Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seeds and Sprouts

It's that time again...have you ordered your seeds this year? Well, neither have I. But today is the day I make the decisions, take advantage of a coupon or two, and get the order in. Cruising through the files, I realize all the arugula seed is used up, carrot and chard also. But, I did discover four packets of peas..bonus! We are rather fond of peas and fresh pea shoots as well and this is the time of year when we germinate them.
Last year, the growth was rather sluggish which I attributed to it being rather cold on the windowsill so this year, I potted two lots up and gave them some bottom heat. Well, what a difference! Also, I hung a grow light up early this year, so they are doing quite well now so hopefully soon, we can harvest the greens. If you would like to read a past post about this, click here.

It's also a good time to start some sprouts indoors and although I have some experience with this, there's always new information out there. Locally, I notice a Grow your own sprout event happening, and as it's open to everyone, I would like to pass on the invite. You must register though.

Put Some LIFE in Your Winter Diet: SPROUT
Join Georgia Barnwell, DHN, Nutrition Consultant and Living Food educator Monday, January 28, 2pm at AEnon Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, Chester Basin. Learn how you can grow nutritious and tasty fresh sprouts. Sprouts are nature's superfood - they bring the highest nutrition density of any food, and cost pennies a day. They are full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein and can energize your winter diet. Learn how to grow sprouts in jars and soil, and taste the goodness of a variety of sprouts e.g. alfalfa, pea, buckwheat, radish and sunflower. To learn more about go to www.cuisineforlife.ca . Sponsored by Basin Gardeners Association. To register, call 273-2000. 

I didn't fully realize till recently, how nutrient packed micro greens and sprouts were but over at Seed to Green, where they offer a great selection of seed, (a Canadian company BTW) they explain beautifully why this is nature's superfood. There are sprouts I haven't tried...didn't think to...so as I flip through my old seed packets, organic and past due, will try sprouting those edible, in my mason jar with the screen on top. Am going to begin with the Ancient Eastern Blend I have on hand though.
It is important to rinse the seeds as directed on the packet. And, ahem..if you are going away for a few days, you must pass on this valuable information clearly and precisely to the person, (not mentioning any names) who is going to have to keep rinsing the seeds or you end up with a not so pleasant mix of rotting sprouts whose smell will meet you when you walk in the kitchen.

Update to what else is growing under the lights in the summerhouse..."Speedy Veg". Have you seen those in the shops..ready to eat in three weeks. Thought I would try a few packets.
A simple growlight will get your greens growing when there is snow outside.
The investment of one florescent light fixture, (doesn't have to be swanky, just a Home Hardware thing) with a grow light bulb inserted on one side and natural spectrum on the other, will provide you with your own greens during this cold Nova Scotia season, and in a few months, will help with the seeds you start indoors for planting out.
Now, must get that seed order sent...going with more purple and reds this year as I think plants that color aren't bothered with insects as much. What do you think?