Real Food. Real Stories. Oh Yeah.

Over the course of this blog I have detailed many experiments in urban gardening. Unfortunately my tote bag garden didn’t work out, not because the plants didn’t grow, but because some fruit flies decided to turn my tote bags into their apartment complex; so I didn’t want to keep the dirt they were thriving in inside my living space. Marvin had a successful run for over a month, but alas, he met his time a couple weeks ago (RIP). However, these adventures have only inspired me to try new things. My next endeavor? Rosemary in a can!

Meet my new rosemary plant, Scarborough (no, I am not above naming my plants after Simon and Garfunkel songs). I absolutely adore rosemary, especially the scent! Like many picked herbs though, rosemary just doesn’t keep very well when purchased from the store; and I always use a little bit for a recipe, then waste a huge batch while waiting to use it in something else. Keeping a potted rosemary plant would be best; but I have neither the garden nor porch to host a big one.

This past weekend, though, my friend and I were visiting the Apothecary Museum in Alexandria (yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds), and were perusing the gift shop when I spotted Herbs in a Can. The can claimed that you just added water to the can, and a plant would grow! I asked the (super friendly) woman behind the desk about them, and she said that they supposedly were very successful – in the case of rosemary, a small plant (in comparison to giant rosemary bushes I sometimes see around my neighborhood) would grow inside the can, without having to pot the plant in dirt. Given the ease of growing, the size, and especially the price ($7), I figured I’d give it a try!

Still chilling in an old guacamole container

So how does it work? Well, first you remove the top of the can, which has a peel-back lid with a tab (similar to canned foods that don’t require a can opener). Inside you’ll see dirt, and the seeds are already in there (though the can comes with extra seeds just in case). You pour in some water until the dirt is moist. Water fills up quickly in the can – how to drain, you may ask? Here’s the part I find brilliant – the bottom of the can is actually the top of a soda can with a pop-tab. You open this pop tab to release any excess water (do this over a small plastic tub like that pictured above, or a sink, because it will splash!), then close off the bottom of can with the included plastic lid. Water will still leak out of this plastic lid (which is good for proper aeration), so you will want to put the can on a plate or in an old tupperware to catch any excess water. According to the can, the plant should sprout in 7-10 days, with flowering occurring in 1-2 months. You can bet that over that course of time, I’ll be tracking Scarborough’s progress. Fingers crossed!

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