About a week ago, I set up my first mushroom kit, and it’s been amazing to me ever since. Every time I look at it, I swear it has grown a little. And I cannot wait until I’m able to harvest my first micro-crop of hot pink oyster mushrooms.
Although this has got me excited about the growing season ahead, it doesn’t look like things are going to start as planned. The winter in Switzerland has been pretty mild up to now, but this week we are forecast for another dump of snow. Temperatures are set to slide back into minus figures, and any hope of getting out and gardening on the terrace will have to be put on hold.
For now, however, that means I’m going to have to find other things that I can grow inside to get my fix.
One of the simplest things to grow, all year round, are bean sprouts. These can be grown in dedicated jars or in adapted mason jars. You can grow a mix of salad shoots or bean sprouts, and the best thing is that you can keep them growing throughout the winter. So when all around you seems to be keeling over, something is coming to life. Also, it has to be noted, that these are much more flavoursome than the shop bought varieties.
Pea seeds only keep for about three years, which means that many people will have some lying around in their seed store. When you grow peas shoots and harvest them before the second set of leaves, you end up with micro greens. They are fast growing and delicious additions to a salad or stir-fry. Best still, if you have a sunny window ledge, they can grow all year round.
Although you can get ginger quite readily, most of the blogs and articles I read talk about how great fresh ginger is, and how easily it grows. Simply put a piece of ginger root (which isn’t actually a root, its a rhizome) into water overnight to soak, and then place in a pot of well-drained potting compost. It’ll take about a year to get to the point that you can harvest the rhizomes, but in that time you’ll have a super happy and good looking plant hanging out in your bathroom or south-facing windowsill. I’m trying my first lot now, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
* * *
Although the weather remains against me, I’m also using this time to get my tomatoes, bell peppers and chillies going, as well as some Thai Frog Aubergine seeds that got sent my way. This way, when the weather is finally with me, I’ll have loads of things to plant out onto the terrace.