Beginning Our Hydroponics Journey

aerogardenWell, I suppose my last post was somewhat prophetic. I lapsed into some pretty deep homemaking doldrums, only working and watching old movies. Yes siree, I was a slacker.

Thinking about my advice from my previous post, though, I knew I had to do something different. Considering the cost of fresh veggies nowadays, I wanted to try growing our own food indoors year round. And with cats–especially one who loves to munch on greenery–along with a real lack of sunny windows, I decided to jump start our hydroponics journey with an Aerogarden.

I’ve actually been looking at them for quite awhile but hadn’t ever taken that step of purchasing one. With the new LED versions, I couldn’t resist. It seemed like a low stress way to growing food, even if it would be kind of expensive.

Lewis and Aerogarden

Lewis putting together the Aerogarden

Putting the actual Aerogarden together wasn’t that difficult. Within about 30 minutes, we had assembled it and had everything planted. It’s all automatic, and so we feel that we’ve finally reached the space age, despite the lack of Jetsons-type conveniences.

I’ll keep ya’ll posted as our little plants grow. It’s a small step for gardening in general, but a big step for our household. Wish us good eating!

Katniss found her favorite part of hydroponics!

Katniss found her favorite part of hydroponics!

Sweet Potato Greens

sweet potato greensIt’s funny how informative Facebook can be. Rather than simply a bastion of bad jokes and silly videos, it can serve as a wonderful clearinghouse for information, some of it very frugal and helpful. While looking through my stream one day, I saw a post regarding the fact that sweet potato greens are edible. As a child of the 1970’s and 1980’s, I remembered growing a sweet potato in a jar, something that so many of our generation most likely remember as well. If a child could do it, then why couldn’t we grow a potato now for easy, cheap greens? It turns out, we could.

My husband and I purchased an organic sweet potato at a local health food store. We simply stuck some plastic forks in the sides of the potato to suspend it in the jar, filled the jar with water, and then placed it in a sunny window. Regularly adding water to the jar, we eventually had a potato providing us with lots of free greens. With the cost of fresh food continually rising, you can’t beat that!potatoes

When the sweet potato was spent and shriveled, we decided to plant the potato outside in our garden. Over the summer, we enjoyed the beautiful blossoms from the potato plant that grew in the warmth of the sun. And then, to our surprise, we dug up a new crop of potatoes from that first potato that we purchased several months ago.  That one potato provided us with both greens and a second generation of potatoes.

Maybe your family would enjoy this as a project as well. It is certainly a way to teach frugal living along with gardening. Too, it is so easy that even a child could do it!