How to Sprout Seeds - an Infographic! July 27, 2016 14:55
Sprouting is easy, and loads of fun! Here's a quick, handy guide to get you started growing delicious, nutritious, plentiful greens - for many thousands of eclectic uses.
When a seed sprouts, enzymes present in the seed “wake up” and begin making the nutrients and energy in the seed ready for the growth of the plant. By sprouting a seed and then eating the plants when they're still tiny, you capture this nutrient-rich stage of the plant's life-cycle. Sprouting at home grants you access to way more varieties of sprout than you can find in the grocery store at significantly lower cost. The seeds keep for a long time, so you can always have some in your pantry and make a batch of sprouts every few days, or whenever you crave something green. It's a great way to get some local veg in your diet in the cold months.
- Choose a seed packet and empty its contents into the jar. Each contains one tablespoon of seeds.
- Add about half a cup of water to the jar and leave the seeds to soak for about 12 hours. As few as 8 or as many as 24 hours should be OK – fit it to your schedule.
- Pour off the soaking water. You'll probably find it easiest to carefully decant most of the water with the lid off, then replace the lid to drain out the last little bit without losing seeds down the drain.
- Rinse the seeds immediately and again at least twice daily. You may find it most convenient to do when you get up and when you go to bed. To rinse, fill the jar halfway with water and then pour off in the same manner as the soaking water. After rinsing, lean the jar up at angle in the cereal or soup bowl. This will allow drainage and catch the small amount of water that will drip out.
- Keep at it for several days. Remembering to rinse regularly is the true crux of sprouting successfully!
- After a day or two you'll see little white tails starting to form on the seeds. These are the roots! A little later you'll see the baby plant start growing from each seed. After this point, your sprouts are ready when you say they are; eat them when they're half a centimeter long or wait until they're 3-4 cm long. Generally, smaller seeds are best as shorter sprouts, and vice versa.
- Before eating, give the sprouts a good final rinse and drain them completely. Once the sprouts are ready you can refrigerate them in a separate container for a week or so.
- Other sprouting methods include multi-tray units for having several batches sprouting simultaneously, and hemp or cotton bags that you can hang over your sink. You can even improvise your own method- all you need is a way to rinse the seeds without loosing them and a way to keep them damp without cutting off all air flow.
- The seeds provided in this kit are just the tip of the iceberg of varieties. You can sprout nearly any vegetable or salad green seed to great effect! Sprouting is a great way to use home-saved seeds that are cheap, abundant, and possibly cross-pollinated (and hence less suitable for growing into adult plants)
Where to Buy
You'll want to get your sprouting seeds from a reputable source. This eliminates the likelihood of getting sick from contaminants such as salmonella and e-coli - which may be present in seeds that have not been prepared specifically for sprouting.
Homestead Junction has sprouting kits made up that include several varieties of Canadian-grown, delicious sprouting seeds. So you can discover which type you like best!
Get started here.