Sprout Farming in a Jar
Anyone can grow sprouts at home. You don’t need a garden or soil. You hardly even need any space. The best spot is near a sink since you do need to water. Sprouts can be grown from almost any kind of bean or special sprouting see. Here are some suggestions: dried peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, mung beans, kidney beans, alfalfa seeds, radish seeds, sunflower seeds, whole wheat or rye kernels. You can buy sprouting seeds at natural foods stores or by mail. One good place is Sproutpeople.
- beans or seeds
- 1-quart jar
- mesh such as plastic screening, cheesecloth, or clean nylon stocking
- canning jar ring or heavy rubber band
- shallow bowl
Put 1/4 cup of beans or 2 tablespoons of small sprouting seeds in the jar. Fill the jar to the middle with water. Let this sit on the counter or table for 6 to 12 hours.
Cover the mouth of the jar with the mesh. Hold it down with the jar ring or rubber band. Pour the water out carefully, so you don’t lose any of the seeds.
For the next few days, rinse the seeds through the cover with cool water. Then pour the water out. Do it a second time right away. Shake the jar so the seeds spread out and have room to grow. Do this several times a day. The idea is to keep the seeds damp-but not wet-and to give them plenty of air. The more often sprouts are rinsed, the better they will be.
After each rinsing, turn the jar over and let it rest on an angle in a shallow bowl. Store it in a warm, dark place-for example, a kitchen cabinet.
In 3 to 5 days, when you see tiny tails appear from the seeds, the sprouts are just about done. If you want, you can leave the sprout jar out on the counter for a few hours-just until the tips of the sprouts are a little bit green.
When the sprouts are ready, put them in the refrigerator in the sprout jar or in a container that allows some air to get to them. Make sure they are well drained before you store them, so they don’t become soggy and start to rot.
Eat the sprouts in the next few days. Start another crop right away, so you will always have enough.
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