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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Winter kitchen gardens: Sprouts

Winter kitchen gardens: Sprouts

A former member
Post #: 201
With cold weather just around the corner it's time to think of seed sprouting. I came across an informative discussion at the Kitchen Gardeners site:


I've sprouted my own mung beans for many years using a glass jar, and recently began to sprout alfalfa seeds in the clear plastic containers that some purchased vegetables come in. With a piece of cotton cloth in the bottom they work very well.

I mentioned last spring that I was going to do some experimenting with growing my own onion, carrot, parsnip, and leek seeds. Well, it didn't work out very well. The parsnip and carrot started off just fine and then rotted. The onion, for unknown reasons, didn't grow. But the leek grew well and developed a large seed head. However, spending a little time reading about seed saving, I learned that while some crops, including tomatoes, beans and squash work out very well, others, including carrots and onion, do not do well in the small garden. It seems that they need to grow in a large patch or they will rapidly inbreed, producing inferior seeds.

But I was wondering about perhaps planting a small patch of say, radishes, with the idea that I would let them go to seed and sprout them. Perhaps another failed experiment, but never the less fun to try.

By the way, speaking of fun--I finally had enough room to play around with saved squash seeds. For quite a few years now my gardens have just been too small to use space needed for my favorite plant, winter squash, for a risky who-knows-what squash that might result from saved seed. But with a little more room, this year I planted seeds from an envelop that I had marked: the colorful acorn type squash. I guess it must have been Carnival squash. Well, here's what I got: Two very large, deep green, zucchini-shaped but with bumps, squash. Three very attractive smallish pumpkin-looking squash, however they are mottled dark and light green. Three miniature pumpkins the size of gourds (I grew those last year). A huge zucchini that produced half green and half yellow fruits. Interestingly, it was my only squash plant that was not heavily infected with powdery mildew. If only I had known how happy I was going to be with that plant I would have tried hand pollinating and saved the seeds. And finally, a vined acorn that produced so many acorns that I lost count. Now there was a keeper as well. Next year I'm just going to have to learn to hand pollinate and save one squash per experiment.

incidentally, next year I want to test out the possibility that it was that scarlet runner bean plant that helped make that acorn squash so productive. I have found that bean seeds don't remain strongly viable for more than a year, and I had some scarlet runner seeds that I didn't have room for but didn't want to lose. So I stuck a dead sapling tree into the squash hill and planted beans to climb the pole. If it turns out that the squash benefited from the nitrogen from the bean that will just be the frosting on the cake, because I already found that the humming birds loved to visit the bean flowers and the birds were happy for the spot to perch.

Now isn't saving squash seeds more fun than a barrel of monkeys? biggrin
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 72
Johnny seeds has a selection of seed for sprouting. I purchased the sprouting vessel they offer last year. Its design helps prevent rotting.

A former member
Post #: 202
Here is some interesting information on sprouting rice before you cook it:


It seems that 24 hours in warm water is all that is needed.


Researchers have found that a compound that helps rice seed grow, springs back into action when brown rice is placed in water overnight before cooking, significantly reducing the nerve and vascular damage that often result from diabetes.

Germinated brown rice's ability to help diabetics lower their blood sugar has been shown but how it works remained unknown. New research, published online in the Journal of Lipid Research, shows the growth factor acylated steryl glucosides or ASG, helps normalize blood sugar and enzymes that are out-of-whack in diabetes.

And from the first article listed in "Related Articles" to the right of that page:

Pre-germinated rice (PR) is an emerging health food whereby brown rice is soaked in warm water prior to cooking; the warm bath induces germination, or sprouting, which stimulates rice enzymes to produce more nutrients.
Merry H.
Portland, ME
Post #: 15
Interesting, Mary.

NOURISHING TRADITIONS by Sally Fallon, the cookbook of the Weston Price Foundation, has long advocated soaking all grains and beans overnight before cooking for just this reason. Germination appears to improve the nutrition of many foods.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 574
I also soak my oats overnight before making oatmeal. Heard this made more minerals available...wives' tale? Makes for shorter cooking time at the very least.
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