Grow a Vegetable Forest

Grow a Vegetable Forest

With just a few common household items, kids-and adults, too-can grow vegetable plants indoors in the winter. Learn how from The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids, Volume 2! And, remember, The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids makes a great stocking stuffer for the holidays!
Grow a Vegetable Forest
You will need:
* 2 carrots (fat ones, if possible)
* 2 beets
* 1 small rutabaga
* 1 small turnip
* 1 or more radishes
* a glass pie dish or pan
* paring knife
Use vegetables that are fresh, not soft and squishy. Look for some that have a tiny bit of green at the stem end.
1. Cut off this much of the vegetables at the stem end: 2 inches of the carrot tops; 1-1/2 inches of the beet tops; 1 inch each of the rutabaga, turnip, and radish tops. Ask an adult to help you.
2. Put the vegetable bottoms into the refrigerator. Your family can eat those later.
3. Fill the dish with 1 to 2 inches of cool water.
4. Put the vegetable tops into the dish on their flat ends. Do not scrub the vegetable tops or wash them in hot water before.
5. Put the dish near a sunny window.
Make sure that there is always about 1 inch of water in the pan. (Change the water if it becomes cloudy.) In about a week, green leaves will begin to grow out of the vegetable tops. Little white threads might also emerge from the veggie tops. These are rootlets. Leave them alone.
The green leaves get nutrition from the vegetable tops. In about a month, when this food supply is used up, fewer leaves appear. The existing leaves will wilt and dry up. When that happens, throw out the tops and start another batch. You can try growing other vegetables too, such as celery and parsnip.

This excerpt is from The 2008 Old Farmer's Almanac, on sale wherever books and magazines are sold. Full permission for reprinting has been granted. Almanac.com.