Well, I can't make spring happen any earlier than Mother Nature's clock, but a simple indoor garden is one way to make the kids happy and to bring vivid, fresh green back into your life.
Gather together containers of all kinds. I use various sizes of cans, cartons, jars, jugs, vases, and forcing jars.
Leek, Kohlrabi, carrots, sweet potato, and beet in forcing jars
Take your youngsters on a tour of your grocery store or farmers' market. Search for firm root vegetables such as beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes. Throw in a ginger hand, some garlic, and a leek. Trim off tops of root vegetables and clean gently. Leave the garlic head intact.
Poke drainage holes in the bottom of cans and other containers, which you will fill with soil. Fill your glass containers with fresh water.
Nestle vegetables into containers of soil, and water thoroughly (you may want to set your containers on a tray or saucer of gravel). Set leeks in a tall vase of water. Perch radishes, kohlrabi, turnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots in a tall glass or forcing jar.
If water becomes cloudy, simply set the container under a gentle stream of water and refill.
Make sure your cans and cartons of vegetables are watered only when they've dried (give them the finger test– poke it into the soil to a depth of an inch, if dry, time to water).
Pumpkin, bean soup tepee, and tomato in recycled containers
We saved seeds from our favorite pumpkin and planted them in an old herb pot. My granddaughter Sara "rescued" dried beans from our soup pot and planted them in a container. Within a week, the beans sprouted, and Sara said she felt like a "bean mother."
Your windowsill gardens will flourish and give you (and your children) endless days of discovery and first hand experience with the powerful and magical life force inside things once only considered dinner or leftovers.
Moses plants a ginger hand