There are areas in this country where winter creates an environment where fresh food becomes impossible to grow. Snow storms and frozen landscapes prohibit outside gardening on any level.

Thinking about eating fresh greens is just that – a thought saved for another time, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can eat fresh greens year round if you know what to grow and how to grow indoors, in the comfort of your kitchen, pantry, or other areas of the house.

Back in the 1950’s, a woman by the name of Ann Wigmore developed a way to eat fresh greens and maintain nutrition year round without depending on farms and other growers to supply fresh produce. Her method was sprouting grains and seeds indoors. Her three major crops were sunflower seed greens, buckwheat lettuce, and wheatgrass. These are all grown in soil and harvested within 14 days. There are other sprouts grown in water that also can be grown and eaten as fresh produce.

The equipment you will need to grow sprouts includes the following:

Bowls or jars for soaking seed and grain

Nylon mesh or colanders for draining soaked seeds and grains

Restaurant trays for sprouting the seeds, or nursery trays if you are going to be growing in a water-draining area. You will need 2 trays for every seed/grain you grow.

Organic soil or other clean soil

Optional – seaweed emulsion to add to spray wate

Optional – a clean container for spraying wate

The seeds you will need for sprouting and growing; these can be bought in bulk in health-food stores, or Whole Food-like stores

Raw unshelled sunflower seeds, either black or striped varieties

Raw unshelled buckwheat seeds

Raw wheat berries, preferably hard, red, winter wheat

Make sure all of these seeds are raw; roasted or cooked seeds WILL NOT SPROUT.

Instructions for sprouting seeds and grains;

Soak separately:

1 cup raw sunflower seeds in water for 8-10 hours

1 cup raw buckwheat in water for 8 hours

1 cup raw wheat berries in water for 8-10 hours

After soaking:

Drain each seed separately, and rinse each seed variety

Let germinate until a little root develops – usually 6-8 hours

When roots are noticeable, prepare trays with a shallow layer of soil. If you are using nursery trays, place in an area where water can drain.

Pat the soil down and sprinkle one kind of seed on each tray, covering the soil.

DO NOT COVER THE SEEDS WITH SOIL

Wet the trays so that the soil is moist, but not dripping

Cover each tray with another tray (or a large black plastic bag).

Keep tray covered for three days. They do not need light or water until they have developed a root system in the soil.

Uncover after three days and let grow in in-direct light, and keep the seeds moist.

After 10-14 days, they will be ready to harvest.

Harvesting and using sprouts:

Take a sharp knife or kitchen shears and cut the sunflower seed greens at the stem level. If there are shell-heads still left on the sprouts, gently remove them. This can be repeated with the buckwheat lettuce.

The sunflower seed greens and buckwheat sprouts can be used in salads and blended drinks.

Harvesting and using wheatgrass:

Harvest wheatgrass close to the roots. Harvest only as much as you are going to use immediately.

Wheatgrass can be juiced and combined with carrot juice, orange juice, or fresh apple juice, or it can be consumed alone. Start out with 1 ounce of wheatgrass, and build up to 3-4 ounces per serving.

It is best consumed on an empty stomach, so drink it first thing in the morning.

After harvesting the sprouts:

Use the sprout mats for compost, either in outdoor compost piles, or indoors using large plastic containers, or black plastic bags.

Compost will be usable in 4-6 weeks when composted exclusively with other sprout mats

Seed Shop provides wide range of flower, herb and organic vegetable seeds for sale. If you would like to know more about organic vegetable seeds for gardening visit http://SeedShop.com.
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