Growing My Way? Sprouts and King Cakes

Day 22 and our company garden is doing great after we transplanted the seedlings into bigger homes last week. We did lose a few plants but that was due to heat more than transplanting; someone who shall remain nameless (me) left the grow light on over the weekend and a few plants dried out. A good lesson to learn- never unplug the light from the automatic timer. 

We have even seen a few new sprouts popping up in the soil, seems like some of the seeds are just late bloomers. I can see we may have to weed out some of the weaker ones in the next week since the plants are growing quickly and more keep popping up. We have some softies in the office who like to give all the plants a fighting chance, therefore when we weed out the weaker plants they will most likely go into another pot and try to be saved.

The Smart Pot with onions and a few tomatoes and peppers is doing really well. We have been rotating our which containers are under our grow light to make it fair. The Smart Pot has seen the most random seedlings sprouting up and we have 4 new pepper plants as a result. The peat pots require a lot more attention since they are smaller and dry out quicker. We also replanted most of the tomato plants in the peat pots with the stem coiling technique we highlighted yesterday.

Newly sprouted pepper plant


Tomatoes and Onions in Smart Pot


Tomatoes planted with coiled stems in peat pots

We will be adding new plants to the garden over the next few weeks starting with a pole bean that was planted today. The pole bean we chose is part an Ark of Taste selection. Slow Food USA has selected over 200 foods that are in danger of extinction and created the Ark of Taste list. Ark of Taste is encouraging individuals to promote and eat these products to help ensure they remain on our plates for years to come. One way we can help is by growing some of these products in our own gardens.

We had one of the Ark of Taste vegetables show up in our office in an unusual way this week – in a king cake! For those not familiar with king cake it is basically a brioche bread with a filling that is twisted into a circle. It is then covered in a glaze and sprinkled with purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power) sugar. The King Cake is eaten during Mardi Gras celebrations from Twelfth Night to Ash Wednesday since the twelfth century in France and in New Orleans since 1870.  Traditionally small objects such as coins, peas, beans and now plastic babies and hidden inside the cake. Those small hidden objects gave us our next plant. We found a Christmas lima bean included with our cake and decided it needed to be planted.

The Christmas lima bean is an heirloom open-pollinated pole bean dating back to the 1840’s. The speckled maroon and white beans are about the size of a quarter and has the texture of a buttery potato with the flavor of chestnut. The Christmas lima bean will require a trellis or stakes to assist in growing. They are a hardy, heat tolerant bean that is great for canning, drying and freezing.

We should hopefully see sprouting between 7-14 days for the Christmas lima bean.

Are you growing any heirloom vegetables or fruits in your garden this year?

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