Lifelong Learning

A Personal Interlude: Learning from Plants

It’s pretty cliché for someone, particularly a person working in education, to say that they believe in being a lifelong learner, but it really is something that I highly value in everyone. This applies to myself, and it’s what has frequently allowed me to relate to a lot of my students and colleagues. Being able to be interested in pretty much anything, or at least being willing to learn from anyone about anything, has really enriched my life in every way possible.

So when I feel like I want to do something, I try to do it! Something I wanted to know is what happens when I try to grow plants from food scraps. I always have a bunch of seeds from fruits and vegetables, basal plates from onions, and some sprigs of ginger that we forgot to use. So what better way to use them all than seeing if we could successfully grow something from them?

I mean, I grew up on a farm. How hard could this be?

Well, it turns out, it’s at least more difficult than I had previously assumed. Though most of my kitchen scraps resulted in failure, I have had a variety of successes! First, I’m starting to figure out what mistakes I made with some of the plants that I tried to germinate, especially the onion and ginger. Because they were failures, I’m able to go back and learn more about them and the processes to germinate them from kitchen scraps. I have to figure out what conditions I got wrong and what might be more successful later.

But at least one of my avocados has grown! And it’s prompted me to learn a lot more about avocados and related plant species. So I’ll have a lovely avocado tree to show for it all, and I’m quite proud for that.

Even small experiments done out of boredom can have significant impact on the things we learn and our capacity for growth.

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