September 2012 Newsletter
Do you feel a chill in the air? It’s been a great summer of gardening and enjoying a delicious harvest of fresh veggies and fruits. There is still work to do in the garden, but as the weather gets colder it will soon be time to wrap up this gardening season and spend more time indoors.
You probably already know that sprouting indoors is a great way to keep growing food during the colder months, but getting seeds to sprout successfully can be a bit tricky sometimes. At Hometown Seeds we love sprouting seeds, and are working on creating a great resource for you–the Sprouting Guide! For now, though, we’d like to share some great tips and ideas for getting the most out of your sprouting and enjoy super-nutritious, delicious sprouts year round!
What to Sprout
If you look for sprouts at the grocery stores, odds are good you’ll only find a few varieties. The truth is that there are lots of seeds that you can sprout at home, giving you plenty of selection and variety in your diet.
Some great seeds to sprout include beans (Mung, Adzuki), wheat (red, white), lentils (red, green), peas, clover, and sunflower. Each of these types provides its own unique flavor.
Ways to Sprout
When it comes to sprouting your own seeds, you have a few options:
Bag: A very simple way to sprout seeds, the bag method uses a breathable bag (made of material such as hemp) to rinse and drain seeds.
Jar: A jar with a sprouting lid or mesh is used to hold the sprouting seeds, which are rinsed with water and drained through the top.
Sprouter / Sprouting Trays: Best for those who want to grow multiple types of sprouts in a small amount of space. Sprouting trays are stacked on top of each other to hold the seeds.
Keys to Successful Sprouting
There are some important things to remember during the sprouting process if you want the best possible sprouting results:
-Remember to rinse the seeds 2-3 times a day, depending on type.
-Drain your sprouts thoroughly after each rinsing. This is vital if you want to prevent mold and spoilage, which can mean a ruined crop.
-Let the seeds soak for the right amount of time in warm water before starting the rinsing and draining process. This is usually between 6-24 hours, depending on size/type of seed.
-If using a jar to sprout, tilt the jar at an angle after rinsing and draining to make sure any leftover water can leave the jar.
-Allow air to circulate in the sprouting container to help prevent mold.
-Keep sprouting seeds out of the light until they start showing leaves. At this point, you can set them in a sunny spot for a few hours to let them develop a green color.
-It may go without saying, but If mold shows up on your sprouts DO NOT eat them. Toss them out and start over.
-Make sure to use organic sprouting seeds when you sprout, since you will be eating the actual seeds.
Good luck and happy sprouting!
Gardening Question of the Month
Q: How do I know if my pumpkin is ready to pick?
A: A pumpkin is ripe when the skin looks orange (or mostly orange). This is not the only way to tell, however (which is great, since not all pumpkin varieties are orange!). Look for shriveling vines and leaves that have started to turn crispy. You can also thump the pumpkin to determine ripeness. A hollow sound indicates that it’s ready to harvest. The skin of the pumpkin should be quite hard–a ripe pumpkin’s skin should not puncture when poked with your thumbnail.
This month’s recipe was submitted by one of our readers! Enjoy!
Cream Peas & Potatoes
Cut and Boil 4 or 5 medium red garden potatoes until firm but tender
1/2 C. butter (melted)
add 1/4 C. flour – stir with whisk
add 1 1/3 C. milk – a little at a time
add 1/2 tsp salt & few grains pepper
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Stir until thickens (no boiling)
Add fresh or frozen garden peas. If frozen, rinse in hot water until green.