Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Indoor Winter Gardens

It is that time of year where I start to feel restless.  I am aching for Spring, but I'm not quite ready for it.  Like Persephone, I am torn between two seasons right now.  She is still in her underworld kingdom with her one true love, but a small part of her aches to see the green grasses and colorful flowers of the world above.  It is bittersweet. 

My feelings about winter have changed dramatically since I moved south.  When I was in Michigan I wouldn't start getting the restless feelings until about March.  But winter was still in full swing there.  In Georgia, the promise of spring is around every corner, even in January. 

Next week is Groundhog Day.  It is also known as Imbolc or Brigid's Day (Saint or otherwise).  Persephone herself is getting closer to her emergence as well, as she sometimes represents the seed in the earth that will become the green shoot at the Spring Equinox.  There are 6 more weeks of winter now, whether or not a rodent sees his shadow. 

I thought a fun project would be to plant seeds.  Remember in Girl Scouts or Campfire girls when you would plant the seeds in the dixie cup to watch them grow?  How about trying that again. 

In my search for basic instructions (yes, I realize that it is simple - seed, soil, cup, water....) I found this Gardening Science website geared toward pre-school teachers.  One teacher suggested the following:
Plant seeds in small, clear Solo cups. Add Jell-O, in a thick mixture, like Jell-O Jigglers consistency. Push seed down into the Jell-O after it has hardened. The cup should be about half-way filled. Sunflower seeds work best. Once the seed has started to grow, take Jell-O and seed out of cup and plant into the ground. The seed need not be watered while growing in the cup. It draws its moisture from the Jell-O mixture. It is a fun way to watch a seed sprout and grow!

I like the idea of watching the seed grow, each day being reminded of the coming spring.  Then, when spring does finally arrive, as it always seems to, you can replant it into a pot or garden.  Plus - you can pick whatever color of Jell-O that makes you feel happy.

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