Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Frugal Friday: Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts make a great, crunchy addition to our salads, sandwiches, and wraps, but they only rarely made it onto the grocery list because they’re a bit pricy at the store. Fortunately, we happened to find a pack of alfalfa seeds for about the same price as a container of the sprouts. Here’s how to grow your own alfalfa sprouts from seed:

All you need is a large glass jar, bleach, a cheesecloth or mesh material, a rubber band, an extra towel, and a few days.  The seeds should be kept away from sunlight throughout the process until the very end. 1  1/2 T. of alfalfa seed will yield a large jar’s worth of sprouts!

  1. Place 1 1/2 T. of alfalfa seed in your jar, then soak the seeds in a diluted bleach bath- 1 tsp. bleach in 1 c. hot water for 15 minutes (apparently the seeds can carry E. coli if not disinfected).  Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or mesh material secured with a rubber band instead of the lid.
  2. After soaking, rinse and drain the seeds thoroughly- fill the jar with water, swirl it, then drain completely at least 3 times (the cheesecloth or mesh should strain the water out while your seeds stay in).
  3. Fill the jar with water about 3x the height of your seeds and allow to soak overnight, 8 – 12 hours. Cover the jar with a towel to prevent any light exposure.
  4. Next rinse the seeds, drain the water, and rotate the jar so the seeds spread out and stick to the sides. Then cover with your towel and prop at an angle to promote drainage, and let sit for 3 – 4 hours.
  5. Repeat step 4 three times a day.
  6. Your sprouts should be ready to harvest within 4 – 6 days, when they are about 1 – 2 inches long. Before harvesting, let the jar sit in indirect sunlight so the sprouts will produce chlorophyll and turn green. 
  7. Then rinse, drain, and allow to dry before storing in a closed container in the fridge. Ours have kept for over a week when dried out completely in the salad spinner, though you do lose a few sprouts that way.

  Day 2  

End of Day 1                              End of Day 2                           End of Day 3

End of Day 4, Greening

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: