I know most of us did this as kids. By all means, continue the tradition with the kids around you, especially because this is an activity that’s hard to mess up.*
If you’ve forgotten, here’s what you and the kids do:
1) Eat an avocado or two.
What? You don’t eat avocados anymore? But…well, you must. I mean, they’re healthy for you. They’re packed full of potassium, protein and carbs, they have Vitamins C, E and a couple of those Bs, and the fat is of the good kind, if eaten in moderation, of course. Besides, do it for the kids: remember, they like eating foods they can squish squash smoosh.
If you think avocados are only useful for guacamole, and if you’re tired of that, and if I promise to look around for something more adultish (I’m looking right now at a recipe for avocado and lime ice cream…ooooh), will you come back and give this a try? Please?
2) Wash the pit with water (no soap), but you don’t need to peel off the brown skin. Stick 3 or 4 toothpicks in the narrow top end of the pit. Careful: toothpicks are notoriously sharp, so little ones should ask bigger ones for help. About an inch of the fuller bottom half gets to sit in a jar of water. The toothpicks rest on the edge of the jar and keep the whole thing from falling in.
3) Put this nifty contraption in a bright sunny area, add fresh water daily, and in about 2-6 weeks, the pit will crack and start sprouting, top and bottom.
4) At this point, you can transfer the pit to a nice pot filled with enriched soil (just cut the toothpicks off), keep it where the sun shines, and it should continue to grow happily from then on. Oh, when you pot it, leave the top part of the pit sticking out. As I’ve learned from my basil plant, avocado plants actually like it when you pinch off their leaves. The plant starts finding other directions to grow, which is what you want.
5) Keep the waterings regular but light. No need to prepare for a possible drought.
6) That’s really all there is to it.
7) Ah, will you ever get a new avocado? Possibly, but not likely. Not unless, you, um, have a few avocado trees hanging around each other, and they, um, like, well, you know, like, um, like each other and stuff. Bees. You might need a few bees, too, to help out, but I’m not sure.
*I did have a few pits that refused to sprout in the water; I don’t know for sure, but those avocados may have been sprayed with something to prevent sprouting during shipment, which effectively ruined their future sproutability. Keep that in mind if you can’t buy organic.