SPROUTING: A WINTER GARDENING FIX

Posted: January 22, 2013 in garden
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As a rabid gardener, I definitely go through withdrawals in the winter. Pouring over gardening catalogs and ordering my seeds for spring planting only helps temporarily. Sprouting gives me my fix.
We’ve all seen the sprouts in the refrigerated section of the produce department at the supermarket…but it seems that the package is usually too big to be consumed before the expiration date. Whatever…I still wind up buying it, piling the sprouts on top of my salad and anything else I can think of, and then quickly getting to the point where I’m so sick of them that I don’t to even look at another sprout for a long time. Then they rot in the fridge and become compost.
Sprouters have been around for a long time, and they vary in size and shape. The ones that I like most consist of four plastic circular trays that nest one on top of the other, with a little valve at the bottom of each tray that allows water in the top tray to trickle down into each of the lower trays before reaching the bottom water catching tray.
Sprouting seeds yourself may seem like a bit of a pain in the beginning, but once you get into the routine, it’s fun and easy to do–get your kid involved–and the wide variety of sprouting seeds available is mind-boggling. Alfalfa, buckwheat, broccoli, mustard, radish, and the classic Chinese sprout: mung bean,  just a few that I’ve sprouted over the years. And the great thing about sprouting your own seeds (besides the incredible freshness) is that you never wind up having too many. You can time the sprouting so that you constantly have a supply of sprouts without waste. It’s a great way to get your gardening fix in the wintertime when it’s too cold to be gardening outside.
Day 1
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Day 3
Many gardening websites now offer seeds specifically for sprouting. Here are a few…
Johnny’s Selected Seeds: www.johnnyseeds.com
Pinetree Garden Seeds: www.superseeds.com
Wood Prairie Farm: www.woodprairie.com
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