's growing in the garden?

Every spring we try to grow something in our garden.  I say "try" because we always have good intentions of having something growing in the garden apart from weeds, but we haven't had much luck.  Nonetheless, this year we're trying again.

This year we bought a few packs of seeds from the supermarket and got ourselves started.  We have two out of three success rate from the first lot.

Encouraged by having seeen some plants actually not dying on us, we bought another lot of seeds (sunflowers and strawberries) and got into the groove of sowing seeds.

It was then that I realised that it would be nice for Tiger to observe the growth of roots and stems.

  1. We gathered different seeds for this purpose: stones saved from an avocado, dried pulses (pop corn kernels, chickpeas, beans, sesame seeds, wild rice, normal rice).  The seeds were soaked overnight.
  2. We lined a few glass jars with kitchen paper and stuffed them with straws to hold the paper in place.
  3. The smaller seeds were pushed in-between the paper and jar so that we can observe any growth.
  4. The avocado stones were planted in pots.
After two weeks, we observed the following: nothing else grew except for the chickpeas.  We were able to see the roots clearly, followed by stems and leaves.

We were put to shame when we visited a permaculture farm where we were shown the basics of this type of sustainable farming that is actually how farming used to be, before commercial farming and the extensive use of pesticides and GM crops came into being.

At first glance the place looks quite untidy, unlike the industrialised farms where everything is highly mechanised and organised.  However, after hearing about the history of how this particular permaculture farm came about and about its development, we could understand why it looked the way it did.  Because the principle of permaculture is such that everything is organic, utilises the laws of nature, nothing is wasted.  Therefore, everything that looks like waste to us (therefore has to be thrown away) is being recycled and/or laid to rot for mulch.

The day at the permaculture farm was an eye-opening experience.  We learnt about the thoughts and plans that went into its development, saw how far removed we have become from our food source, and realised how little I know about the natural way to grow food sustainably.   To be honest, I can't quite get over my own igorance in this area

Update on June 29th, 2013:
I just found the following documentary to add to our understanding of permaculture:

This post is linked up to:
  1. Spring Carnival
  2. Hip Homeschool Hop - 6/4/13
  3. Hobbies and Handicrafts - June 7
  4. Collage Friday - The Week of Practicum
  5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Grumbling
  6. Science Sunday: Nature Study for your kiddos


  1. We have had good luck with peas and beans. My son has tried to sprout two avocados without luck.

  2. We haven't any luck with the avocados either...

  3. I do like the idea of being able to see what's growing.
    Thank you for linking up with the Spring Carnival

  4. We garden as part of our homeschool's science lessons, too! We are enjoying watching ours grow.

  5. We have done much the same as you - trying every year to grow something in containers and having mixed results. ;-) And we also did the seedlings experiment in a jar, too - my daughter loved it!

  6. Gary is the grower in our household, only he does it all day long so when he gets home he deserves a break! I have grand plans all the time to grow all year round lettuce, problem is I am unable to even keep a house plant alive! Ah well, we all have different gifts I guess!

  7. It sounds like an interesting farm to visit. I'm like you I have intentions of growing more than weeds, but it doesn't quite work out.


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