The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,130 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,150 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Garden Gate/Rootin’ Tootin’ Expert Level Merit Badge, I was basking in the warm glow of achievement. Oh, Expert Level Badges, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
The warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I earn one.
The newfound knowledge that makes my head swell (in a totally humble and attractive way, of course).
The eagerness with which I tell my friends and family.
Embroidering my badge and feeling oh-so-accomplished.
If you’re new to earning Merit Badges, my little chickadees, let me say, this is a good one (and a yummy one) to start out with. Why, you’ll be an Expert in no time. (And we can hang. Yo.)
My radishes were delish and my beets had taken off like gangbusters. Now it was time to try a few new varieties of root veggies. Adding to my repertoire, as the sophisticated people say. I picture them twirling their mustaches and peering through their monocles as they do so, but maybe that’s just me.
I thought long and hard about which veggie to grow and settled upon these three beauties: ginger (say what?! I know, right?), sweet potatoes, and parsnips.
Boy, those three already sound like a yummy gratin or potato pancake to me.
Anyway, I used planters since I don’t trust myself to remember where I plant things if they don’t have the courtesy to actually emerge from the ground at some point. Call me forgetful. I call it ADOS! (Attention Deficit – Oh Squirrel).
I had no idea, until I began researching it, that I could grow my own ginger. And simple? Look up the word “simple” and you’ll see a photo of my already-growing ginger root in my super-cute terra cotta pot.
Here’s the skinny, girls: take a hunk of store-bought ginger (organic, of course) and bury it. Step Two: well, there really isn’t a Step Two. That’s basically it. Plant it, and it will begin to blossom and grow. If only all gardening were this simple! When you need some, take it out and chop off a piece. Then put it back. Heck, this stuff not only multiplies, but it stores itself at the same time. That’s a win-win in my book. Grate it into your teas, into your homemade Asian recipes, into your chocolate truffles, and into your morning muffins.
The parsnips took a little more work, but only because I was scared of them. “Hey, new vegetables, here I am, what are you about?”
Turns out these cuties are excellent roasted next to some carrots, drizzled with honey and balsamic. And growing them was nearly as simple: into the next-size-up terra cotta pot they went, and they took off like the sweet and eager-to-please vegetable they are.
For the sweet potatoes, I went ahead and took a gamble; I was out of pots. So into the ground they went, with a marker that hopefully won’t blow away or be used as a fetching stick (I’m looking at you, Ms. Twinkles). Another benefit to growing your sweet spuds outdoors is the fact that they belong to the nightshade family and are closely related to the morning glory. Prettiness in spades!
Yay for my new pals, the root veggies. What about yours?