It’s that time of year: time to get those seedlings a’sproutin for this years new and improved urban garden! I learned a lot from our adventures last year and I’m ready to make this one the best one yet.
Thus far I have the tomatoes, jalapenos, squash and cucumbers starting in the greenhouse (read: spare bedroom). As soon as the squash outgrow their tiny pots here, they will be moved to my storefront (with huge windows) to further grow inside before they can start their lives outside. Herbs in jars have also been started as there was a huge response when my storefront customers were polled.
One of our avocado pits was planted last week and this one is almost ready. Lots of great “growing” energy in the house. I love it!
I was told recently that I’m very thrifty and resourceful when it comes to food in the house. Why, thank you! I’m not sure if I’m actually thrifty or it’s that I just hate wasting food or throwing live things away. For instance, I really don’t like spider plants but can’t bear to toss the little spikey babies, thus I have loads of spider plants (Would anyone like one? Please?). The same goes for the ends of green onions and lettuce too. A little water in a dish (changed daily to avoid funk) and the end of your cut romaine/iceburg/butter lettuce will quickly begin to sprout new edible greens. Not only is this a great way to stretch your food budget but also cheers your kitchen too!
I am also in the process of sprouting an avocado (just for giggles), and we have some onion sprouts to throw in our salads this week. Onion sprouts are deliciously oniony without the large chunky crunch of real onions, though take 2-3 weeks of care before being edible.
I don’t know what it is about sprouts that make me all giddy and weak in the knees, but I love them. I can’t get enough. You think I like pho for the just carbs and broth? The Mongolian BBQ bowls where you ‘make your own’ consists of sprouts with a hint of noodle and chicken for color. One of my favorite lunch time eats is a turkey sandwich. Boring, right? Not when you throw a handful of sprouts and chopped red onion on there. [insert drool here]
One of the coolest thing about these little guys is that you can grow them yourself for a fraction of the cost and you know exactly how fresh they are. I picked up a sprouting jar – which is pretty low tech on the scale of what you can get if you’re uber serious about this (think buckets) – for around $7 at the local crunchy health food store. If that’s too much for your pocket book, they also sell mesh screw on tops for Mason jars you might already have for about a buck. Choose your weapon (read: seed of choice), soak a teaspoon or so in water for 12 hours or overnight, drain, and rinse twice daily in cold water until your little sprouts are ready to eat. I sprout alfalfa seeds the most often and are what is pictured. I’ve also done mung beans for homemade pho and broccoli and lentils. All are great even just to snack on.
So now you can sprout your own eats right on your counter-top year round. It’s always perfect weather and you don’t have to play in the dirt. Go do it. You know you want to.