Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mrs. Greenhands - Growing Spourts

Now that winter has a firm grip on the Bluegrass, most gardeners are anxious to start planting indoor seeds to produce seedlings for the winter garden. One indoor gardening activity will help feed your appetite - growing sprouts. It is very easy to grow a variety of sprouts, and it is a fun activity for entire family. It requires no special equipment and you don't need any horticultural experience to do it. There will be quick growth, so you won't lose interest. You can eat sprouts five days after starting the project. 

*A glass jar any size (a bigger jar means more sprouts).
*Cheesecloth to cover the jar opening. (You can also buy a special sprouting jar, but it is not necessary).
*A rubber-band to secure the cheesecloth (it needs to be tight).
*Alfalfa, mung bean, clover or other seeds of your choice. (After you have done this a few times, you'll develop favorites).
*Water (Distilled is best, but tap will do).

Day 1
*Cover the bottom of the glass jar with your seeds for sprouting.
*Cover the seeds with 2-3 inches of water.
*Cover jar with cheesecloth.
*Secure with rubber-band.
*Place jar upright in a dark, cool cupboard.

Day 2
*Drain water from jar. (There is no need to remove the cheesecloth, you can rinse and drain through it.)
*Rinse seeds.
*Drain again. (The seeds should just be damp, not standing in water).
*Place jar back in cool, dark cupboard, only this time on its side (this will allow sprouts to grow evenly).

Days 3&4
*Rinse seeds.
*Place jar back in cool, dark cupboard, on its side.
*Repeat several times daily to discourage fungal growth.

Day 5
*Drain water from jar.
*Rinse sprouts well.
*Harvest sprouts.

Why grow sprouts?
Most people don't realize sprouts are full of protein. They are an easy to grow, plant based protein supplement for vegan and vegetarian diets. They make a delicious fresh addition to salads and sandwiches in winter months. By growing your own sprouts, you can have fresh "garden" produce all year. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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