Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps Paperback – May 7 2008
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“Deborah Peterson…stops at nothing to grab some strange piece of produce, seed or pit to start a plant….Lots of fun here with figs, feijoa, fruiting citrus and more for the whole family.”
Orange County Register
“I found Don't Throw It, Grow It! to be an absolutely delightful little book. I can't wait to start using as many of the suggestions as I possibly can. There were even ethnic fruits and vegetables I had never heard of - genip, anyone? Children will enjoy the magic of watching a new plant grow. This will help you brighten your living space while recycling at the same time. This is one of my favorite new books, and I just can't highly recommend it enough.”
“This clever little book from Storey -- priced right at 11 bucks in paperback --offers up suggestions for sprouting not just avocados, but also carrot tops, garbanzo beans, peanuts, jicama, lemongrass, ginger, and just about any other kind of grocery store produce… There's something so thrifty and retro about sprouting food from kitchen scraps that makes it seem just right for the times.”Garden Rant
“Here’s another way to be creative with plants: Read Don’t Throw It, Grow It! …Peterson and Selsam go way beyond the avocados and potatoes we used to root in water glasses. Besides fruits and vegetables, they include nuts, herbs, spices, and more international foods like chayote and litchi.”
From the Back Cover
Eat Your Vegetables (and plant them too!)
You can also have houseplant fun with fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices. From the common carrot to the exotic cherimoya, dozens of foods have pits, seeds, and roots waiting to be rescued from the compost bin and brought back to life on your windowsill. Planted and nurtured, the shiny pomegranate seeds left over from breakfast and the piece of neglected gingerroot in your refrigerator will grow into healthy, vigorous houseplants ― kitchen experiments in the wonder of botany.
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Top Customer Reviews
Not a lot of people think of decorating their houses with lentils, carrots, avocados and more! So my hat to the author(s) because really, this is a great book to have around, when you are bored and confined out of the garden in winter. The book is beautiful, well structured and an easy and fast read. And the amount of plants to choose from is amazing! The information on the plants is also strong and it really feels like the author's experience.
All in all, if you like fun experimentation with plants, this book is definitely a good choice, plus its lenght is short so it will not take too much of your time, an aspect I came to appreciate with the numbers of books I tend to buy on amazon :).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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