Tag Archives: indoor plants

Adventures in Wheatgrass

16 Jan

A few years ago I experimented with photo-nov-09-5-59-37-pmsprouts. Here is my chia seed sprouting experiment. I also eventually tried mung beans, adzuki beans, and something else I can’t remember. I wanted to try again with wheatgrass this past fall, mostly for snacks for my bunny friends. It’s supposed to be super healthy, but sprouted wheatgrass makes a nice, fresh treat for buns and cats.

I started with hard red wheat berries. Got them from the bulk bin at MOM’s, but I think most grocery stores have at least packaged wheat berry seeds. In bulk it was around $2.49 a pound. I got about 1/2 pound to start with. In a glass jar, cover seeds with water overnight. I used the ring of the canning jar lid and a piece of polyester batting so air can flow and water can easily come out. Drain the seeds, and lay the jar on its side. Rinse the seeds daily for a day or two. This is about 1/2 cup of dry seeds.

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When they begin to sprout, spread them on a 1/4″ layer of potting soil in a shallow container, basically in a single layer, but it doesn’t have to be exact. (Next time I’m going to try hemp fiber or burlap fabric, just enough for the roots to take hold.) I used the bottom of two take out containers. Then slide the containers into a paper bag or cover with a towel until the grass reaches about 2 1/2″ to 3″ or so, maybe two or three days. You don’t want them to get any light. Keep the soil barely wet the whole time.

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When you hit about 3″, put your grass on a sunny window, and it will turn green and grow another inch or two within a few days. Harvest by cutting where the white turns green, and you’ll be able to cut a second time in about four or five days.

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To use, offer to your favorite bunny or cat friend. Dogs might like it too? I don’t know.photo-nov-10-5-09-58-pm For human use, put it through a juicer and drink. I didn’t want to do that, as my juicer is heavy and a pain to clean, so I just cut a portion (about 1″ x 1″ square) and snipped it into small pieces. Into my Magic Bullet blender with the flat blade and some water, and blend, blend, blend! As soon as you think you’re done, blend for another few seconds. When you have green water and green mash, strain into a glass and press the pulp to get out all of the liquid.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you….it tastes like salad, but in a really weird way.

Happy wheatgrassing!

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More Window Sill Lovelies

6 Apr

I think we’re past the point of freezing, but who knows. We had a frost in May last year. I’m going to mix my new compost into the tanks this weekend and do some seeding. I’ll start with radishes, cucumbers, and carrots. I don’t think I’m going to go for tomatoes this year, as they require a lot more water than I think I can handle.

But good news! ShmErin will be joining us on the blog! She and her fiance moved in to an adorable 90+ year old house and they are working on their yard. She will be chronicling here.

Until then, here is my window sill garden! Basil and parsley are the same from TWO MONTHS AGO. They haven’t gotten much larger, but they’re still happy. In the middle is the celery. I soaked the root end of a left over bunch of celery and it started to grow new leaves in a few days, then eventually some little roots. Yesterday I potted it. We’ll see how it does.

Window sill garden

Window sill garden

Here is the new celery…

Photo Apr 05, 11 39 05 AM Photo Apr 05, 11 36 49 AM

Happy Tu B’Shevat! (Some Indoor Plant Chat)

4 Feb

Happy Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish “birthday of the trees”!

In honor of this fun holiday, a bit of indoor seed starting chat.

I’ve been growing seedlings inside, mostly herbs, not necessarily for consumption but more for sport, if you will. Right now I have ginger, basil, parsley.

I make ginger beer. Right now for fun, but we’ll see what happens with it. Anyway, I wanted to see if I could grow my own ginger. I started with a few pieces of organic ginger root, left them in a bag in the fridge, and when they grew “nubs,” I planted them in a pot. It grew very quickly and sprouted several stalks. Now it’s just a pretty ornamental. Kind of looks like bamboo, and it has a scent that is bright, almost grassy citrus. Smells very clean. I’ll plant it outside in the roof garden when temps get to about 60-65F. From what I’ve read, harvest should start after about a year, enough time to let the root system grow. After all, we’re hacking off chunks of the root. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold back and let it grow. We’ll follow this ginger development over the next few months.

Ginger, about two weeks after planting.

Ginger, about two weeks after planting.

Many fragrant stalks.

Many fragrant stalks.

Ginger, happily growing today.

Ginger, happily growing today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby basil seedlings, Dec 1, 2014

Baby basil seedlings, Dec 1, 2014

Basil today.

Basil today.

I planted some basil, too. These guys first went in in December, and they’ve barely grown since then. I just started to see a second set of leaves from the few remaining seedlings, so that’s nice. Normally by 10 weeks we’d be significantly larger, but we’re not outside here.

 

Parsley today, planted Dec 1, 2014

Parsley today, planted Dec 1, 2014

Same story with the parsley. Second, and some third, sets of leaves, but not that much else going on. More lanky, lazy looking parsley. I was considering letting my rabbit have at these seedlings, but I can’t let her eat my science experiment just yet!

I do have actual seed starting pots and pellets that I’ll bring out in about a month or so. I’m going to build a little seed starting box and see if I can get some plants to grow upstairs this year instead of buying ready baby plants. I’ll probably stick with herbs, but we’ll see how adventurous I’m feeling.

 

Oh, here’s my ginger beer!

Rabbit's Domain Ginger Beer!

Rabbit’s Domain Ginger Beer!

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