About a month ago I was tired of winter. The doldrums had me....well, feeling humdrum. I needed something green. Something needed to grow! Unfortunately nowhere around us sells seeds or sprouts so I hopped on the line and had some friends in Charleston, SC pick up some seeds at a local whole food-type market. Each packet was about $2.99 and we decided after some research to just use mason jars for the actual sprouting. We needed some fresh veggies and we weren"t about to let anything get in our way.
Sprouts are incredibly easy to grow and the result is quite tasty. I wasn't surprised to learn a day or two after "planting" that they are full of vitamins, fiber, protein, and anti-oxidants to an extreme degree! I have had them on both salads and sandwiches but now I could eat them...well, just 'cause!
Indulge me for a second so I can talk just a little about the practical definition of sprouting. Sprouting is the practice of soaking, draining and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they germinate, or sprout. To sprout seeds, the seeds are moistened, then left at room temperature (between 13 °C (55.4 °F) and 21 °C (69.8 °F)) in a sprouting vessel (in my case, a jar). By staggering sowings, a constant supply of young sprouts can be ensured. Any vessel used for sprouting must allow water to drain from it, because sprouts that sit in water will rot quickly. The seeds will swell and begin germinating within a day or two.
As with most gardening topics, there are special vessels and even special lids designed for growing sprouts. And don't get me wrong. Both the Econo-Sprouter Topper and the Screen Lid by SproutPeople seem like excellent products. However, through some blog research I found out a nylon hosiery or even a piece of cheesecloth would do just fine when closed with a rubber band or with the standard jar lid. But enough of that. How do you actually grow sprouts in a jar?