Friday, March 6, 2009

Sprouting - Our First Crop

We've been planning to sell our produce at the Rochester Famer's Market, which opens in May. Since we won't have a crop ready yet, we came up with a brainstorm idea: to grow sprouts to sell. Sprouts are fast-growing, extremely nutritious, tasty and nobody else has been selling them there.

I found a fantastic source of organic seeds and information at the Sprout People website and ordered several seed mixes to try. This batch of spicy mix seeds was my first crop. After soaking for 8 hours, the sprouts are rinsed every 12 hours. I purchased a large metal strainer at a restaurant supply store that is perfect for rinsing the small seeds before they have grown much.
For the final rinse, I soak the spouts in water in my salad spinner and scoop out the hulls. Then the salad spinner is fantastic for getting the water out of the mix -very important. For growing containers, I have experimented with deli buckets with holes drilled in the bottom, heavy-duty office in-boxes with a layer of plastic neede-craft mesh for drainage(my own ingenious but imperfect invention), and was finally overjoyed to find some large, plastic colanders which work the best so far. Here are the French Garden mix and the Italian Blend sprouts after their final rinse, set on the counter to green up a bit.

Starting with 6 ounces of seeds resulted in 3o ounces of finished sprouts. The chickens happily devoured the hulls and the stray sprouts that sneaked out of the colander during the rinses.
We have more sprouts now than we can keep up with eating, so yesterday I delivered sprouts in zip-lock bags to a bunch of friends to try. I drove up to one woman's house in my daughter's decrepit old car that was tagged with graffiti from when she was living in Chicago and carried two baggies to the door. When she answered she laughed that it looked like I was delivering marijuana. (I am sure that would be a more profitable crop than sprouts!)


Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

Yum! Wish I were coming to Rochester soon!

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Those look great! I bet they taste even better. I've thought about getting one of those kitchen sprouters that I've seen in the Territorial Seed catalog. I've grown micro greens before too- yummy in salads!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

These will be great...I'll put out the word to all blotanical members;) We should be arriving soon!

gz said...

How is Spring coming along there?
I like your countdown!
I'm about to plant my potatoes here (South Wales) and I'm running out of windowsills!!