Back in March, I planted some fruit seeds, just to see what would happen. Not that I have a surfeit of space in the yard, but I thought – why not? I’ve been tending these slow-sprouting seeds for a little more than three months, and I finally have something to show for it. I wish I would have labeled which seeds came from which fruits – I know I planted clementine, red grapefruit and blood orange – but I have no idea which sprouts belong to which seeds. What I do know is that enough of them did sprout that I have at least two of the three varieties. As they grow their second pair of leaves, I’ve potted them up in four-inch nursery pots so they have room to grow.

Some sort of citrus seedling.

 I also planted five persimmon seeds, collected from a big, productive tree along my walk to work. So far, two of the five seeds have sprouted, and this one is furthest along. If I expect this tree to fruit, I think I’ll need a pollinator tree if I ever am able to plant it outside. I’m pretty sure there are male and female persimmon trees, and I’m not sure how to tell if this seedling is a he or a she.

A persimmon seedling, from a seed collected in my neighborhood.

 I’ve gone so far as to collect some apricot kernels from the same yard with the great persimmon tree. (Can you tell I’m jealous?) This year, that apricot tree was laden with fragrant, juicy fruit. So it’s kids have to be good, right? Of course, I might get a weird cross, but what is there to lose? I picked up about 15 pits, and cracked the outer shells to get at the kernel inside. It looks like a small almond, and tastes strongly of amaretto. After I tasted one, I remembered that apricot kernels are pretty high in cyanide – not good. But I lived. I wrapped the bare kernels in a wet napkin, put them in a freezer bag, and stuck them in the fridge, where they’ll stay for at least two months before I plant them. The chilling simulates a winter, which stone fruit seeds need to sprout.

Another citrus seedling.

Lablab beans climbing in the fig planter.

 Back in March, I also planted a few lablab (sometimes called hyacinth bean) seeds I purloined from the awesome Cleveland Botanical Garden last October. I know it’s probably not in their plans for folks like me to swipe a seed here and there… But these caught my attention with they’re striking flowers and glossy, fat, purple seed pods. I’m growing these purely as ornamentals, though some people eat the very young pods. Older pods and mature seeds contain a fair amount of toxins – cyanide again!

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