A couple of weeks ago I had a blast making my own homemade paper. Not only did I make paper, though, I also added some viable seeds to the water. This made paper that will sprout when planted (or just watered). After a few rough starts trying to figure out the best way to do things, I finally found the groove and was able to make 5 different kinds of seed paper. My kids were slightly disappointed that the first water-pressing method was abandoned, since it involved them standing on a board to help press out the water, but rolling with a rolling pin is a much more effective way of getting the excess water out of the paper! Since making the paper, I’ve just started sprouting some of it too.
It’s fairly straightforward: wet the seed paper, put it in some sort of container, keep it moist, give it sunlight.
My hubby saves me his sub containers (he buys these quite often) so I use them for spouts. They’re super handy!
The photo below shows sprouts that were first watered on Nov 13. Today is the 15th, so I think they’re doing really well. This is a mix of broccoli, radish, red clover, and alfalfa.
In the very top photo you can see the 5 different kinds of seed paper that I made. I might have gotten a little carried away, because I was super excited about my talented friend Sarah Moerman (LINK) using her creative talents to make beautiful cards out of this eco-friendly homemade paper. She’s posted one sneak peek of her work so far (LINK), and I can’t wait to see the rest!
Here’s a list of what seeds are in the different papers:
Brown: Old Fashioned Annual Flower Mix
The brown paper mix is best grown outdoors, but it can be started indoors in April or May. You can keep it moist as is, or you can plant the paper in soil after wetting it so the roots can establish themselves in soil before being transplanted outside.
White: Basil and Curly Parsley
The white paper mix can be grown indoors for winter herb production, but you’ll need lots of light if you choose to grow indoors. You can also start this one indoors in April or May, using the methods mentioned above.
Pink: White, Pink, and Burgundy Cosmos
This is an outdoor plant – Cosmos are big and bushy annual flowers! Again, see above for instructions.
Calendula is an edible flower that looks like an orange daisy. It grows best outdoors as well, but can also be started indoors for a head start on the season.
Grey: Broccoli, Radish, Red Clover, and Alfalfa
‘Spring Salad Mix’ was the description on the seed packet for this blend of sprouts. Definitely intended to be grown indoors, and no need for soil! You’ll be eating them about a week after planting them, so they’ll use the nutrition stored in their seed flesh to grow into a nutritious snack.
I’ve got extra paper, so I will likely be selling it at the local Seedy Saturday events in the new year. I’m hoping to attend Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener, Burlington, and Guelph. These events are tons of fun, with workshops and seed swaps and vendors and community groups and, of course, seed sellers.
I’m also planning a hands-on workshop for anyone interested in learning how to make their own seed paper. It really is an enjoyable, peaceful activity, so if you’d like to hear more about it, let me know!