My tiny offsprings

During the first wave of Covid many started knitting or baking sour bread. Since it wasn’t possible to attend events or meet up with friends anymore I too felt the need to brighten up my days. Over the years I’d thought about how nice it must be to grow herbs or vegetables, and after changing my diet the longing to give it a go grew. First day of May I planted seeds in an empty egg carton. As I’d had no previous experience of this I didn’t know if I was doing things correctly. I watched some YouTube videos, read articles and joined a Facebook group about growing herbs. I realised it would’ve been better to start about a month earlier, but hoped something would come out of my experiment nevertheless.

I’d planted parsley, basil, dill, cilantro, chilli and kale seeds and jumped out of bed every morning to check if something was happening. I had to water them often because the soil dried up quickly. Then I became scared I might drown the poor things, but about a week later little green tips started peeking out of the soil. Apparently they’re called cotyledon leaves. The excitement and joy of watching the development was just what I needed.

Some might find it odd, but I instantly bonded with the little seedlings and did my best to take good care of them. I talked to them and sometimes sang for them as well. They grew fast and I learned new terms like ‘pricking out’. That means transferring the seedlings to individual pots. Once seedlings have germinated, they need space to establish a strong root system. Instructions on how to do this are easy to find. This one is good.

My tiny plants had by now taken over the kitchen table and windowsill. Most of them seemed happy and grew fast.

I did well with cilantro and parsley, actually so well that I planted some of them outside in my grow boxes where they grew even faster. Kale also grew incredibly fast as soon as I’d planted it outside. As Iceland has a cold climate I kept some of the herbs on my windowsill instead of planting them outside. My kitchen had become like a greenhouse so I gave my friends some plants as well.

The basil, dill and chilli were alright, but not as happy. The chilli plant grew beautifully, but only provided one tiny, tasty pepper.

It’s an incredible feeling to taste what you’ve grown from seeds and use it when cooking. For several reasons everything one grows is so much tastier than what you buy from stores. There’s nothing more fresh than herbs and veggies you’ve just picked from the garden or a pot. And on top of that the pride of having managed to grow them makes your taste buds smile.

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