Plant For Today, Plant For Tomorrow

microgreensBetween now and the end of January – when Tu B’Shevat, the “birthday” of the trees also known as the Jewish Earth Day, arrives – PJ Library is encouraging families to do something for our planet. In addition to growing our own food by planting the watercress seeds sent out to all PJ Library families, we’ve come up with some other fun activities you can try that are connected to the Jewish value shmirat hateva which means preserving nature.

Make a terrarium mini-garden

A terrarium is a great way to plant an indoor miniature garden. It can be made in just about any glass container and has a magical feel to it. First thing is to consider the type of environment you want to create for your plants. Will it be moist and suitable for ferns and moss, or will it be an open container, which is best for best for succulents and cacti, as they like lots of air?

Choose your glass container. Why not recycle a pickle or cookie jar? An old goldfish bowl would also work really well! Then spread out a layer of small rocks at the base of the container for soil drainage, so the roots of your plants won’t get waterlogged. If you can add a thin layer of charcoal now that would be great, but if not don’t worry. Then put a nice thick layer of potting soil in. Now time for the really fun part – the decorations! Put in your miniature plants of different colours, textures and shapes and add any natural extras like pinecones, pebbles, or shells. Keep it appropriately watered and in indirect sunshine.

Make a bird feeder for the garden

Here is a simple and fun way to help your winged friends through the winter. Core an apple and thread string through the hole. Make an X shape with two twigs. Then, using the string, tie the twigs together so the apple sits on the X. Push seeds into the apple, making patterns. It’s now ready to hang up!

Turn your watercress seeds into a green dinner

So you’ve planted the seeds PJ Library sent to families – what delicious recipes are you going to try? Here’s a green soup to start! Fry a chopped onion until it has softened. Then add 1 litre of vegetable stock, 500g of frozen peas and 200g of watercress (don’t worry if you don’t have that much though!) until the peas are cooked. Take off the heat and blend. Add salt, pepper to taste and, if you are feeling extravagant, a lovely swirl of sour cream!

Alternatively, why not mix together watercress, avocado, sweetcorn, and tomato for a colourful salad? Dress with olive oil, lemon juice salt and pepper.

Send in photos of your child with any of their creations!

Or try these quick and easy ways to make a difference today:

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Pick up rubbish and place in a bin (washing your hands thoroughly after!)
  • See if you can turn a car journey into a cycle or walking one
  • Recycle – paper, cardboard, tins, cans, bottles and plastic packaging
  • Pass on gently used clothes to a friend who has younger children or a local charity shop
  • Make a meal plan for the week to try and cut down on food waste
  • Invest in a ceramic or metal baking pan instead of using disposable ones
  • If you’re not into the vegetarian/vegan way of life, try cutting out a serving of meat a week to do your part