The carob pods seemed so ugly. Why would anyone ever think to use them for food or bring them to a potluck? Perhaps my prejudice came from all those earnest attempts back in my counter-culture youth to convince me that carob is a perfectly good substitute for chocolate. Not a chance! Carob may be useful in its own right, but chocolate it is not and never will be!!
I took one home and put the seeds in a plastic bag. Did a little research on growing carob from seed. But there really wasn’t much motivation on my part. It’s not as if I am going to be able to plant a carob tree outside or have any interest in them as food. So the seeds lay dormant in that bag for many months.
According to my research, the seeds are very hard and tough and need to be “roughed up” in some way–perhaps with a piece of sandpaper or a sharp kitchen knife–and then soaked for a few days. The seeds are so tiny that I could not imagine using a knife or piece of sandpaper on them without taking off some skin or even a finger. But the bag sat on the kitchen counter and I glanced at it with a guilty conscience every day. Then I had a brainstorm. Into the food processor the seeds went. Four, five, six pulses of the blade barely made a nick in any seed. Tough indeed. How do these seeds ever germinate in nature without human assistance?
Giving up on making any significant dents or cuts in the seeds, I let them soak for several days. Then planted them in a plastic egg carton.
Clearly I didn’t care too much about planting them correctly, because I used some old potting soil that had been left out in the rain and was clumpy and dense. And yet … with a little water they sprouted within a few days and are growing fast.
I don’t really know why this intrigues me, but it does. If anyone has grown carob as an indoor plant and has any advice, please share it with me. You are welcome to any pods that are produced, while I indulge in a glass of chocolate milk!!