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Grow Food At Home

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First in a new series of desert ideas.
A Word About Food Safety
Learn About Sprouting Here- Grow Food at Home! It's Easy.
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Seed Swap

Sprouting is a miraculous means of growing super-nutritious food at home for pennies on the dollar.   All you need is a large tray, seeds, organic compost, water, rubber tubing to match length needed, two weeks time and good natural lighting.

Your start begins with seeds.  For our purposes, I suggest sunflower sprouting seeds from sproutman.com.  Sunflower greens are delicious (as you shall see), easy to grow and rate very high on the scale of vitamins, minerals and much more!  You can either soak seeds overnight, or plant them straight out.  Soaking speeds the process by a couple of days on average.
 
 
 
First, make sure your tray can drain.  Drill a hole and fasten the rubber hose using coarse garden mesh as the filter.  O-clamps, bushings, nylon fittings are all good things to use.  Be creative and keep it simple.  Remember, your tray must drain and it must of course drain into a bucket or sink- otherwise you'll end up with a mess.  Use your judgement, but make sure your tray drains quickly, standing water is not good.
 
What happens it this:  You fill your tray with 1/2 inch compost, then you spread a 2 layer thick carpet of seeds to cover surface.  Then you cover seeds with a 1/4 inch compost layer.  This makes the tray ready for watering.
 
Place the tray on any support allowing for draining and water twice each day for 2 weeks. 
 
The sprouts will begin to grow and you will notice the soil becoming elevated.  Use watering to break up the soil and make it easier for the sprouts to emerge.  Wearing latex gloves, you can somtimes help this process along as well as begin to clean empty hulls which will sometimes cling to their respective cotyledon (first leaves).  This preening is fun and gets better as you sing to your sprouts!  They like soothing songs.
 
At 10 to 14 days depending on temperature, light and other conditions, the sprouts will be ready for harvesting.  Cut the baby plants just above the purple coloration on the stalk.  Most sprouts have this coloration and are easy to cut, mainly you want to keep the leaves and about an inch of stem.  Collect the cut sprouts and wash.
 
Washing is important.  Be thorough and make sure you clean them well.  Think of using a lettuce spinner.   Allow the sprouts to drain and then package them in mesh, fishnet stocking size holes.  This way they will last much longer in the refrigerator.  They can last well into a month.  Keep them dry!
 
Next, you are ready to process and consume your delicious sunflower greens.   

Sprouts are a rich staple ready for use as salad, veggie burgers, soup, stir-fry and much more.  You can even use them to make bread.  We will show you how to do this.

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