By Edith Morgan
The seed catalogs have begun arriving, but it is still so far from spring! Yet the green thumbs are starting to itch for action!
I look at my plants in my windows and note they are growing but very slowly …
With so few hours of sunlight, they are almost in hibernation, and I know I will have to be patient with them, and gently nudge them through this period of nearly unmeasurable growth.
But there is still a lot of pleasure to get from watching things grow. We urban dwellers, whether we live in houses, apartments, condos, or even single rooms, can have a lot of fun with growing things. We all have containers of various sizes, and a bag of good potting soil should always be handy, in case the urge to grow becomes strong!
I like to conduct various little experiments, and if I see even the suspicion of a bit of life pushing out from some fresh fruit or vegetable I have bought, I try to get it started – sometimes by putting it in water for a few days or by letting it grow a bit on a moistened paper towel before planting. I have started carrot tops, turnip tops, onions or garlic cloves, ginger root, or various citrus seeds. Not everyone has responded to the stimulation! But a few survive and even thrive. (Those of you who are school teachers know of the sweet potato vines we grew/grow on our classroom window sills!)
I get at least one amaryllis bulb every Christmas, and I dutifully plant and water it. They bloom a long time – and usually spectacularly. They thrive in beautiful ceramic pots, and are a great addition to the household.
I have never had very good luck getting them to bloom so fully in ensuing years, but I save the bulbs anyways, always in hopes they will bloom again and again. Of course, if you have an outdoor garden, you can put them out in the summer, then cut the leaves back when they yellow in the fall, let them “hibernate,” and begin the whole process over again.
What I hope mainly to communicate is that we can all, in so many ways, experience the joy of watching something grow – be it an exotic orchid or a forsythia twig in water. And I feel nothing brightens a room like plants and flowers!
Edith nurturing hubby, Guy, after tending her window garden!
Recipe! Sumptuous Spinach Salad with Orange-Sesame Dressing!
From PETA.ORG …
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed, drained, and chopped
2 medium-sized sweet peppers, sliced and deseeded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 orange, sliced into rounds or halves
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil, agave nectar, garlic and smoked paprika in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until combined.
Adjust the flavors, as needed, then set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, peppers, onions and orange slices.
Then drizzle with the orange-sesame dressing.
Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!
Makes 4 to 6 servings.