Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sprouting is here!

My brand new sprouting kit arrived from Sprout People today! I am so excited to start growing some of my own food.

I was inspired to start sprouting after attending the Fall and Winter Gardening Seminar by the Alameda County Master Gardeners. The seminar was great! I took three classes:

1) Drip Irrigation with the owner of Berkeley's Irrigation Equipment Company. This class was interesting, but not terribly applicable for me as my only place to garden is a balcony with no water hookup, so setting up any sort of drip system would probably be impossible.

2) Herb Gardening with Rose Loveall of Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville, CA. This class was great, and I'm super-excited to plant some herbs come spring. I'd like to put in some window boxes to plant my herbs in and then I'll defintely head up to Morningsun Farm to pick up my herbs along with all the advice I can get. I'm hoping I'll have better luck with locally produced herbs than I have with the herbs I've picked up at CVS. Either way, if I can keep them alive, it would be so nice to have access to fresh herbs - buying the packs at the grocery store drives me crazy! I can never finish a pack before the herbs go bad - so much waste!

3) Growing Food in Small Spaces with R.J. Ruppenthal, author of Growing Food in Small Spaces. This class was the most inspirational for me as I've been hankering to grow more edibles on my small balcony. This book seems to be a fantastic primer for food production of all sorts on a small scale. In addition to lots of great info on gardening in small spaces, it also covers sprouting, fermentation, cultivating mushrooms, beekeeping and raising chicken. It's not a thick book, so it doesn't cover all of these in great detail, but was definitely enough to whet my appetite in many of these different areas.

As we're heading into winter and I have very little desire to keep bees or chickens, it seemed like the easiest and most logical place to start is with sprouting. It looks pretty easy and has started launching some great how-to videos on YouTube so I'm pretty confident that I can do it. Basically you soak the seeds and then rinse and drain every twelve hours until they're ready to eat (4-10 days depending on the type of sprout) and then you have a delicious supply of sprouts. That's the idea anyway, I just unpacked mine, so we'll see. Here's my "kit":

I decided to put together my own kit as they were having a great sale on several sample packs and it was going to allow me to try more things. Here's what I ordered:
  • Easy Sprout Sprouter - this is the Sprout People's favorite sprouting tool and it looked pretty much fool-proof, so here's hoping I do it right!
  • Leafy Sprout Sampler Pack
  • Bean Sprout Sampler Pack
  • Grain Mix Sampler Pack

I decided to start with the most basic leafy mix, red clover and alfafa. I wanted to start with a mild mix so that it's sort of a base for comparison with the more "exotic" leafy mixes that came in the sample-pack.

So here are my grains soaking - that's step one people! Only four more days until i have yummy sprouts!

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bostezo said...

Are you going to be here to eat the sprouts? I thought you were visiting your parents.
Are you going to be around this weekend? I need the Urban Homestead book back. Maybe you can talk to Nate about irrigation.

Marion said...

I found your blog! I'll be very interested how the sprouts turn out. It sounds like a brilliant idea.

TheBetterHalf said...

It's about darn time you blogged again! Such a wonderful distraction... :)