Monday, January 24, 2011

The Little Avocado Pit That Could

Way back last summer I walked into Lotte Mart and to my surprise they had a large pile of avocados for sale. By "sale" I mean you could get one for less than 3,000 won, which is what they usually are sold for. You might be thinking what is so special about them being a in a large pile? Well, let me tell you! Avocados are usually sold in pairs wrapped in plastic and stuffed in the "exotic" produce area.

As you can tell I was delighted to see this sight and so brought home a few. I recall they were pretty good and they made a great addition to my salads sandwiches.

The best part about avocados is not just their delicious flesh, but also their pits. Growing up my mom would take avocado pits and turn them into plants. Seeing a seed in a jar propped up to make a sprout, was a common sight.

After a few emails back and forth I got the instructions on how to turn my own avocado pit into a plant.

First dry out your pit:

Then after the pit has dried for about a week you peel off its delicate skin. Next you find a used jam jar and place some water in it. Using toothpicks you "borrowed" from the office stick them gently into the sides of the pit. What you want to do is balance the pit at the opening of the jar so that a portion of it "floats" in the water.

Like so:

Place the whole thing in a semi-sunny spot and refresh the water now and then. After some time the pit will split and grow a root.
Eventually it grows a stem which then sprouts.
At this point you want to take the pit-stem-sprout thing and put it into a pot with soil. 

Ta-da! Unfortunatly, my little avocado pit (that could) didn't fare so well after being put in the soil. A week later I discovered there were a lot of little white bugs crawling around the dirt. So I put the whole thing outside at my front door. It became a receptacle for people's little trash and one day was even found kicked over. But I kept it there anyways. Sadly by the time I moved out it had shriveled up and I think the soil was frozen. I just left it there for the new person to deal with. 

Next summer I hope to try all over again, this time finding better soil.

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