Posts tagged ‘green onions’

February 23, 2012

Play with Your Food! (Part Deuce)

Warning: Images and content may not be suitable for all viewers.  Recommended for mature gardening audiences only.

The game got off to a slow start.  Day by day it seems things were hardly changing.  Then, almost out of nowhere, the Green Onion Experiment took off! By Day 10, it was clear the Green Onions decided to show up for the game and were ready to compete, while the Leek Experiment showed little interest in standing up to the challenge.  Today there’s no contest.  The Leek Experiment got swept 6 – 0. (And quite frankly, they stink!)

Day 1

Day 1 - Top View

What went wrong?  Maybe the easier question is what went right?  For the Leek Experiment this proves to be a grim season, at least on the windowsill.  They complained about getting cut, they said they didn’t have their space, didn’t have room to breathe, they said they didn’t want to get their feet wet.  Okay, okay… I guess the coach should listen and when playing with rookies, not push them so hard and go back to the basics.  For a while they even showed signs of life, or at least a couple of them did, but they went sour like their team mates.  You know what they say… one bad leek can spoil the whole bunch… or something like that.

Day 2

Day 2 - Top View

So what did we learn from this experiment?  Next time, I’ll start slow.  I won’t cut/divide them, although I don’t think that was the root of the problem (pardon the pun).  I’ll give them more space in the glass so they aren’t touching each other and make sure the water level stays low enough to just cover the roots (I think I gave them a little too much water a couple of times causing them to begin rotting). Yummy!  So the Leek Experiment is complete, for now.  (At least until I cook with leeks again.)

Day 8 - Guys in the back starting to show up

Day 16 - Eww...

Day 16 - Gross...

Day 16 - Game over!

The Green Onion Experiment continues to go strong.  A few are showing up better than others, but all of them are still in the game at this point.  I’ll continue to post on the progress.

Day 18

Day 18 - Opposite View

Any other experiments out there?  Any progress reports?


February 15, 2012

Play with Your Food! (Windowsill Gardens)

I know, I know, most of us have memories of our mothers telling us to stop playing with our food.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to throw that out the window, or actually, stop just short of out the window at the windowsill.

Although we have a serious shortage in the snow department this year, the temperatures, although tropical for a Minnesota winter, are hardly “growing season” temps.  That, however, should not stop you from growing plants, herbs and veggies!  No, I’m not crazy.  Okay, well, maybe a little, but that’s beside the point.   Anyway,  during the winter months when I can’t be outside in the garden I tend to focus on what I can grow inside.  Typically my kitchen windowsill is loaded with any glass, bottle or jar I can get my hands on, and inside them I’m growing whatever strikes my fancy.

Windowsill Garden 1

Windowsill Garden 1

Windowsill Garden 2

Windowsill Garden 2

In addition to the Garlic Experiment, my current windowsill experiments include: green onions/scallions, basil, a Christmas cactus, spearmint, leeks, a maple tree, aloe vera and an avocado pit.  I also have herbs growing in the bathroom, but since that’s technically not on the windowsill, I’ll save that for later.

Pinterest Inspiration

Pinterest Inspiration

Let’s start with the green onions or scallions, whatever you’d like to call them.  A couple of weeks ago I was perusing Pinterest and ran across an image of scallions growing in a glass of water.  Ha!  Why didn’t I think of that? I thought.  I need to try this!  It makes perfect sense that it would work… onions are a bulb and you can force/grow most flowering bulbs in water, so why not onions?!?  So I set out to do it.  That night I just happened to need green onions in a recipe I was making for dinner… 🙂

feb 5

The beginning of the Green Onion Experiment

As I was prepping the onions, instead of discarding the ends, I set them aside to prepare for the Green Onion Experiment.  After finishing my dinner prep, I grabbed a glass and set my onions in the bottom.   Ha, I make it sound so easy.  Actually I fought with the little buggers quite a bit to get them to stand upright.  They already have little roots attached when you buy the onions in the store and since they aren’t all the same length it made them a little tippy (next time I’ll trim the trouble makers).  Anyway, once upright, I added a tiny bit of water, just enough to cover the roots, but not so much as to cover the onion itself or I would end up with a glass of foul-smelling rotting plant material, which is not my goal.

I was a little concerned that this experiment might not work so well because after I started this experiment I checked into the source of the Pinterest photo.  Turns out, they only used the greens for their cooking and had the entire base of the onion left over so they had really fast results.  Since I cook with nearly everything but the roots it made me a little nervous, because I really didn’t have a lot of plant material to work with, but I trusted in my plant biology knowledge, sent good sprouting vibes to the little guys and set them on my kitchen windowsill.  I should mention that my windowsill experiments only receive part-sun exposure because it’s an East facing window, but it’s where I do a lot of my propagating because I can watch it every day.  They tend to do fine, at least until they get a little larger and need more light in which case I’ll either transfer them to a window with better exposure (South or West facing) or under plant lights.

Day 4 - Shoots forming & root growth

Day 5

Amazingly, it didn’t take too long for the roots to start growing and shoots to form.  By the first day, I could see little green specs on the top of one onion.  And by Day 2, 3 and 4 it became more and more visible (but not so much with the camera.) By Day 5, however, shoots can be seen on more than one onion.

Day 10 - Growth on all onions

Day 10 - Top View

And now, about 10 days out, it looks like the experiment is a success.  In a few weeks we’ll have a nice crop of green onions.  As a side note, I change the water every couple of days to everything fresh.

I’ll continue to post on the Green Onion Experiment as it progresses.  In the mean time, stay tuned for leeks, basil, avocado, Christmas cactus, Maple tree, aloe vera and spearmint and… whatever else might strike my fancy along the way!

Now, go play with your food, would you?!