Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
"Creating Places Where People Meet to Grow"
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens is a
proud program of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation
Our mission is to:"cultivate, educate, and serve the community throughurban garden projects in the Pikes Peak region".
If you can't grow a garden outside then try growing one inside! Growing your own sprouts is easy and a great way to get those extra vitamins and minerals you need. In just 5 to 7 days you can have a handful of delicious sprouts for salads or sandwiches.
The Science: Seeds can be stored for years before they are planted or sprouted. Moisture and warmth are the key factors that make seeds sprout. If you want to store seeds for a year or more then store them in a cool, dry place.
Inside the seed is stored food that is used by the newly emerging plant. This food is usually in the form of starches, proteins and fats. As the seed begins to sprout or germinate these substances are changed into sugars, amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and easier to digest forms of fat called fatty acids.
When we eat sprouts we get so much more nutrition than if we ate them as seeds.
As you get good at sprouting you may want to try different types of seeds. Each will have their own particular number of days to germinate. Do research on line and learn how to grow them. Not all will grow well in a jar.
Remember only use seeds that are from a reliable seed company that state they are specifically for sprouting.
Here are some varieties that you may wish to try. You will have fun finding new ways to enjoy them with your meals. Happy sprouting!
Spicy Mix: radish, alfalfa and clover
NOTE: Once you start sprouting your seeds you will need to rinse them twice a day. The steps below will show you how.
STEP ONE: Buy seeds that are labeled for sprouting. This is very important. You need clean, certified sprouting seeds. We buy our seeds from local garden shops like Phelan Gardens on Austin Bluffs in Colorado Springs, local natural food stores or on- line from Johnny's Seeds.
STEP TWO: After your seeds have arrived in the mail you are now ready to get all your materials together.
STEP THREE: Add 1 and one half tablespoons of either broccoli seeds (shown here), alfalfa or radish to your clean one quart mason jar.
STEP FOUR: Now add 3/4th cup of room temperature water and screw the screened lid in place. Make sure it is tight on the jar.
STEP FIVE: Place the jar with the seeds and water on a counter top in a bright location but not in the direct sun. Let the seeds soak for 8 to 12 hours. We usually start soaking either just before we go to bed or the first thing in the morning.
STEP SIX: After 8 to 12 hours of soaking the seeds are ready for their first rinse. Pour out the soaking water.
STEP SEVEN: Now fill the jar about one half full (don't need to be exact) of room temperature water. Swirl the seeds to get them thorougly rinsed.
STEP EIGHT: Pour out the water, lightly shake the seeds to remove all the water from the jar. Seeds don't like sitting in small puddles of water left in the jar.
STEP NINE: Lightly shake the seeds to cover the sides of the jar as shown and tip on an angle in your plasitic container as shown. Set on your kitchen counter in a bright location but out of the direct sun. You will need to rinse your seeds twice a day until they are finished. We recommend rinsing once in the early morning and once in the evening.
STEP TEN: Continue to rinse your seeds twice day as described above. After a few days you will be able to see the long roots and the leaves begin to form.
STEP ELEVEN: As your seeds sprout and when you rinse them you will notice the brown seed coats start to float off the sprouts. Don't worry about them just yet. In the next day or two you will want to take the lid off and carefully pour them out of your jar (also be careful to make sure you don't pour out too many of the sprouts) when your sprouts are bit bigger.
STEP TWELVE: Continue to rinse twice a day, pour off all water and set at an angle in your plastic container as shown in step nine.
These are your finished sprouts. The ones shown are broccoli sprouts. We remove them from the jar and set them on a paper towel to dry for a few hours. Again we do this out of the direct sun.
After three or four hours of drying we place the sprouts on a fresh piece of paper towel and place them in a plastic bag as shown.
We then place the plastic bag in the refrigerator and use them in salads, on top of bakes potatoes, or in sandwiches. Use them within a week.