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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Simple Winter Gardening : Growing your own indoor winter Garden

Winter is the ideal time to add living food to our diets, now that fewer locally grown items are available and most imports are not as fresh, nutritious or very affordable.
Any easy way to give your body a boost this winter is grow your own sprouts. 
It is inexpensive and a lot easier than you may think.     Sprouts can be grown from many types of seeds and legumes.   It requires very little space and all you need is some simple equipment, water, seeds or legumes.  Once sprouted, the seeds will continue to grow like an indoor garden and require little care.  They are many different sprouting kits available in health and specialty shops or you can buy on line.  
I got my first one at a trade show – The Green Living Show in Toronto  (http://www.greenlivingonline.com/torontoshow/ 
(http://www.sproutgrowers.com/).    Seeds, beans and legumes for sprouting can be purchased at various websites, health and specialty food shops and your local grocery store.  Good ways to incorporate them into your diet is by adding them to your favourite salads, sandwiches or soups.

Benefits of sprouting :  Studies have shown that sprouts contain exceptionally high levels of natural cancer fighting compounds which help support antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.    According to GrowAlfalfa.com, “The vitamin content of some seeds can increase by up to 20 times their original value within several days of sprouting.”  Sprouts are one of the most alkalizing, nutritious, easily digestible, and easily accessible foods.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes, they can be grown easily in four to six days.

Growing Sprouts:  Many seeds/legumes can be sprouted ie alfalfa, little radish, lentils, mung beans, broccoli, leeks, quinoa, rye, etc.  However, some large beans ie kidney, lima, black beans should not be sprouted as they can be toxic and must be cooked to be digestible – check your local library or on-line for a list of how to safely sprout seeds/beans.   

Step by Step Sprouting:
  1. Rinse seeds under water
  2.  Soak seeds – I use at least 3 times the amount of water as the seeds will swell.
  3. Skim off all floating seeds and debris (this material has been linked to problems with bacterial growth
  4. Drain and rinse again
  5. Transfer seeds to clean jar or tray – keep in an area out of direct sunlight
  6. Rinse your seeds twice daily
  7. After about 4-6 days your sprouts are ready to harvest sprouts, rinse again and refrigerate in a loosely covered container.

Have some fun with your winter garden and enjoy the benefits !
My winter garden :  Green lentils - sprouting
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

3 comments:

  1. Good Morning Janet,


    It was lovely to read your comment on my blog this morning.

    I agree with you. We should enjoy the little things in life. They are the ones who contribute the most to our happiness.

    Have a super day and I hope you are not frozen.

    Marie

    ReplyDelete
  2. what are the best things to grow indoors in the winter in particular?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't done sprouts in months...you've inspired me!

    ReplyDelete

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