Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When I saw this morning that Colin Beavan had mentioned sprouting on his No Impact Man blog as an easy way to start growing your own food, I just had to join the fun.

This quart jar of sprouts was started last Wednesday with 1 Tbs each organic radish, red clover, and alfalfa seeds, rinsed and drained twice a day morning and evening each day since.

In this picture are the sprouts remaining, and continuing to grow, after I've already enjoyed several servings atop salads and on sandwiches.

Growing my own sprouts is a two-fold environmental act.

First, I'm avoiding the environmental costs associated with grocery store packaging, storage and transportation.

At the same time, I'm returning the means of production to the hands of the people (well, this one person) while becoming more engaged with and aware of where my food comes from--actual living, growing things. This, for me, has value for both body and spirit.

If I were to buy sprouts at the grocery store they would be packaged in a one-time-use plastic carton which required energy to make and would require additional energy to recycle. My glass jar may have been more energy intensive to produce, but it is essentially infinitely reusable. Grocery store sprouts are started off site, transported to the store, refrigerated and misted until purchase, transported home, then must be refrigerated until they're used up. Because they're sold at peak growth, they have a shorter useful life for the consumer. When I've bought grocery store sprouts I rarely use them up before they start to get slimy.

Today, this tiny forest in a jar is sitting on an old wooden trunk by a south-facing window in our kitchen, while heavy snow falls outside.

It is a reminder that spring is just around the corner, a reminder of the force to grow contained within all living things, including myself.

(c)2010 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing


  1. you do not need to keep in a cupboard? old days I did and had to drain into a bowl so needed to lean against something. yours, basically, sits like this in the window? [sandi]

  2. If I were growing bean sprouts I would wrap the jar in a towel or keep it in a dark place. Apparently, beans produce a bitter substance when their sprouts and leaves turn green in the light. I have a vague memory that the taste may be from a substance (besides chlorophyll) that isn't so good for you.

    I don't think this is a problem with alfalfa, red clover and radish sprouts. Besides, I like the taste better when the tiny leaves turn green.