Sprouting is one of the first connections we make with gardening. Pots with varying degrees of entertainment value covered in tissue we are captured to watch appears to be the infinitely slow progress of the progress of cress seeds transforming into tiny plantlets. As adults we can still marvel at sprouts in at the turn of Spring. Plants of all kinds are indescriminately making their best efforts to surprise us, popping out from just about everywhere! For its first weeks of life the growth of a seed depends on no more than the right temperature light and the masses of energy stored inside its compact protein rich self. While we’re warming up and waiting for our first spring crops to provide sustainance, there are seeds galore bringing that fresh feeling of spring into the kitchen, I don’t just mean sunflowers, there are heaps of things you might store dry that can be sprouted. chickpeas, Fenugreek, Mung Beans, Alfalfa, Lentils, Snow peas and even Broccoli. While you probably wont sprout nuts, they too benefit from being brought back to life. Soak almonds in water and discover the milky mild flavour of a just picked seed, its a world away from a dry slightly shrivelled nut. Regular unshelled almonds look like fingers spent too long in the swimming pool in comparison to a plump and live meat of a fresh, or soaked nut. Soaking also makes almonds easier to digest and is reported to have a number of other health benefits
Community gardener Franklin is a great believer in the restorative power of sprouts and has found a way to make it really easy to get started. Pick up mesh lids specially made to allow sprout rinsing in big jars at the community gardens for just $5 each. If you’re just starting out, pick up a sprouting kit including jars, lids, a starter set of seeds and full instructions making it super easy to get going from McNaturals or ask Franklin when he’s running a workshop, next time you run into him.
If you’re a sprouting devotee and just needed a reminder, pick up seeds to sprout at the co-op or buy in bulk from Green Harvest.