Today on the blog, I give you number 55 from my 101 Things For Kids To Do On A Rainy Day (available at all good bookstores... obviously) - Grow a garden from scraps.
You Will Need
Saucers, bowls and small plant pots
Jug or small watering can
Grown-ups have a habit of throwing away useful stuff - especially in the kitchen. In fact almost any time they go near fruit and vegetables something goes to waste. Well now you can teach them some better habits by showing how to grow new plants from their scraps.
Find a nice sunny windowsill where you can house your garden - sunshine is completely essential to plants (very much like sweets are to children).
You should then hover over your parents' shoulders every time they are preparing something to eat. They will of course find this spectacularly annoying but that's nothing new.
If they're chopping up celery, ask to keep the bottom section when they have cut it off. Pop this in a shallow dish of water and in a few days it will start to regrow from the centre. Also if you save the ends of spring onions you can stack these in a small glass, with the roots at the bottom, give them some water, and you'll have more leaves to snip off in a couple of weeks. Plus any cut off tops of root vegetables like carrots, beetroots, turnips, radishes can be put on a saucer in some water and they will start to regrow.
And when your mum or dad say "Oh dear" as they pull out the vegetable basket, that's your cue to grab things. Onions that have started to sprout or garlic cloves past their best can be planted in a pot of stones. Just water up to the base of these 'bulbs' and they'll start producing leaves which will taste of - well onion and garlic not surprisingly, and which you can snip with scissors to add to your cooking.
And don't forget, any leftover seeds and pips from fruit can be put into a small plant pot of compost to see if they'll grow. Just make a hole with your finger, pop in the seed, cover it over and give it a water.
Tip: Remember to keep your scrap garden watered - this is the other essential thing for plants (very much like ice cream is for children...)