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?


44 comments:

  1. Oh looks so delicious. And is it really that easy??? I just read your previous blog that explains how to do grow sprouts. Thanks for these instructions. Pea sprouts! Must give that a try too. Thanks for the info.
    Lynne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is that easy! Hope you get to try both pea shoots and sprouts. Thanks Lynne.

      Delete
  2. Usually I'm right on this but I still haven't ordered my seeds this year. Notice you have a packet from William Dam, I just recently discovered them and was quite jazzed by some of the seeds they have available. Was looking to buy Tasty Jade cucumbers this year - you sent me seeds last year and I used them all. Did you get them from Johnny's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, William Dam is a good seed company and have a fine selection of seed. Tasty Jade did come from Johnny's..haven't ordered anything from them this year...yet)))

      Delete
  3. Now I know spring is just around the corner. This post was just what I needed on this chilly evening. Thanks for the spring tonic Brenda.
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With the temps 14 below today Donna, not so sure spring is round the corner but, sprouting and starting seeds gives me hope that it is. Spring tonic...yes, that is what it is. Thank you Donna.

      Delete
  4. I love the pea shoot idea. Do you use them like sprouts or more like salad greens?
    Erin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Erin for asking. No, not like a small sprout, but like a young tender salad green. They are about two to three inches tall when they get snipped, although, sometimes they have grown so fast, I have cut them off at five inches and still delicious. If you follow the directions in the initial blog, you can have pea greens pretty quickly. They are not generally a cut and come again but if the shoot it cut above the first true leaves, sometimes they will grow again. By the way, did you notice the pea seeds you sent to me are those at the front? I still have some left in there, thankfully. And thank you.

      Delete
  5. I keep meaning to try growing pea shoots but have never yet got round to ir. Do you eat them uncooked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comments can be so enlightening and encouraging and I love when I get a good question. I only eat the pea shoots raw, added to a salad or on a sandwich. Although, now that I say that... I might have added them to a stir fry once. The flavor is just like peas and you can use any peas (preferably organic) to sprout but above all...never ever use sweet pea seeds as they are poisonous. Will note that in my blog and thank you for reminding me Sue. I also think, some peas have a more tender leaf then others.

      Delete
  6. Mmmmmmmmmmm Mung Bean sprouts! My favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my fav's too! Thanks for commenting Jessica.

      Delete
  7. Great post Brenda! Your photos are beautiful! We have been thinking about doing some sprouts for quite some time. We both love them and have heard it's easy to do your own. Do you find them easy? Maybe I should ask the person who's name is not mentioned if they are easy to sprout?? ha ha!! The blend you are getting ready to try sound really good. Did you make the little felted pea pod?? It's so cute!
    ~Michele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michele for you kind comment. I do hope you try some sprouts as they are amazingly good for you and yes, they grow so fast, easy peasy!

      The pea pod was my first felted sculpture and I just had to include it...made one other and also a scene. A fun class! Thought you would be sure to notice it ;-) Thank you.

      Delete
  8. Great minds think alike - I have a post going out tomorrow about pea-shoots! Can you please explain what a "Grow light bulb" is? Is it sold as such in the shops, or is this just a name you have given it? I need to know what to ask for, because I think I should buy one / some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will look forward to your post Mark, thanks for commenting. The lights I am referring to are generally called Grow lights over here, although different producers give them their own name spin. Just checked and this bulb is called Gro-Lux, wide spectrum light. The other bulb would be just any florescent light you would put in a fixture. So they are both tube lights. Hope that answers your question.

      Delete
    2. I see they are available on Amazon... http://www.amazon.com/inch-Gro-Lux-Spectrum-Fluorescent-Tubes/dp/B007P3T9A2

      Delete
  9. Your post was so interesting and also following the link you had suggested too. We have been recently converting to more of a vegan diet and the sprouts would add an extra tasty treat - also a good way of using up some old seeds. I will be giving this a go!
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hope you like them Sarah. Let me know if you do. Thanks for commenting and thank you for your kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love growing sprouts as well! I sprouted some raw chickpeas and made a fantastic hummus with them. Thanks for the reminder about ordering seeds. Do you recommend getting the heirloom varities?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you have my attention! You sprouted raw chickpeas? I bet the sprouts were delicious! Thank you for the heads up on that and I will try it. How many other edible seeds are out there we just haven't tried to sprout and eat..past due or not.

      Heirlooms..well yes, I mostly stick to heirlooms...but...but....F1 cucumbers do much better for me. I lamented for years I can't grow cukes..I had to adjust my sails so to speak.

      Delete
  12. I love sprouts and grow them not as often as I should. I tend to forget about them even though the human and poultry population of the house love them. :) Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Staci, you have a lot going on in your farm life and wonderful blog and I can understand forgetting about sprouting seeds. Whereas I am surrounded by snow, no chooks sadly.. any excuse to sprout a seed and I am in!!

      Delete
  13. I love pea shoots mixed in with a salad, when I grow normal peas I nip off the tops and eat them as well, which makes the plants grow bushier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahem..and Elaine..I have been known to be in the garden pinching off normal pea leaves and shoots for a snack in spring. They will make the plant grow bushier as you say and meanwhile..we get to eat the profits...would that be fair to say? Big grin ))) Thank you so much for commenting and sharing how you harvest pea shoots.

      Delete
  14. AH I miss my veggie gardens! When my boys were growing up we lived on farm land and had massive gardens. You have "TEMPTED" me with your "OH SO YUMMY" Post, but I have WAY TOO MANY Critters here to plant veggies, UGH!!! I even had to stop feeding the birds because of the bears. OH WELL! I'll remember the days through your beautiful blog...THANK YOU for sharing!!!
    Have a fun week,
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I have enjoyed your blog so much.

      Delete
  15. Hi Bren - this is a fantastic post - packed with information :)

    How wonderful there's you were able to go to a talk about sprouts. And we have Speedy Veg over here too!

    I need to investigate Grow Lights - I'm not sure if they're widely available to the public here in the UK as we don't quite have the long nights like you do. However, I need to find out, because I want to write a post about them as part of ways of extending the growing season.

    Interesting point about your propagator findings too - in view of the experiments I've been doing over at mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My speedy veg actually is Suttons, so it comes from 'across the pond' where you live.

      Grow lights are the ticket. Hope you find similar in Great Britain.

      Propagator findings...always experimenting..you know..it's like opening a new page in gardening; the 'challenge'.

      Ordered my bulls blood beet new seeds. Experimenting...from one seed house in Maine, the other from California. Let's see if there is a difference in beauty, taste and texture.

      Thanks for your comment VP.

      Delete
  16. Our boiler is not working (we have water-filled radiators) and so my days have been filled with searching out a replacement. Sadly, I have given no thoughts to plans for next year's garden, haven't chosen any seeds or placed any orders!
    Thanks for the link to Seed to Green. I checked out the site briefly and will go back when I have more time. We did manage to put a cold frame together last fall and I would love to use it to get going early this spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer...I am sorry about your boiler and hope you don't have freezing in the pipes.

      Well I am sure when spring tickles the nose..your garden seed orders will be sent. That's always my clue if I am not on top of things.

      Seed to Green seems pretty neat.

      You put together a cold frame. Well I hope you have some arugula and other early greens to throw in there in March...so much you can start!!

      Delete
  17. Hello Bren - just calling by and hoping all is well. We ought to do more with seeds - if only we had more time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mark. Your book is doing so well! You are going down to London soon it seems... love that it is noted "highly acclaimed".

      I loved your book, Counting Steps. No wonder you are getting such high praise for it. Bravo Mark.

      Delete
  18. I hadn't realised you were expert in these matters! Thanks for the suggestion about citrus balsamic vinegar - I must look out for some of that.
    I'm hoping that a Grow-light fixture may be my birthday present this year (in March), so thanks for the info about yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I am embarrassed...no not an expert at all, but like you, I love to play with food!! Sautéed pea shoots are lovely with the citrus zing.

      Hope you find the grow light I sent the info on. March is a perfect time to get that birthday present!! Early Happy Birthday.

      Delete
  19. Happy New Year to you, in case I haven't already wished you it. x
    You made me laugh to myself - askign if we ordered our seeds and then telling us, nor have you :) I don't know how organised I will be this year to get growing, but with the cafe coming to an end - I may find more time to playing growing games with my Dad at his plot as well as the garden we have. I am just so sorry the seeds you send over to me so lovingly, and all that palaver around postage and packaging/shipping, I feel really bad for letting you down and letting my seedlings go to the slugs - literally. So this year, speedy veg may be the way forward for me.

    I have a number of bean sprouting kits, but just haven't been able to germinate the seeds to great success, maybe I will give them a go again, seeing that I am now living in slightlier warmer climates than Scotland.

    Oh and you didn't mention it, unless I missed reading about it. In your first image, you have a felted pea - its so lovely. Did you make it yourself, is it a brooch, if not - it should be. Its really pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a great comment. Love your blog, and it is my go to for vegetarian recipes most especially and for exciting food.

      Sorry about the seeds and not having enough time to garden but you are forgiven with the opportunity to start your new restaurant, there was limited time.

      Your dad will be thrilled to have you guide and support in the garden. Speedy Veg is from Suttons in England and I am very pleased with the results.

      BLUSH..yes, my first attempt at felting...and I made a second one much smaller. The first is too big for a broach, which is what I had hoped for it...but I am excited by the felting experiment..and hope to do a few more things. Stand by for aubergines!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for your kindness x I am looking forward to the aubergines, loving your new hobby of felting.

      Delete
  20. HI
    I am Susan Delafield. If you wish I can tell you a bit more about 'my' garlic. It is described here. http://www.seedsanctuary.com/garlic/detail.cfm?ID=23

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting and also, giving the link to the garlic listing. I don't think I knew Susan Delafield garlic was sometimes known as Music! If you have any more comments you might add about garlic and it's cultivation or anything at all, please feel free to say more especially in the garlic posts.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A good post and things to think about doing on a day with two and a half feet of snow. Looking outside, it seems like Spring is so far off and having 64° weather only a week and a half ago, it is almost like Spring is playing tricks on us northern gardeners. Oh BTW, I came by way of Marguerite's blog. You do have a nice blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment and thanks for visiting blog. Yup...a lot of snow out there, but all seems to have settled down into a beautiful still night.

      Delete
  23. We went sprout mad a few years back and had a tray system. A perspex set of drawers in which we rotated the sprouts. Absolutely yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sprout mad...think I have the same tendencies ;-) Just this time of year though. Not fussed on cress I must say, but most others I have tried, I love. Thanks for your comment and letting us know what your system was. A set of drawers sounds interesting to me. Mine, not so glam.

      Delete