What’s Growing on My Counter

What’s Growing on My Counter

Dom and I are both sprawlers. Actually, Simmi is a sprawler as well. Dom has his bottles of mead and beers fermenting, along with lacto fermented veggies and pickles, Simmi leaves a trail of belongings everywhere and doesn’t like to throw anything away, and I have jars of things rooting or being nurtured on the counter.

I chose the north side of the house where our kitchen is because it gets some moderate light and won’t be too hard on my little water babies soaking up water and love.

I started my water baby collection back in March when my orchids were suffering. Our climate doesn’t offer any moisture in the air, and can be quite a challenge to keep injured orchids from dying.

On the right are my orchids last June, just coming to the end of their flowering. The blooms last through the winter and after the flowering stops, they go into leaf growth. I obsessed for weeks prior to relocating to New Mexico about how my six orchids would make it across the country in the dead of winter with no heat. Three survived the trip and three died.

In an effort to save my remaining orchids, I started the process of trying to save them in February, but it seemed hopeless.

I know it sounds ridiculous to be so attached to these little beings, but they mean the world to me.

After I wasn’t getting many results pampering them and seeing that my remaining three orchids were declining still, I chose to put them in a water culture, which is just a fancy way of saying that I keep them in a jar with a third of the jar filled with water. One of them is so pathetic that I keep her in a full water culture.

It’s working. Finally.

One of my orchids finally grew two new leaves. I’m waiting for the other two to start to sprout. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m optimistic and I refuse to give up on them.

So, in no particular order, here’s a look at what’s on my counter:

The new leaf growth on one of my orchids.

The second orchid hasn’t sprouted new leaves yet, but I’m hopeful. She’s in a full water culture.

This is what she looks like in the water.

The third orchid. She’s juicy and ready to leaf. I’m hoping this month it will happen.

A clipping from one of my random house plants.

Rooting Rosemary. These were from clippings I got at the grocery store.

I love to see the roots of new plants that never had a chance to make it.

I LOVE this tree so much that I took clippings home to root them and plant them by our house. This is White Poplar. Back about 15 years ago when it was a medical mystery why I was sick beyond having Lupus, my doctor arranged for me to get allergy tested to see if mold could be tied to my recurring intensive care stays at the hospital. It turned out that I was indeed allergic to not only many different types of mold, but to poplar, willow, birch, (12 trees in all) different grasses, horses, guinea pigs, cats, and dust mites. I thought I was just allergic to the pollen with those trees until I went into anaphylaxis after drinking real birch beer. I finally identified the clippings as White Poplar and I wanted to know what the medicinal and food properties were. It turns out that poplar contains salicylate which is another compound I’m highly allergic to. It’s also in birch.

Now I know why I’m allergic to those particular trees. It’s the salicylates in the trees. I’ve gone into anaphylaxis with aspirin and ibuprofin. It’s not pretty! So, while I won’t be using any of the trees I’m allergic to for medicinal purposes, I will still be planting them. How can I not? They are so beautiful.

The pretty buds ready to send out roots.

Oh green onions how I love you! Did you know you can keep green onions on the counter in water and they will continue to grow for you? You can even clip down to a few inches above the roots and it will grow back for you. Next time you have slimy green onions that slipped to the back on the fridge, remember you can always put them in water. Don’t worry if some of the green leaves die or change color, because it is always setting out new green growth. The water needs to be changed every day or they will die from a lack of oxygen.

See the new growth? The old growth can be clipped with a scissor and used. Just discard any small portion of the green onion that is yellow or brown.

This lovely collection is Dom’s different brews. He has some natural beers and mead. All his brews are wildcrafted and pack a wallop if you drink too much! He did a first racking of the meads the other day, and it was pretty strong.

Dom’s kombucha. Behind one of them is a coffee kombucha he’s working on.

Transfering mead to a new container. Oh, and in the background you can see I also keep romaine lettuce in a jar of water. Only the base of the romaine touches the water. I don’t recommend keeping it in water if you won’t be eating it quickly. The water needs to be changed daily, AND if you don’t like to eat lettuce everyday, it will continue to grow. I once left romaine in fresh water for a week and it was not edible because the inner leaves turned bitter. If you’ll be eating it within a day or two of putting it in the water, it will taste fine.

So that’s what was on my counter. Next week the rosemary will be potted and put outside. I do have rosemary already growing out there, so I take more cuttings and root them as well.

Thanks for reading!



Growing Celery From Discarded Bottoms

Update: If you’re interested in also regrowing green onions, I’ve added a post about how we did it. Click here to see how! 

Not too long ago after posting photos of our celery seedlings, a conversation was struck about growing celery.

A friend online told me of how I could grow celery from the stump of the discarded bottoms.

Intrigued by the amazing possibilities, I researched some links she gave me and last week started our own celery.

The photo to the left I took today. Its one week old and look at all that celery growing up.

I left my celery bottoms a little longer than others that are regrowing celery, and next I’ll be experimenting with shorter bottoms.

Half of the base is submerged in water, and when the celery has roots, you can plant it out in the garden.

How cool is that…right?!

Over this last week, the celery hasn’t been in direct sunlight, but instead just sat in the window.

I have two more packs of celery that I’ll be rooting also. If you’d like to try growing celery, I suggest you buy organic celery. Conventional grown celery has an insane amount of chemicals and pesticides in it.

Here are are a few more photos from the bottoms, and hopefully you’ll be able to see some of the new roots forming.

Installing a New Cooktop

About a month ago, Dom broke the cooktop accidentally while straining some rendered fat into a glass crock for storage. He went to pick up the crock and it slipped out of his hands and broke the cooktop. Since I was skiddish about using the right two burners, we opted only to use the large and small burner to the left until we found the right cooktop that would fit our counter opening and that was similar to the cooktop we had. That isn’t easy to find since glass cooktops cost a HUGE amount of money. Everything we looked at was between $600-$1500.00 and we needed a 36 inch to fit. It was going to take a miracle to find something inexpensive.
While looking through craigslist, we found an Amana to replace the one that was already in the house when we moved in. This one was very nice, had a little stainless steel to compliment our range hood, and had a price tag of $250.00. Not bad right!? The owner was nice enough to take it to a reputable appliance store to have it tested for us and we were able to get the approval of the store in writing that it was in good working order. We bought it and it sat in the house for three weeks, that is, until today! I was so excited that Dom made that the priority this morning. Here are a few more photos:

Yes the cooktop was STILL in the box. The previous owners took very good care of it while they used it for only a few months, and then changed their minds and went with another model. The cooktop sat in the box for a few years. It was impeccably clean and well cared for.

After taking the cooktop out, we were faced with the nasty, grimy disgusting crap that was hanging out underneath! It was so gross. Whoever installed the cooktop never bothered to put high heat silicone around the edge to seal it and keep the dirt out.

Are you digging the old shelf paper in my drawer? Yes those are strawberries. I haven’t gotten around to lining the drawers yet. I’m always amused when I open the drawer though…I don’t know why.

This is the new cooktop straight out of the box before I even cleaned it.

Dom connecting the stove. See the inside of the cabinet door? Yes that is what the kitchen cabinets used to look like.

Smoothing the bead of high heat silicone.

After Dom connected everything, we tested it and everything worked perfectly. We’re very pleased that we found such a treasure on craigslist! I’m also happy that I can work with more than two burners again. On the agenda for today (in no particular order) is taking care of the angora rabbitry roof, more garden clean up, some maintenance and spraying down the courtyard.