After canning several jars of freezer jam, I was left with a juicy mess of a few peels and more than a few pits. My daughter, who is eight, came in and asked what I planned to do with the “peach parts”.
Throw them away, I told her.
“Can I plant them? Make trees?” she asked, picking one up and pulling threads of peach pulp off the woody-textured stone.
I suppose, I replied. Find some empty pots and the half-bag of soil under the porch.
She brought in a couple terra cotta pots that looked too small to house even the most humble beginnings of a peach tree. I can’t grow anything — not even grass — so I diced this up as a way to kill an hour (or more, knowing I’d have to sweep up dirt).
As it turns out, there’s quite a lot to know when planting a fruit seed.
First of all, the pit is not the seed. It’s the shell. I’ve gone 40 years thinking the pit was the part that grew. I live in the city, remember…?
According to Mother Earth News, pits have to be dried outside (or indoors) for a few days before they split open easily to reveal the bean, or actual seed. Once this happens, the seed can be planted, but the soil must be of good quality, and even then nothing may happen.
Armed with this new agri-knowledge, I told my youngest that she’d have to wait before we could get the almond-looking seeds in the ground. Wasting no time, she asked if she could decorate the pot instead.
I agreed so she would use the art cart she begged for this past Christmas. As of late, it’s been a mighty fine rolling laundry rack.
She returned with a bunch of half-empty bottles of acrylic paints left over from the last 15-minute art fever. I lectured her to put newspaper on the countertop before opening any of the bottles, and to change out of a good shirt into a not-so-good one.
As much as I want to be one of those “it’s just a little dirt” moms, I can’t do it. I fail miserably at letting my girls be messy, and luckily, only one of them finds fault in that.
“I saw this at 4H camp,” my girl announced, flipping the pot upside down. “You pour a lot of paint on the bottom and it runs down the sides to make a design.”
Immediately, I thought “COOL!”, but then my mess-free nature kicked in and I fretted over the wasted paint, which is $3 a bottle in craft stores.
The trick is to put a paint canvas under the pot so it catches the runoff and makes a separate piece of art for kids to hang.
My brain just doesn’t think this way.
After squeezing every single bottle down to the last drop, the pots were finished. The paint was so thick that it had begun to bubble in spots, but overall, the look was a neat one. However, I didn’t know what to do with them once she finished.
They had to dry for a few days…just like the peach pits.
And before you get the same idea in your head, STOP YOURSELF from using a hair dryer to speed up the process. Not only will the paint run into other colors, but it will blow off onto your Martha Stewart countertops. A young child also will be devastated that her art has been ruined by a woman with no patience.
Four days later, the pots and the pits were dried enough to take outside. We’d been eating on our knees (or standing up), so I was all too happy to have my kitchen table back. Outside, the pots were filled with soil and seeds, which will sprout if my little one’s thumb is green.
But even if they do grow, it’ll take at least five years before we see the fruits of her labor.