I need some cheering up. Between hard Brexits and orange presidents, it's not looking like a good week.
Usually I rely on my garden for solace but it's either too wet, too cold, or just too January for my liking. Thankfully the new world order has yet to rob me of windowsills, and there are no swingeing tariffs on cress seeds, or cotton wool... yet. So I have cheered myself by trialling some child-friendly seed sowing ideas for this bleakest of months.
This is perfect for kids - not only is it very easy, it gives quick results and uses their own initial so panders to the egotistical view of all small children (and possibly Presidents-in-waiting).
First you need a gravel tray or, even better, a colourful plastic plate.
Next get the children to take long sections of cotton wool and mould them into the shape of their initial on the plate. If they wet the cotton wool this makes it hold in place far more easily.
Place some cress seeds in a small bowl or on a plate so the children can take pinches between their thumb and forefinger. They then need to hold this very close to the cotton wool before sprinkling it on.
Finally, place the plate on a sunny windowsill and make sure it doesn't dry out by dribbling water onto the plate for the cotton wool to absorb.
In about a week they should have cress seeds which can be snipped or pulled up to use in salads and sandwiches.
Oh, and there's no reason this method won't work just as well for micro leaves so you could even spell out a whole name in cotton wool with a different crop on each. Good seeds to try are basil, broccoli, beetroot, cabbage, chard, chervil, chicory, coriander, dill, fennel, kale, kohl rabi, mibuna, mizuna, mustard, orach, pak choi, radish, rocket, sorrel or spinach.