Sprouting - A Beginners Observations

One of our fans wrote a great little blog for all of us to read:) Thanks Sara!!

A couple weeks ago I was yearning for the healthy taste of something nutritious and homegrown. As a person who lives in a cold northern climate, it was still snowing daily at my new home. With minimal indoor growing options, I decided to give something new a try. These funny looking squiggly things called sprouts. I am new to the homesteader lifestyle, and was excited about learning something new.

A quick search on produced many options for sprouts and sprouting accessories. With limited experience with sprouts, I chose a nice sweet and mellow flavored alfalfa sprout from the Sprout House. Having a limited budget, I went with the basic set up and made my own sprouting kit instead of buying one. There are many fine setups out there, but I chose to make my own. 

The set up that I put together for my sprouts are pictured to the left. My kit includes the sprouts, a tablespoon, a freshly washed pint Mason jar with metal ring, and plastic netting. It is very important to allow the seeds air flow to ensure they don’t become moldy and spoil. Due to not having any cheese cloth or an actual sprout screen that screws onto the Mason jar, I made my own. The netting was leftover from some garlic bulbs I purchased at the grocery store which came in a white plastic netted sleeve. This worked perfectly for letting in air, while keeping in all my little seeds. 

To get started, I simply measured a tablespoon of the alfalfa seeds, and checked them for any irregularities, small stones, or anything that looked like it didn’t belong. From there I poured the seeds into the jar, added filtered water and swirled them around to make sure the seeds were all submerged in the water and not sticking to the sides of the jar. I placed the netting and ring on the jar and left it to sit upright for a day to activate the seeds growing process. To complete all of the steps took about 10 minutes and left me feeling proud and accomplished.

The next couple days brought me these lovely moments of excitement every time I would take a peek at my Mason jar. It seemed like every couple of hours the seeds were one step closer to harvesting.

On day two, once the seeds had soaked overnight, I emptied the water from the jar by draining the alfalfa seeds through the screen. I added more purified water, swirled it around the jar and emptied it once more. The entire process from the start to finish will last about seven days. Twice each day add water, swirl it around, and drain the water. Sprout seeds do not need sunlight, and it is advisable to keep them out of sunlight. This is for two reasons; to reduce the amount of leaves by kick and to reduce the chance of mold growing in your sprouting container.

DAY 3 (close up)
I was amazed by day 3 the seeds had begun to sprout. From that point on, it was off to the races and those little seeds were hard at work! Day’s four, five and six showed drastic changes, even from the morning rinse to the evening rinse, changes were noticeable. 

DAY 7 - Let's eat!!
Day seven brought me to the completion of my sprouting experiment. The sprouts were about three quarters, to an inch long, and just barely started to form tiny little leaves. I rinsed them one more time and removed them from the jar. For storage, I placed the sprouts in a left over plastic container that I bought grape tomatoes in, and kept them in the refrigerator. As a reward to myself for all my “hard” work growing these alfalfa sprouts, I made a sandwich and replaced the lettuce with the sprouts. Yum!

Sprouts are such amazing little plants that pack a nutritional punch with each bite. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, these little miracle seedlings can give a nourishing boost to any meal, side dish (I like to add them to my rice), or smoothie. Using only a couple inches of counter space, growing sprouts takes up virtually no room at all, they are very low maintenance, and taste great. If a newbie like me can grow a jar full of sprouts on her first try, I am sure you can too. I am looking forward to trying additional varieties in the near future such as clover, broccoli and radish sprouts. I may even move onto Mung beans. The varieties are nearly endless. I hope you give sprouts a try, you will not be disappointed!


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  2. I've been looking for instructions on sprouting for some time. This article was easy to understand, and easy to follow with step by step pics. Thanks!!! :)