Salad for Ants

Lettuce sprouts at three days old

Lettuce sprouts at three days old.

A piece of our spring garden is growing on top of our refrigerator in a clear plastic takeout container. My teenage son was dubious: “Salad for ants?” “No, for us, silly,” I said. But I’ve been at this long enough to accept that our apartment is fluid with hidden threats to these tiny lettuce sprouts—fungi, temperature ups and downs, lighting problems, dry air.

The other reason I’m growing this little garden is to make sure I have an alternative for the gardening classes I teach to preschoolers should their lettuce colony fail.

Young cucumber plant, showing its first true leaf.

Young cucumber plant, showing its first true leaf.

Preschool has its own collection of hazards: Think 15 three- and four-year-olds who all love to water. But we manage. Last week we successfully transplanted little thyme plants into their own pots and our cucumber plants have started their first true leaves.

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