One woman's quest to save money, save the planet and save my sanity

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meatles Monday - Just Wanna Sprout About It!

With the gorgeous weekend weather, I have good reason to believe that we have bid our final farewell to winter. Our garlic is on the grow and I am beginning to prep the garden beds for the season.
Garlic shoots *photo by Josie, age 5
Last fall we chopped leaves by running them over with the lawn mower (which David didn't think would work - It did!) and covered the raised beds with them. I read that this would help to introduce more organic matter into the soil and so far it looks to have done the job. When I raked the leaves off the strawberry bed the soil was dark and rich. I worked the remaining bits of leaves into the dirt and then put the rest in the compost pile.
It is great to get back out into the garden and get my hands dirty. My work here has taken on even greater meaning after our inspiring trip to D Acres yesterday and I can't wait to share that with you.
But for now, let's talk sprouts. Last week was my first venture into growing my own sprouts and we enjoyed them on the ride up to D Acres. Sprouts are another throwback my youth when my mother used to send me sprout sandwiches to school and kids used to moo while I ate. That's OK, I forgive them. They didn't know what they were missing.
I am using a Bioset sprout grower that I got from Johnny's Selected Seeds and I am very impressed with how easy it is and how simply I incorporated it into my daily routine. Basically, you just spread the sprouting seeds (there are special seeds for this, you can order those form Johnny's as well and they are mostly organic) in the trays. Then you stack them up and fill the top tray (white) with water while holding your finger over a small valve on the bottom. You place the watering tray on top of the stack and the water flows down through each level and is collected in the bottom which you then empty out. There are little grooves in each tray that hold onto just the right amount of moisture. I fill the tray twice per day so I probably spend about 2 minutes total on this per day.
My first batch was broccoli sprouts which are nice and spicy, just like me. The package said it would take 2-5 days. There was lots of action during this time, but I harvested them on Day 6. I now have my all time favorite sprouts in there, alfalfa. I added many more seeds this round. I only put about half as much as I could have the first time since I wasn't sure how much space they would take up once "sprouted". I should be dining on these by the end of the week.
From seed to sandwich in 6 days.
There are countless ways to enjoy sprouts. I like them on salads, but my favorite is a sprout sandwich. I love pita bread, but I also use whole wheat. I love it with some grated carrots and some cheddar cheese. For creaminess I either put a little mayo on the bread or some sliced avocado. OK, now I'm drooling. Give it a go and you'll be like "Cold cuts? I don't need no stinking cold cuts!" Try it and then give me sprout!

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