After a break from sprouting, I decided to wash out my sprouting trays and begin using them once again.
So … having soaked the first lot of seeds, which are tiny alfalfa seeds that have been soaked for four hours in a little jug of water, I drained the water off. Then laid the seeds fairly evenly on top of the the first tray which has been put back onto the little sprouting tray rack and placed in a light airy place to encourage the seeds to germinate.
The seeds sprout – firstly the roots pop out followed by the green shoots – once both ends of the seed has begun to grow the seeds or the sprouts as they are now called, can be eaten. They are a useful addition to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and can even be lightly boiled or steamed as a vegetable in any meal. There are far more nutrients once a seed, pea or bean has been sprouted before they are eaten.. They also far more nutritious than when allowed to grow into a full size plant. No soil is required … just water, light and warmth. Many people add them to cakes, puddings and pies and even to bread and buns.
Seeds may be sprouted on trays like above or simply in jam jars. There is only one rule that needs to be followed – they should be placed into a little water (so that all of the seeds are covered) every twelve hours just for a few moments then the water is drained off. Seeds may then be cropped after a few short days. Virtually any seed can be used for sprouting – but if you wish to try it then don’t waste money by buying special seeds – any seed from the supermarket will do. If it is the first time you are about to try sprouting then perhaps try Mung Beans. These grow very quickly – they are the sort of bean that will turn into what are sold as bean sprouts for stir fries. No need to wait until they are that long though – half-an-inch to an inch is best to reap the seeds at their most nutritious. If using a jar then it is best to place a small square of thin cloth or muslin at the open end and either put a rubber band to keep the cloth in place or tie up with a piece of string.
The practice of growing plants by using water alone is called hydroponics.