Casual Container Gardening – Unschooling

I’ve been meaning to start-up some container gardening for, uh, a couple of springs now, but haven’t been able to get sprouting. At the beginning of this year Jamila of Successful Muslim Homeschooling issued a Gardening Challenge and oh how I love a challenge, so here we go!

One of the many things I have learned about myself since moving overseas is that I tend to get very and unnecessarily caught up in details. Though haste can make waste, over-thinking and especially thinking I need specific tools/items to do projects also makes a waste of both time and money. Let’s not talk about the stuffed cupboards and baskets I have of craft supplies waiting to be used. I did need containers to start my garden on my balcony as we already reuse and recycle the few things that could have been used and I easily enough found containers which fit perfectly on our balcony ledge, but previously I have always gardened using little starts from the nursery or sometimes seeds. Here in Morocco I began a futile and time-wasting search for vegetable and herb seeds while I scrapped seeds from my souk-bought produce into my compost bin. Yeah, I know, a bit dense sometimes.

Clockwise from top left: Pumpkins 1, Red Bell Peppers, Pumpkins 2, Avocado

My rigidity didn’t wane too quickly though, the kids and I began googling which seeds needed to be dried and which could be used immediately and then finally I had my khalas moment! We began just soaking any and every seed we came across, including a few bean varieties from the pantry. In the photo above the 1st pumpkin seeds had already sprouted inside the pumpkin- easy enough! The red bell pepper seeds never started, think those probably need to dry out as I discovered my mother-in-law does to them. The 2nd pumpkin seeds are my favorite (sweeter) local variety. And the avocado, well, I did read up on how you are supposed to do that stabbing-submerging thing, but didn’t have a sunny windowsill to put it on, so maybe that’s why it never started. Going to try that one again now that it is warmer.

Currently we have on our balcony sweet peas, lentils, chickpeas, navy beans, and two variety of pumpkins. We also threw in some strawberry seeds found in the bottom of our smoothie cups, but got no sproutage from those either. The thirteen year old researched which local bean varieties produced the prettiest flowers, but in the end that which sprouted got planted and that which didn’t- didn’t.

We actually have about eight pumpkin plants growing in just three containers and I am dreading doing any transplanting- worried about killing them! But plan to ‘just do it’ sometime this week, insha Allah, and will try to get some new pictures up as per instructed by The Challenge, which you can follow on facebook: Successful Muslim Homeschool.

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