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Monday, December 5, 2022

The weekend didn't quite go as planned . . .

I injured my back Friday morning and spent the weekend laid up. Today (Monday) was the first day I was up and working for any length of time since Thursday evening. I hope I didn't overdo it today. I really needed to get some kitchen stuff done and needed to feel I was being effective. And it seems that my family needs me.

So for today, I cooked up 1 more carving pumpkin (3 down, 1 to go of those pumpkins), made a batch of hummus, boiled some eggs, started some sprouts, cleaned up my indoor garden area, and made dinner. When I said my family seems to need me, I think they largely missed my cooking. They could see and talk with me whenever they wanted while I was laid up, but I couldn't do much in the way of food prep for 3 days. Today's focus needed to be on food, in one way or another.

Last Thursday, I worked in my light garden area, harvesting more radish greens and cleaning out 1 flat of radish plants to start new radish seeds. My light garden is a set-up of 4 trays with pots under 4 sets of grow lights. As I've mentioned before, I use the bottom halves of gallon milk jugs for my grow containers. These are free and slightly squared, so less space is wasted in the tray.

Instead of complaining about my back and the subsequent catch-up work, I thought I'd share the growth cycle of a tray of radish plants.

I begin with containers filled with potting soil, poke holes in the 
surface and plant my seeds and push soil over to cover.

After about 5 days, the seedlings are up.

2 weeks later, the secondary leaves develop.

Weeks 3, 4 and 5 yield lots of leaves
to use in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

Although I grow radishes indoors for the leaves,
we also get some roots to use in salads.

By the end of week 5 or into week 6,
 the plants looks like they've seen better days.

At this point, I harvest all of the edible-looking leaves to use in meals.

I scoop out the remains of the plants and about the top 1-2 inches
 of soil from the containers and add to the compost pile.

I then add some fertilizer and top off the soil,
so I can begin a new batch of radish seeds.


  1. So very sorry to hear about your back. I hope it will continue to improve. It's so frustrating to be laid up, especially when there are things you need or want to do. Hugs.

    Your light growing set-up sounds like a great idea! And using the cut-off milk jugs makes a lot of sense. I'm getting ready to start up something similar for the season, but growing on cafeteria trays. I measured my grow shelves and got the size that would fit best with the least wasted space for the same reason you're using the milk jugs! Hoping to do this to fill that "fresh salad" craving over this winter. Several years ago now, I got a book from our library, "Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less than 10 Days", by Peter Burke. I played around with that a bit, but didn't really have the light set-up the way we do now, so am wanting to work on this growing approach again now and hopefully establish it as a long-term way to provide fresh greens.

    Hoping your back does okay today after your exertions yesterday!

    1. Thanks, Cat. I probably did too much physical stuff yesterday. But I am so much better than Friday or Saturday. Grateful for that.

      Good luck with your indoor salad garden. And thanks for the name of the book that inspired you. I watched a couple of YouTube videos earlier this fall on indoor gardening. There's a lot that can be grown if you have the right amount of light. One woman had dedicated an entire room to growing under lights. Another guy spent countless hours and an unknown sum of money trying to turn a closet indoor an indoor growing area. He had less success. But he did dive into other ways to grow indoors, including hydroponics. Interesting to watch. I'm sure you will enjoy having fresh greens in winter, as we do here.

  2. Be kind to your back as it will no doubt be tender and susceptible for quite awhile. Back injuries are very painful and make it hard to get comfortable. Sending a gentle hug and hoping you are feeling much better and stronger!

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you. I'm trying to be smart about how I work this week so that I can feel myself again soon.

  3. Lili, hope you are feeling better each day. As said, it's so hard to be "out of action" when so many things need to be done.

    Your radishes are quite prolific. I grew some in the garden with mediocre results. I'll have to try again. I also think I'll round up some milk cartons for early starts. I'm still harvesting from our garden. No sign of the average frost that usually occurs on/ or about Nov 27. Just harvested a small bell pepper, but I needed it for dinner. It is growing quite slowly these days but was sufficiently sized for my recipe. Also picked loose leaf lettuce for our dinner salad. The broccoli and cabbage continue to grow. I've never grown either, and doing it from seed for the first time, I think I misread the planting times. The forecast for here for the next 10 days has the lowest temps in the 40s, so still no frost. They may have some time to mature a bit more before the first frost arrives, though from what I read, they may make it past then. The broccoli stalks are fattening up verry slowly. I guess if all else fails, I can use the leaves and pencil thin stalks!

    I'm in the throes of the preparation for the baby shower this weekend. I've made the large snowflake cookies for favors and made pink baby bootie mints. I still need to make the cupcakes that will become a cute snowflake "cupcake cake" and brownies for mint brownies. I have prepared additional painted pinecones with different shades of pink, white- tipped some and glittered some. I've gathered up all my white, pink and snowflake items to use for decor, which I actually had right much of, despite not being a "pink" person. I do need to cut some more pink snowflakes for the banner. Going to pick up branches from our woods to paint white for additional decor. I did buy some things at the Dollar Tree and told myself I'm not returning as I keep finding cute things in there. I think pink is a color for Christmas this year as I'm never seen so many pink ornaments, table trees etc. Or maybe I've just not noticed before. I've also begun packing it all up as we'll be traveling 200+ miles for the shower. It will be where my mother lives. At almost 92 she is quite spry and could have traveled to where my son lives, but this will be easier on her. My daughter has taken care of the food (the not so frugal part). But I'm enjoying "getting my crafty on" and I think the venue will look nice with minimal expense-Dollar Tree notwithstanding. I think the home-made goodies for the dessert table will be tasty and look cute as well. (And definitely cheaper than bakery made). I was trying to figure out when else I could use all this pink stuff. I figure for Baby Girl's birthday(s), and I could also use much of it for Valentine's Day should I be so inclined to host a party or just to decorate for that holiday.

    I also finished smocking the bib for the baby. Now for me comes the hard part-the sewing to finish it off. Fingers crossed I can get it done, and before Saturday.

    Hope everyone will have a good rest of the week. Lili be kind to yourself. I'm sure your family WAS ready for you to be back in the kitchen!

    1. Lynn, I don't know if this would interest you, but over the weekend I made paper stars (they look like snowflakes) out of paper bags. Simple to do, inexpensive, and they look really neat. I thought maybe they might match your theme for the shower.

    2. Hi Lynn,
      Thank you. I appreciate the good wishes.'
      You have been very busy! This shower sounds like it's going to turn out wonderfully. I love all of the decorations and baking you've made. And you had time to smock a bib, too! Have a fun time at the shower.

      Another possibility for reusing some of this pink stuff in the future is to mix with other pastels for Easter.

    3. Kris, thanks for the link. They are very pretty! I have some white paper bags, so if I get time, I may try some of these as well. Simple and inexpensive-just my kind of decoration :)

    4. Lili, I never thought of Easter. Yes, they could be used then as well. Thanks for the idea! I've nestled candle votives in jars in some bulk Himalayan pink salt I had, which would work for Easter too.

    5. Oooh, the pink Himalayan salt with candles sounds pretty!

  4. Oh my, that sounds painful and menacing. I once twisted my hip joint just by slipping off a healed rubber flipflop while squatting. I was in bed for several days in constant pain that drove me crazy. That was worse than fluctuating intense pain, and ibuprofen didn't help one bit. I hope you are recovered and back to a full routine.

    Congratulations Lynn, and have a nice, safe travel!!


    1. Hi Laura,
      Ouch, the twisted hip joint sounds dreadfully painful! Thank you for the well wishes. I'm doing what I can to be gentle with my back. But I'll say this, it's not anywhere near as painful as it was on Friday and Saturday. I'm glad to have the worst in the rearview mirror.
      Have a great afternoon and evening, Laura.

  5. Oh no, Lili! Injuring yourself close to Christmas probably adds to your stress level--I'm sure you've been thinking about all the things you want/need to do but can't tackle right now. Check out Bob And Brad, physical therapists, on Youtube. They have tons of different videos out and may have some helpful suggestions. I've benefited from their advice in the past.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you and I'll check the PTs you mentioned. At least I still have time to get Christmas done. I just don't like having to put everything off a week. Oh well, can't be helped now.

  6. Get well, Lili. Lots of rest and relaxation will help. You've got lots of helpers to get the daily tasks done.

    1. Hi Alice,
      Thank you. I'm doing what I can to take care of myself. Thanks for the well wishes and advice on helpers.

  7. Oh, no! Back pain can certainly be immobilizing. Here's hoping you're moving without pain soon. And if not, what's necessary to get done will get done by you and your family, and the rest can wait.
    I also use milk jug bottoms for planting sometimes. And someday, I will try more indoor planting when I know that the cats won't be pulling everything up. I have fought many battles in the past with them trying to outsmart them, but have never won.

    1. Thanks, Live and Learn. I'm past the horrendous, can't move pain and now just have to be careful to not move in a way that triggers the pain. My last bad back injury took about 3 weeks to fully heal. This current one seems to be on the same track, and it was a bad one for me.

      Your cats must view any indoor plants as playthings for them and likely don't understand why their mischief would bother you. This brings to mind a couple of pics I saw recently of Christmas tree "fortresses" built to confound the owners' cats. One was a cage built of chicken wire. The photo was really quite funny, as the two cats sat just outside the cage eyeing the ornaments on the tree. Their afternoon play foiled.


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