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March 20, 2011

Growing sprouts at home

Can any greens taste more crisp and fresh than right after you harvested it? To me it even taste better, just knowing that it has been planted, nurtured, grown and ripened under our watch. I would like to teach you how you at any time a year can create that fresh, crisp and tasty feel by harvesting sprouts that you grow in your home.

As a child, I loved to grow sprouts with my mom; I preferably ate the sprouts sprinkled over the butter on our crispy rye bread as a snack. I can still close my eyes and feel my mouth watering while remembering the distinct smell and taste that the fresh sprouts gave.

It is easy to grow sprouts and can also very inexpensive. What you need is:
1. A one inch deep plate or container.
2. Unbleached paper towels, look for brown ones or ones that are friendly to environment.
3. Unbleached cotton, check at whole food stores.
4. Seeds. I bought Alfalfa Seed and Red Clover Seed.
5. Water in a spray bottle or squeeze bottle..
6. Plastic wrap.
7. A light window spot, preferable not direct sun.

a. Put paper towel in the bottom of your bowl and spread cotton evenly over, while keeping it light and fluffy.
b. Sprinkle your seeds evenly over cotton surface.
c. Spray water over seeds, enough to moist cotton properly but not soaking it.

d. Cover with plastic wrap and punch a few small wholes in plastic wrap with a fork or toothpick.

e. Place your bowl close to a window for proper light.
f. Keep cotton moist all the time, but do not soak heavy or let the seeds sit in water because that can drown them or grow mold.
8. Now you just need patience and wait for your seeds to sprout :)

If you are local, this is where I went shopping:
- Seeds and cotton balls at Andy's Market in Sebastopol.
- Brown paper towels at Cash & Carry in Santa Rosa.

5-7 days later:

Seven days old sprouts. Alfalfa to the left and Red Clover to the right.

Your seeds should be sprouting in less than a week, see top picture; don't forget to check the cotton each day to see so it stays moist. Change plastic wrap if needed.

When one week has passed many sprouts are already tasty and crisp to snack on. I prefer to wait 1 1/2-2 weeks though, until the sprouts have grown high enough to be cut with a scissor and for it to become a bit more volume to enjoy.

14 days old sprouts. Alfalfa to the left and Red Clover to the right.

Good luck sprouting!!!

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