Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a small bit of comic relief - Chia Pet!

I was bopping around the channels on the Tube a few evenings ago, after Herb had turned in for the night, and landed on a random channel showing a stage set with the big word, SALVIA! written across the backdrop ... a gardening show?

No, Dr. Phil (whom I admit I have no patience for), was pushing and pulling some willing edjit (where do they get these people?) through the wringer concerning her inability to parent her son, her problem being that she was letting this kid use drugs, including the latest boogieman of the plant kingdom, (gasp!) Salvia.

Salvia, indeed.

You'd think a doctor would have a better grasp on basic botany than to allow his stage designer to smear a whole genus of diverse but related plants by putting just their in-common name up on a Dr. Phil's Billboard of Shame.

Scatter shot Phil was actually aiming at Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic Salvia used by indigenous North Americans in their religious tradition, but that big sign offended the herb gardener in me ...

I happen to like Salvias.
I use various Salvias for colorful yard ornamentation, to stuff my poultry, and to flavor my signature tea blends.
I even use one member of the great Salvia genus for Silliness.

Okay, everyone, now sing along with me...
"Chi, Chi, Chi, Chia PET!"

My depressed local area shaping up to be Garage Sale Central for 2009, I found a Chia Pet Kitty locally, for less than a song on Itunes.

(On consideration, I don't know why my family never bought me a Chia Kit for a holiday or a birthday - did they think I was too sophisticated? Ha! Shows how little they know me, or listen to my broad hinting.)

Anywho, I sent away for Chia seeds, Salvia hispanica, from Richters, who also sells the bad Salvia, by the way.

So, my friends, follow along with me on a little pictorial tutorial on the "Greening of the Kitty".
First: soak your Kitty. Overnight. Soak a small quantity of the Chia seeds as well. They generate a delightful mucus. This project is great for adolescents of all ages.

With your fingers, spread the mucus-y Chia seeds into the grooves on the Kitty.

Devise a little tent of plastic film to keep the seeds hydrated. Place Kitty in a bright spot, remembering to refill her water cavity as needed.

In a matter of a few days, rootlets form, and leaflets.

Another day with good light, Greenness.

And in a few days, with spritzing and watering Kitty, here is what you have:

Cute, huh?
Here is what Richter's catalogue says about Chia:
Incredible supergrain!
An ounce of Chia seed has as much omega-3 as 8 ounces of Atlantic salmon, as much calcium as a cup of milk, the fibre of 1/3 cup of bran, the Vitamin C of 2 oranges, the potassium of half a banana.

Aztecs called it "the running food" because messengers could run all day on a handful of seeds.

The J. L. Hudson seed catalog mentions there are 900 species in the genus Salvia, and of S. hispanica writes that the mucus-y Chia seed hydrated in water or juice "resemble(s) frog's eggs, the whole being drunk and is quite refreshing. ... also an old California-Mexican remedy for diarrhea."


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Betsy ! I had such a good laugh reading this .. and totally yes to that idiot Dr.Phil ; (
I had no idea about the chia seed sprouts .. that is amazing !
Yes I know about the salvia .. and probably what that show did to the whole genus ..
This was a really cute and intersting post girl ! thanks : )

Anonymous said...

wery, wery interesting, Betsy!LOL

And shame on Dr. Phil - I also love Sylvia - they press so pretty.


islandgardener said...

Hillarious! Who hasn't sang that tune at one time or another. My favorite is the chia head! So funny!

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

Hi Betsy, lovely pet, love all Salvias, here grow the tropical ones which look spectacular.

Organic baby bedding said...

thanks for the info about the bulbs. from one Michigan Mamma to another. :)

Organic baby bedding

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