Scallion watch and surprise

The inspiration

We used our kitchen scraps and took a carrot top, and planted it, wondering if it would grow another carrot. Pretty quickly it grew a cluster of green leaves from the top, which eventually produced flowers! Now we have a cluster of carrot flower umbels.

The project- Grow scallions

So, we thought we’d try this out with green onions (or scallions), to see if they would grow too. I was going to measure their growth and record in my nature journal.


I cut the greens off the top of three scallions and used them for our scallion pancakes. That left the white bulb part with some roots. Then, I labeled each of the three scallions with a sharp marker: 1, 2 and 3. They lived in a small glass of water, while I journaled their growth.

I wondered, how long and how fast it would grow? Would it grow enough for me to eat again?


They grew surprisngly fast! After 8 days the greens had growth to a total length of 26 cm, and the roots grew to 8 cm! I had not considered the roots would grow too, so i didn’t have enough room on my page.

They grew long enough to cut at day 8, and I wondered, will it keep growing? So, we went another round.

And yes, it grew another, 3rd round of greens! But they were thinner and slightly yellow- did not look like there was much energy left to produce the greens. I noticed that the bulbs were getting wrinkled- perhaps after using up so much of its reserves.

I wonder?

I wondered: The leaves produce sugar by photosynthesis, which is stored in the bulb. After the first cutting the scallions must have used sugar stored in the bulb (white part) to grow new roots and leaves. After the leaves began to grow, they would make new sugars via photosynthesis. But after the second cuttings, perhaps there was less sugar stores in the bulb, and the leaves were spindly.

This was so cool to get two sets or more of greens from a single store-bought scallion!


But as my scallion farm grew to about 9 members, I got a strange feeling. I watched them standing there in a row in a couple of glass jars. Each day doing its job and growing, so that I could eat its delicious leaves.

I started to feel like I was using them for my benefit- like dairy cows being kept and continuously being milked or caged hens raised to live a life of laying eggs. Especially because the bulbs were getting increasingly wrinkled and dried out.

The magic

By watching these scallions grow each day, and recording their life, I had grown fond of these plants who nourish me and expect nothing in return. And a sense of reverence and gratitude welled up in my heart.

This is the magic that can happen with nature journaling.

When we set our ATTENTION and INTENTION to carefully observe and try to understand something, we growth threads of connections to it. With each observation, we lay down new threads until it eventually becomes as strong as rope. We develop a relationship and a desire to care for it, to be its steward.

This falling in love with the natural world is a healing balm, both for the observer and the observed…..

So, get out with your nature journal, see what the nature world is showing us and dive into nature journaling.

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