Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Friday - The Root of the Matter

I have a famous relative. He’s so famous he’s been in People Magazine. His name is Ernest Dittemore and he’s famous for living in a hole. Mr. Dittemore was a distant cousin of my mother’s, once removed. Before his death we exchanged yearly Christmas cards and my family got quite a chuckle about the eccentric Mole Man. He was, after all, our family’s claim to fame.

Only now I’m beginning to wonder if ‘ol Ernest was truly eccentric or merely more practical than the rest of us. A hole is inexpensive and, by it’s nature, relatively environmental -- warm in the winter, cool in the summer. Granted there’s not a lot of natural light and it is, perhaps, a touch dirty. But just think -- no vacuuming, no dusting -- imagine the time you’d save.

Now what, you may ask, brought this on? Are you planning on digging a new home? The answer would be no. At least not yet. But I have been reading Thoreau. And he’s got me thinking that we “advanced” countries might be better off stepping back a century or two.

Along those realms I did consider digging myself a different hole. No not the one I’m digging with this post ... I mean a literal hole -- a root cellar. Again, you might ask why. Well it seems my onions were a bit too thrilled in our heated stick built kitchen chock full of artificial light. My onions went and sprouted. Bah! What a waste! What to do? What to do?

Clearly I needed something to keep the onions in the dark. "Aha!" I declared speaking to no one but myself, "I need a root cellar." But then I remembered something; something with eight-legs. Spiders. Do you see me standing on my tippy toes on the chair in the kitchen? I was once chased, yes chased by a wolf spider. I’ve been rather fearful of eight-legged creatures since. I can deal with spiders in my well lit house but do not like the idea of encountering them in a darkened cellar.

With the root cellar idea kaput what was I to do with the sprouting onion? What does anyone do when they need an idea these days? Why Google it of course! And here is what I discovered: there is a whole movement of people who grow things purchased from the grocery store.

Why didn't I think of that?!! I'll grow my onion!

Now this onion will not turn into another bulb. However the sprouts are edible (much like a green onion). And if I let it go long enough it will flower and go to seed. The seeds can be harvested and grown into additional onion bulbs.

So I planted my onion along with some spouting garlic cloves, green onion bottoms and a rooted watercress. Now, low and behold, I have an indoor vegetable garden from grocery store purchases.

I wish I had a sun porch on which to expand my plantings but alas I do not. Instead my veggies are content nestled on the edge of the bathtub. They may move outside as the weather warms.

And that, my friends, is the root of the matter.

Happy Frugal Friday!


Carmen said...

Thanks for the entertaining story. Good luck with your new garden!

Gayle said...

Great idea! I never realized you could eat the onion sprouts.

ELK said...

humble ~ yet stunning !

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to leave a quick note. I was actually looking up information on your distant relative Ernest for my young daughter. I grew up in Troy, and Ernest was a friend of my uncle's and my father's. They enjoyed him thoroughly, he was a good and honorable man. Definitely more than just what the media made him out to be.

I barely remember meeting him once as a little girl, but I remember he gave me a Snickers bar. I seem to remember he had those on hand for visitors, which he got often.

My 83-year-old uncle still lives on a farm near Ernest's old place. Beautiful area there in northeast Kansas. Not your typical Kansas flatlands, there are many more rolling hills and near the Missouri River, beautiful bluffs and so very, very many trees.

I'm rambling, I know, but I thought I'd throw it out there.