We are big fans of avocado in this house. It's the perfect addition to almost any sandwich, hot or cold. Naturally it goes beautifully with taco's, fajitas, burritos and nachos. I love avocado in salad or an omelette. It's just fine on toast or crackers. And there are few things that are not improved with the addition of a perfect guacamole.
So yes, we like avocado. It's on nearly every grocery list that I make. I've gotten really good at selecting them at the farm market too.
One of our neighbors told us that the owners before the previous owner (that would be two owners back) of our house had a fine fat healthy mature avocado tree in the backyard. It was so prolific, in fact, that all of the neighbors benefited from the fruit it produced.
I was shocked because, while I don't spend a lot of time in our backyard, I know dang well that there is no avocado tree back there. And in fact the reason the tree isn't there anymore is the because the previous owner (that would be one owner back) of our house cut the tree down.
WHAT? Cut down a perfectly good avocado tree? Who would do such a thing? Maybe a person who doesn't like avocado? Or perhaps one who doesn't like their neighbors? Or doesn't like to share. Well, I thought, a little more rationally, maybe the tree some weird avocado tree disease or damaged in a storm and needed to come down. It's sad but I know it happens. I said as much to our neighbor who then informed me that that none of that was the case. The previous owners just didn't like it and therefore, it had to go.
Well that did it. I decided to replace that tree. AND furthermore, I would do it old school. Flush with the success of my recent yeast making experiment, I decided that I would grow the tree from an avocado seed.
I was feeling really confident. Not only did I do a little online research, I actually remember doing this very project in elementary school (I think in California). So logically, a person who can start their own yeast (still wows me) can certainly do an elementary school project and start an avocado from seed. Right?
The next time we had avocado with a meal, I so happened that we required two of them. I figured what the heck, I may as well start two and double our chances. As we cut into the fruits, we were careful to not puncture the seed. Then, I rinsed the seed, cleaning it carefully and gently, using three toothpicks suspended it at the top of an jar full of water and put it in the kitchen window.
And then I waited.
According to everything I read it can take up to 4 weeks for anything to sprout. That sounds like a long time. But I've had gardens before. Flowers, vegetables and fruits. While patience generally goes completely against my nature, I am well aware that when gardening (any sort of gardening) there is a lot of waiting involved. I was prepared to be patient.
I've had lots of gardens in my life. Most of them were exactly what I anticipated them to be. The flowers were abundant, the fruits and vegetables fed us very well and while it's hard work, it's the sort of work that feels good. My mother always had beautiful gardens and somehow it makes me feel close to her when I do any sort of gardening. Even something as small as this.
I checked on it every day, making sure that the water level stayed where it should be. Occasionally I turned the jars so that the sun shone on every side. I talked to them encouragingly and occasionally sang them a happy song.
In my mind, I imagined all of the lovely avocado laden dishes we would make. I pictured plucking ripe avocado from the trees and sharing with neighbors, just as it used to be long ago. Having bowls of beautiful ripe fruit on the kitchen table just waiting to be eaten. I was ready.
Well four weeks were up last week but I kept them going for 7 more days. And nothin'. Not so much as a single sprout on either fruit.
It's pretty disheartening when a fully grown adult is unable to successfully execute a first graders science experiment .
As I chucked out the non-fruitful fruits and washed the jars, I decided that instead of just giving up, I am going to so a little more reading and give it another try. That's how gardeners do it. Even puny little window sill gardeners like me. Instead of being totally discouraged, I am more determined than ever.
Wish us Avocado luck!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.