Monday, April 30, 2012

Post #7 Producing food...inside your home

Remember back you your 2nd grade science class...  Your teacher handed out beans which you covered in a wet towel and put in a dark room.  After a few days, POOF, there was life- the bean burst open and a little green stem shot out.  This bean experiment that most kids go through sheds light on the origin of life.

Now, fast forward to your current, non-second grade science life.  Many of you want to produce food at home but the idea of starting a garden is daunting.  We need fresh vegetables all year round even though winter inhibits year-round vegetable growing.  So the question is 'how can you engage your inner 2nd grade scientist to produce a healthy, inexpensive food source for your family?'  Easy, sprout your own beans!

Say goodbye to packages of store bought sprouts.  Now you can do it at home.
Tap into your second grade imagination to remember that SEEDS ARE AMAZING: they are small yet they contain blueprints for the plant's entire developmental future and they are so unassuming yet they link the plant's past with its future. As you know, seeds are a warehouse of vitamins, minerals and energy to be used by the emerging plant.  Before roots can start taking up minerals from the soil and leaves can start breathing, all of the plant's life comes from the goodness locked inside a seed.  Seeds themselves are often dry and hard so they don't make good eatin', but a sprout is a whole different story.  When the seed germinates and begins to resemble an edible sprout a variety of magical chemical reactions take place: the hard seed becomes soft and palatable, inactive molecules become activated and enzymes, amino acids and minerals become available.  As a great source of protein, sprouts are great for vegetarians.  The benefits of eating sprouts are well known, to start your research see here.

Like this painting suggests, so much is stored in a seed.
How do you sprout your own seeds at home?  Its quite easy- the most popular method consists of just a few simple items:  a jar, a small piece of vinyl mesh, a dark area, water and seeds.  Many different seeds can be sprouted including mung, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and clover.   You can find literally hundreds of websites online that offer instructions for sprouting seeds at home so I suggest searching for a set up that suits your household.  Here are a few with nice, clear videos to get you on your way.  This video  (9 minutes) is easy to follow and very informative.  This video (7 minutes) shows you how to specifically grow sunflower sprouts.  To really save money it's best to buy dry seeds in bulk and store them in a dry place while you continuously make small batches of sprouts in your home.  The following video is strictly for inspiration.  Happy sprouting!  

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