Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sprouting Seeds - part 2

I have had a little more experience sprouting seeds since I last posted about them and I'm here to update you. I've grown radish, broccoli, basil, sunflower seeds, alfalfa and fenugreek, wheatgrass and sunflower seeds, lentils, chickpeas and peas, aduki beans, and possibly others that don't spring to mind just at present.
The challenging ones were peas and sunflower seeds. The peas rotted before the little shoots appeared and the sunflower seeds were woody and horrible. However, I wasn't doing it right ! The sunflower seeds need to be left till the leaves emerge from the black seed casing and it is the leaves you eat. Do them !!! They are delicious and have a great texture and mouthfeel. They are firm and crunchy, and have substance. I'm now making sure I have them growing all the time. I love them. The peas don't work for me hydroponically, so I've transferred the tiny shoots to a seed tray of soil to await the little shoots. The sprouted peas with just a tiny shoot didn't taste anything special, so I think pea shoots are the way to go.
The basil seeds outgrew their fishroe type stage and were nice, but I'm not sure I'll grow them too often as they took a long time to develop.
I have had an update from Pat Reeves ( ) on the best grain for growing wheatgrass. I was looking on the internet to buy in bulk and came across a variety of grains. I asked Pat about which might have the most health benefits. I thought that spelt might have benefits as they have not been intensively bred and modified to increase yield in the same way as wheat and are more akin to their wild roots. Pat informed me that spelt is indeed a form of wheatgrass that she herself grows along with barley. So I'm going to order barley and spelt grains to grow into grass for juicing and I'll let you know if there's much difference in taste - well, if I can tell much difference. I haven't sprouted any grains to eat as grains yet. ( I have an irrational apprehension of sprouting things that are new to me ) and I'll let you know of any handy hints and tips I pick up as I experiment.
But try the sunflower seeds. The aduki beans were also nice, as were the chickpeas ( they didn't go slimey !! ), the lentils (they are a pretty pink once sprouted),, the radish (they are a very attractive purple),and the broccoli, the sandwich mix, the alfalfa and the spicy feugreek. There are plenty more to try and I will keep you posted.
If you have any favourites I haven't tried yet please let me know. I'm really enjoying my hydroponic gardening and have lots of little glass jars of seeds in the fridge. They seem to keep well, but I must admit the more I grow the more I eat. Are they addictive ? I am loving them, so maybe I'm finding it easier to hear my body these days. The seeds are packed full of good things for it. And in case you think it's just me and my altered taste buds, my husband really likes them too. It's my turn to make tea at my gardening class this week and I'm even considering bringing some in for everyone. I'm in real danger of becoming evangelical about this and turning into a bit of a nut. Ah well, I'll just see if anythings ready for harvesting on Monday and is still in the trays. Watch this space !

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