I love sprouts. I like to add them to salads or eat them on their own. Back when I ate sandwiches, I liked them on my sandwiches. They are full of great nutrition and tasty too. I’ve always had problems growing them in glass jars, though. So I’d like to show you the solution I’ve come up with, and encourage you to grow your own too!
First, I have to say that alfalfa is not in the picture here. I don’t have anything against alfalfa, but I think radish and broccoli sprouts are much more tasty. The wee radish leaves taste like radishes in your salad, without the super heat of the radish root. Broccoli leaves are a milder broccoli taste, and have all the good nutrition of cruciferous veggies. I’ve also started some peas, because pea shoots taste great too. But if you want to grow alfalfa, by all means please do! You could also do spinach, beets, and microgreens – but these will take longer to germinate and grow.
So, shall we get started?
First, find yourself some ‘Small Food Waste Bags’ that are leak proof. This means they have a lining on the inside that looks sort of like plastic, but it’s really some plant-based fibre. This allows the bag to be ‘totally biodegradable and compostable’, as it says on the side. Cut through the bag where the little bump is:
Then start turning the sides down, so the walls of the bag become two thicknesses of the paper bag.
When you’re finished, you should have a little tray with sides about 1.5-2 inches high.
Fill it about one third to a half full with some dampened potting soil, plus a dash of composted manure if you have it.
Mix it up.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of radish or broccoli seeds on top. If you’re using pea seeds, you’ll need about 3 tablespoons since those seeds are so much bigger.
Lightly brush your fingers across the surface of the soil, and then press down. Some of the seeds will be showing still but that’s ok.
Mist them with a spray bottle, or very carefully moisten the surface of the soil some other way if you don’t have a spray bottle.
Next, make a cover for the seeds using the leftover bag piece. Cut it in half, then cut one of the halves so that you have one thickness of bag to use as a cover.
This cover will keep the seeds dark and moist before they germinate. Check every day to make sure it’s still moist under the cover, and to see if the seeds have germinated. Once you see little sprouties, take off the cover and put them on a windowsill so they can use the sunshine! You should have ready-to-eat sprouts in about 5 days. Eat them when they still have 2 leaves each. For the pea shoots, each them when they are anywhere from 3-5 inches tall.
Cut them with scissors or a knife just above the level of the soil. Put your sprouts in a salad, or on a sandwich, or use them to garnish a stir fry. I’m sure there are other options too – feel free to leave comments below. Enjoy!
And when you’ve used all the sprouts, give the soil a stir and let the old roots dry out or wilt just a bit before you start the next batch. The old roots will contribute to the organic matter in the soil, feeding the micro-organisms that make nutrients available for the plants.
If you do this please let me know. Take photos and post them on the Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens Facebook Page!
You could also come to the Little City Farm on Saturday, December 11 for this year’s “A Little Bird Told Me Craft Sale” – I will be there selling these as kits, soil and seeds included, so you can grow your own sprouts. AND I will also be giving away a draw prize gift certificate for Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens at that sale.