By Emma O’Connell
Winter can be a time of year that is devoid of healthy locally grown options. So why not grow your own? You don’t need a backyard, a green thumb, or even a speck of soil to grow sprouts. Kids can do it, it’s cheap, and the health benefits are great.
There are many seeds that can easily be sprouted, each requiring slightly different amounts of time to sprout. You can sprout single varieties of seeds such as alfalfa, mung bean, or sunflower, or you can sprout a blend such as clover, cabbage, and alfalfa. The Sprout Garden by Mark Braunstein is a great sprouting book. Here is also a good sprout chart.
Here are directions on how to grow the easiest sprouts ever:
- You will need: seeds (a good basic blend with which you can’t go wrong is alfalfa, clover, and cabbage or radish), 2 wide mouth, quart, mason jars with lids, a sprouting lid (I prefer non-plastic) or cheese cloth, and water.
- Put 2 Tbl of seeds in your mason jar and put the sprouting lid on.
- Using room temperature (or close to it) water, rinse your seeds twice. You can vigorously swirl the seeds around a few times to “wake them”. DON’T throw out the water from your seed rinses or soaks. It contains so many nutrients that houseplants love (especially good for in winter).
- Fill your jar ¾ full with room temperature water and set aside in a dark corner for 8 or so hours.
- Pour out the water—again, pour it on a plant or something—and rinse all the seeds once again. After this rinse, while you pour out the water, try to evenly disperse all the seeds along the length of the jar, i.e. pour slow.
- Lay the jar on its side with the sprouts evenly dispersed and moist along the length of the jar. You can place the jar on a towel at a slight incline, so that you make sure not to let the water pool. Cover the jar with a towel or keep in a dark place, but one that you will remember to check on, leaving only the open end uncovered.
- Rinse the sprouts twice a day (when you get up and before bed) everyday for about 3 days. Make sure each time to very gently swirl the water around and evenly disperse the seeds or tiny sprouts before laying the jar back down.
- When the jar starts to get pretty full of little roots, about day 3 or so, rinse again and then place out in the light. This can be a sunny spot.
- Watch your sprouts green.
To find locally sprouted goodness, check out Pick-A-Pepper!
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- The Shelf Life of Seeds
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- What to do with Plant Clippings?
- Start Your Own Sweet Potato Slips, It’s Easy!