1-31-14 Retrospective of a deprived childhood

As a young child of 7, 8 and 9, I would have rattled off a long list of things for which I was deprived.

Unlike Lori Lazarek, my best friend three doors down, my mother would not buy me Wonder bread. Instead, we ate the brown stuff with seeds that got stuck in your teeth.

My sister and I begged for Froot Loops, but were fed Malt-o-Meal and Grape Nuts.

At Easter, my friends received plastic baskets that matched the colors of Barbie doll accessories. In my memory, they were overflowing with chocolate and lined with brightly-colored plastic grass.

Because Lori Lazarek had just suffered through Lent, she would not share her candy.

At my house, we were handed actual baskets, made of wicker, and told to enjoy gathering hard-boiled eggs.

If the eggs were returned intact, we ate egg salad sandwiches on brown bread.

Now that I am “middle aged,” I wish I had children so I could deprive them in eggzactly the same way.

Wheat grass Easter baskets

Easter won’t arrive until April 20. Yet, I think it’s time to practice growing wheat grass for other people’s children.

Baskets lined with wheat grass apparently were not trendy when my mother was in her child-rearing stage. Otherwise, I’m certain my sister and I would have received them.

Mom probably would have sprinkled the wheat grass on our Malt O’Meal.

A quick search on Google also revealed photos of high-end furniture, likely purchased through http://www.plowhearth.com, adorned with potted wheat grass.

Maybe these people plop their car keys on the grass when they walk in the door, to avoid scratching their nice furniture.

Kitty baskets

Growing wheat grass also comes in handy when you have cats.

For a few years, I felt sorry for my sister’s indoor cats and sprouted wheat berries in my windowsill.

The cats are normally diffident to strangers. Yet, after a few visits with the green gifts, I became their new best friend.

My sister said if there was a knock at the door, the cats would start to get crazy, hoping it was me who would walk through the door.

I can only imagine how they would have reacted if I had delivered Easter baskets filled with wheat grass and placed them on fine furniture as a decoration.

How to grow

You can buy wheat berries from Massa Organics at the Chico Farmers Market.

Take your basket and line with plastic so you don’t make a ridiculous mess.

Moisten the soil in another container, and then spoon into your basket. One website suggested a few rocks at the bottom for a little drainage.

Add the wheat berries to the top, press them in lightly, then cover ever-so-slightly with soil. Cover with newspaper or plastic wrap and put in a warm place, such as on top of the refrigerator.

Watch each day and once the seeds sprout, place in a warm windowsill. You’ll want to rotate the container every few days, and keep the soil moist with a spray bottle.

After a few weeks, you can trim off the top, and hide the grass within foods your children like to eat.

You should get a nice little harvest every few weeks.

My experience with cats and wheat grass (also known as cat grass) is that the cats will attack the plants, leaving you with dirt all over the carpet. Best to serve cat grass in the bathroom, with the door closed.

To tell us what you’re growing at a time that feels like spring with no water, send notes to P.O. Box 9, Chico CA 95927 or hhacking@chicoer.com. Follow @HeatherHacking on Twitter and Facebook.

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