The bacopa monnieri that I ordered online a while back is doing so well that I decided to look into another aquatic food source. Hydrocotyle leucocephala is less medicinal and far tastier than the water hyssop, also known as Indian Pennywort.
One of my best friends used to think that pumpkin pie filling is something that comes in a can. Quite a few online recipes lean in that direction, too, but the funniest one I read recently stated somewhat like an afterthought that if you wanted to you could cook a pumpkin yourself.
Heck, what do you think I buy a pumpkin for at Halloween. Thanksgiving pie, of course. It is sort of a ritual with me that I save the seeds and dry them for snacking.
This year someone else is providing the pie, so I made pumpkin smoothies. So yums!
The pie pumpkin was so sweet I only added a pinch of brown sugar, and a drizzle of real maple syrup over the whipped cream. Now I want another pumpkin!
I have been buying the Clone Your Own Plant Cuttings pods which fit the grow holes in my AeroGarden planters, and they are affordable and quite nice, but recently I decided to try using open cell foam sealing tape (also from Amazon) to make inserts for repurposed water bottle tops. By doing this I can cut out little hand grips for my home made pods. This makes it easier to pull the pods out when swapping holes or checking roots.
The yellow thing under the cutting on the right of my collage is one of the "washers" I make out of flexible cutting mats to allow the fabricated pots to fit neatly without falling through the grow hole.
This clone is Malabar spinach which grew off an old stem which I sprouted from seed in January and then allowed to go to seed over the summer. As it was my first time growing this fascinating edible green, I wanted to see what the flowers and berries would look and taste like. I also wanted to know if cuttings made from bolted plants would be as viable as new cuttings. It appears that they are. Now that I know that the berries are pretty but not very tasty, I have devised a simple way to keep the plants I clone from going to seed -- I just eat the flowers as soon as they appear.
I had to throw out some of the plants that I had let go to seed because I neglected to change their water and feed them for a few months (again, just to see what would happen) -- well, spotted leaf (fungus?) is what happened, but it was easy enough to contain, indoors, in a water garden. BTW, given that AeroGarden grow holes are prime real estate on my counter top, and Malabar spinach is so low maintenance and easy to grow, you might wonder why I am putting this cutting in the AG at all. I am just giving it a jump-start! AG's are good for that, too.
This pretty pink rose is blooming in front of my friend's house. When we finished painting his fence we were going to cut back the rose bushes, but I cannot bear to do that with so many pretty blossoms about to open.
I started Malabar Spinach from seeds in a sprouting jar last winter, almost giving up on them, as most seeds sprout in a day or two if not overnight and these took three weeks. But when the roots were long enough to put in grow holes in an AeroGarden planter, they took off. After the first flowers turned into dark berries and the leaves started dying back, I resolved to pick all the new flowers off my other plants to encourage leaf growth.
However, the diminutive flowers on this vine were so cute, I let them grow insteadhttp://www.drann.us/.a/6a00e54fbf343b883301bb09351440970d-pi.
The jute and rag thread basket, by the way, was my first attempt to weave over a cardboard template, I plan to make a whole bunch more of these for my water babies, perhaps making the templates from flexible cutting mats. What is exciting about these containers is they are easy to make in custom shapes and sizes, inexpensive, and "green"
This is one of the reciprocal gardens with free admission for members of the American Horticultural Society or members of any of the RAP member gardens. In addition to flowers and trails that weave through forested areas, the gardens have ocean access. They also rent scooters for those who would like to ride rather than walking. What a wonderful thing that was for my nonagenarian friend.
I am cloning these as fast as I can because I want to eat more of them! It is hard to have just one favorite plant, but this could be mine. It has everything that I like! Malabar Spinach loves hot weather and resists pests. It is beautiful, vining, nutritious, tasty, and now I am seeing buds and diminutive flowers. Stem cuttings root in plain water in ten days, and once the plants are cloned they can be left to grow in water, adding liquid nutrients on a schedule, or hardened off and planted in soil. The fast growing vine will spread like ivy and cover a wall or a shed with edible landscaping.
The plant pictured here is just growing in a glass of water near one of my LED AeroGarden planters. I put a few clay pellets in the water to hold the stem upright. It is not in an ebb and flow container, but every now and then I pour off the water and then pour the same water back into the glass to give the roots some air, and of course I top the water off every few days to keep the roots from drying out.
More people need to know about this. Malabar spinach is delicious, nutritious and grows fast. I have been experimenting with different kinds of edible plants that can be grown indoors in water. Malabar spinach seems to have the most potential by far of any of the plants I have tried so far. Sure, it is ideal to have a variety of different plants on hand to eat, but this one meets all of my demands:
Really good tasting
Easy and fast to grow and propagate
Resistant to bugs, etc.
Grown from seed, it takes Malabar spinach about 70 days to mature (I almost threw my first seeds away because it was almost a month before they sprouted in my Easy Sprout gadget), but once my first plant was big enough to harvest, this cutting rooted in plain water in exactly 10 days:
So now I have zillions of them. In fact, Phase One of my Malabar Spinach experiment is almost finished and I can hardly wait to write it up.
Ceylon or Malabar "spinach" is a somewhat mucilaginous vining plant less known in the United States than in many other parts of the world. Highly nutritous, it is also beautiful. I haven't cooked any yet, but eaten raw it strikes me as tasting like a combination of Swiss Chard, okra, and spinach.
I like it because it is nutritionally dense, easy to grow, attractive, heat loving, and grows in water (or soil) .
This is the first time I have tried to grow Malabar Spinach, and it took a very long time to sprout and mature, but now I think I am in love with this plant. I put my first cutting in water today and am very interested in knowing how long it will take to sprout. Florida Hillbilly says 10 days with Root Tone. Warning: One could get lost for days in db's wonderful website!
I can hardly wait to try growing Basella alba next.
Update: In my experiment comparing rooting in plain (filtered) water with cuttings of like size rooted with K-L-N Rooting Solution, there was no difference in rooting time.
This is upland cress, which is different from the kind of watercress that prefers moving water to thrive, but can be propagated from cuttings (Nasturtium officinale). I find the taste similar and therefore grew the pictured upland cress from seeds started in an AeroGarden, but moved it to a glass of water after healthy roots developed. I like to keep a glass of upland cress on the dining table where we can just reach out at take some to add to a salad or use as a garnish at any time.
Upland Cress can be propagated by division, not from cuttings.
Update on my orchids: The white one I bought from the scratch 'n dent store last fall has a stem showing several buds, and the one that I bought a month or so before that started flowering last month and is doing fine:
This was from Grocery Outlet and they have some beautiful orchids on sale again, but the price has gone up a bit. This one was $6.99 including the pretty ceramic pot.