Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 Windowsill Plants from Kitchen Scraps (Anglais) Broché – 20 juin 2008
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Another significant problem is that they'll casually mention when a plant is poisonous (potato, in the case that i recall). No bold face, no larger font, no red warning, just an offhand mention that every part of the potato plant except the potato itself is poisonous. For those of us with pets and children in the house, a little red warning box might be nice.
Beyond those, this is a wonderful book. I have but two west-facing windows in my apartment. No dirt. No patio. Not even any windowboxes. I've found, by trial, error, and luck, a few edible/fruiting plants that i can grow with some success in my windows (hot peppers, bush tomatoes, basil, mint). This book has 68. Sixty-eight. Wow.
And that's not even including hot peppers and tomatoes, which i suppose are less decorative than some of the book's suggestions.
Another omission that i'd love to see rectified in a future version of this book is the damp-paper-towel germination method. They include instruction on starting in water, soil, and gravel, and even have a description of the sphagnum-moss bag method, but for some seeds (avocado, especially), all you need is a dark place, a damp paper towel, and a plastic container. There's no reason to muck around with a sphagnum moss bag for that.
I know that sounds like a lot of criticisms for a book i call wonderful, but trust me, it's wonderful. It could be better, but it's still wonderful. Sixty eight plants!
If you have a sunny window, you probably won't need to buy much of anything to grow fruits, herbs, or veggies in your house. If you don't have a sunny window, you'll probably need a grow light (available at almost any gardening center). Aside from produce, the only other things you'll need you may already have around the house: a clear jar, skewers or strong toothpicks, gravel, and potting soil, depending upon the project you're beginning. In addition, many of the projects are marked "Easy," making them ideal for children.
You'll find instructions for growing green beans, beets, carrots, chickpeas, Jerusalem artichokes, lentils, onions, garlic, shallots, peas, potatoes and sweet potatoes, radishes, summer squash, turnips, almonds, avocados, Chinese star apples, various types of citrus fruits, dates, figs, kiwi, mangos, papaya, peanuts, pineapples, pomegranates, anise, caraway, celery, coriander, doll, fennel, mustard, many Latin American and Chinese foods, and more. There are even instructions for making your own bean sprouts. (It seems a bit troublesome to do very often, but appears to be a great project for kids.)
I was surprised to learn that some of plants will produce edible food - although most fruits will grow produce slightly different from the original fruit used (because they are hybrids). The authors are pretty clear about whether you can expect food from the plant, or whether you should only look for lovely foliage and flowers. (Did you know turnips and radishes bloom? Or that sweet potatoes produce flowers that look like morning glories?)
In addition, you'll find instructions on transplanting appropriate plants outside, and ideas for dealing with common houseplant pests.
I'm so glad I ran across the book, and look forward to using it to do many science and gardening projects with my children.
Proverbs Thirty One Woman