June 04, 2009


Greetings from the Mainland!

Our house has a side room that would be altogether functionless if not for the plant kingdom. It's about 6x4 feet with a big window on the east side. The rather unusual feature to the room is that it open into the bedroom through a rather spacious hole, but unless you feel like slithering over the desk to get there, it's not very convenient. I've decided to transform this room into a plant room. It's more or less my only opportunity to feel as though I'm connecting on some level with soil here in dusty Beijing.

And in my little chamber of greenery, I'm growing a number of fun plants. I started some basil a few weeks ago, and it's already in the 3rd leaf stage. I planted mint at the same time, but the seeds are so small that it should be no surprise that the plants are still incredibly small. Next I planted a variety of eggplant called "Ethiopian". According to the picture on the package, it's red and about the size of a golf ball.

Then I threw some strawberry seeds into the soil. I know that strawberries are normally grown through "vegetative propagation", or runners. But I have no runners (just sneakers), so I'm giving the seeds a whirl. Of the several dozen seeds I planted, only 4 came up. Of these, 3 have withered and died, but one lone plant perseveres. If it lives, it will become my clone factory!

The last seeds to see the inside of a pot were some flower seeds called something like Seafoam Spray or Salty Foam. I threw away the package already, so I don't know. But they looked nice, and I thought I might as well grow a flower. I'm normally the 'veggie' type, but with this small space to work with, I think I'll go with a few flowers.

Maybe I'll have to try making a salad out of all the 'produce'. A mint, basil, eggplant, strawberry, seafoam salad!

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