Brief Food and Gardening Ideas

If you're sprouting some seeds, or trying to build strong roots, or looking for something to do with extra maple sap, these food and gardening ideas may be of help.

| March/April 1983

To say that gardening has a thousand variations is a wild understatement — it’s probably somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.  And people are always playing with their food, trying to come up with new ways of preparing it. Over the years our readers have certainly contributed their share of food and gardening ideas. Here is a limited sampling.

Seed Starting Brick

Cora May Howe of Bennington, Vermont sent us an unusual seed starting tip. She places several garden seeds on top of an unglazed brick, and covers them with a small bit of soil. She then puts the brick in a tray of shallow water and sets the whole thing in a suitably dark spot. The brick soaks up moisture gradually to keep the seeds watered.

Maple Sap Popsicle

In some northern locations, now's a good time to tap homestead maple trees and make some delicious syrup! And while you're at it, you can make some of the tasty ice-pop treats that Denise Entin of Carmel, New York wrote to tell us about. It seems Denise takes maple sap that hasn't quite been boiled down to the syrup stage, and pours this liquid into popsicle holders to freeze. The Empire Stater claims the pops are delicious!

Root Promoter

Here's another unusual bit of gardening lore, this one contributed by Nancy Nelson in Vikingstad, Sweden. When Nancy sets cuttings to root (in order to provide new plants), she always places a few grains of wheat near the base of each slip. Nancy maintains that the wheat, as it germinates, gives off a hormone that promotes new root growth.

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