Sing it with me now! When you hear that song, which Chia Pet® pops into your head? Though it seems as if these quirky items have been in existence forever, it's really only been since 1982 that they were widely marketed. That's an entire lifetime for my younger daughter, so I suppose to her, they HAVE been around forever.
Even so, it took me 33 years before I owned one. Yep, I succumbed to the holiday hype. You've got to admit the commercials are catchy. Tacky too, but that kind of part of their appeal...
Watch Chia Pet commercial on YouTube
The terracotta figures have run the gamut of incarnations: Ram, Bull, Puppy, Kitten, Teddy Bear, Tree, Bunny, Turtle, Herb Garden, Pig, Frog, Hippo, Guy, Elephant, Kid, Professor, Clown, Cow, Lion Cub, Dinosaur, Elmer Fudd, Taz, Tweety, Mr. T, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Shrek, Donkey, Garfield, Cat Grass, Sylvester, Marty, Po, Presidents Obama, Washington, and Lincoln, Sponge Bob, Liberty, Hello Kitty, Santa, Snowman, Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Gnome, Coco Crisp, Willie, Uncle Si, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Mickey Mouse, Flower Garden (Winnie-the-Pooh with paperwhites), Chef's Garden, Zombies and Minnie Mouse.
So which one did I get? Hello Kitty, of course.
I have followed the instructions, first soaking the terracotta Hello Kitty planter for an hour. (I actually soaked it overnight.)
Then I soaked two teaspoons of the included chia seeds in ¼ cup of water - again overnight, though the directions say just an hour. This helps soften the seed coat, enabling germination.
The mixture became a gel-like paste, which made it easier to spread and adhere to the terracotta planter. The mucilaginous paste is inherent and is the seed's way of making sure that it will have enough moisture until it germinates. Once the seed germinates, it will need to get its moisture elsewhere - in this case, by watering daily.
There's a little hole at the top of the planter, which you need to pour water into each day, to make sure the terracotta stays hydrated. This is how the chia will get the moisture it needs for growth.
I put it in a location that gets bright light - in our house, a south window because it's winter and the quality of light here in the north isn't the best in other locations of our house.
In about five days, give or take, I'll see sprouts beginning, and in about two weeks, they should be grown enough that I can clip them and add them to my salads.
Now lest you think this is all nonsense, chia sprouts are GOOD FOR YOU. You can eat them. Chia (Salvia hispanica) is used as a nutritional supplement in its seed form, added to smoothies, either ground or whole. They're rich with omega-3 fatty acids and high in the B vitamins, niacin and thiamine. The sprouts make salads healthier and more interesting.
Don't you want to chia too? Of course you do. Because you're secure in your own gardening skin and you don't take yourself or life too seriously. You want to cross that Chia Pet® off your bucket list. So just do it.
Better hurry though, because Chia Pets are only available in stores during the holidays. If you're lucky, you might get a great deal on one right about now. And while you're at it, you should just pick up a few of them and gift them to the people high on your list. Or low on your list. You decide.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Because life's too short not to chia.