Friday, December 7, 2007

On The Seventh Day of Christmas: Working Out Those Green Thumbs - Growing Cress

These are some of the remains of The Balcony. Actually, only the thyme (far left) and the rosemary (middle) is from the balcony. The basil is a new addition, seeing I killed my basil not far into summer. The rain killed it, that is. There's still quite a small bundle of thyme on the balcony now - it seems to thrive in the cold up there. The rosemary has liked taking up warmer quarters and is growing like crazy.

As for the rest of plants I scattered around the apartment in the end of September, well... The pineapple sage has gotten some sort of bug, but is growing. The regular sage - dead. Both of them. Majoram - is not really liking me, seeing I forget to water it (so who can blame it?) but it seems to hang in there. Bay tree? Keeping it real. Lemon verbena - hibernating, I hope. Tarragon? Doing better than ever!

But what I'm really having fun trying out my 10 green thumbs on these days is cress. I remember us growing cress back in kindergarten, in cut up milk cartons with a little cotton in the bottom. The fact that it grows so fast - mine was ready to cut in less than seven days! - is always a treat when you have kids - or those young at heart, like me - around.

I'm so having egg salad with home grown cress tomorrow...

How to grow cress:
Cress seeds are inexpensive and easy to come buy around here. You can grow them in a windowsill, mine don't get much direct sunlight, but it's not in shadow entirely. The key, in my experience, is to keep whatever you grow the seeds on (paper towels, cotton, soil) moist at all times. Apparently, it may go bitter otherwise. So gently water your chosen growing medium - scatter a few seeds (pretty close) on top, and now, wait. Water as necessary - the paper towels, in my case, leaked a little water when you pressed a finger on it, which seemed fine - the only other ingredient you need is a small bit of patience. In anything from 5 to 10 days, you'll have a thick, green blanket of lovely cress, ready for your egg salads, tomato-mayo sandwiches or whatever you fancy.


Vicki said...

What a great idea! Beats the heck out of paying $2 for a tiny plastic box of cress at the grocery store.

Cathy said...

I've never had cress sprouts - typically what you find around here are alfalfa sprouts. One more thing I really ought to do more often! It would be so much fun to try all the various kinds.

good food said...

Committing to post every day that IS hard work, Zarah. I admire you for that! (did they close down the hospital in December;-). AND love the idea of a "julekalender". Thank you!!

Adore (in particular) your photo of the hazel nuts and the way you have put the four cress spouts one together.

Oh btw., have you noticed that you're mentioned at the

Pille said...

How wonderful! These will surely give you some good vibes and vitamins:)
I've got one of those fancy plastic sprouters at home, but I've realised that for cress, a moist paper tissue is the best, too..

Kevin Kossowan said...

My Danish family send me home with packets of Cress seeds when we go visit.

The other thing they sent us home with: home-made elderflower concentrate.

Shayne said...

wow that is so cool