Gardening: Sprouts — an easy, all ages activity for greenthumbs

When looking for a quick activity for children, young or old, consider starting sprouts. It is a simple activity that requires few motor skills, is successful, and, after a few days, provides a healthy snack.

Start by purchasing the specialized seeds that can be found at grocery or health food store.

If you use garden seeds, make sure that they have not been treated with chemicals.

Stores that sell sprouting seeds can have a large variety of different sprouting seeds. Start with Mung beans and Alfalfa sprouts as they are tasty, but not spicy. Mustard, cress, and radishes sprouts, are for the more adventuresome as they are often described as hot.

The simplest sprout garden is made with: a plate, paper towels, and a clear plastic bag or wrap.

Wet the paper towels with warm water and squeeze out the excess before and placing them on the plate. They can be in any shape, but should cover the complete plate.

Next sprinkle the seeds on the paper towel. The entire plate does not have to be covered with seed. While seeds can touch and overlap each other they should not be piled in one spot. Each seed must have access to the paper towel that supplies the moisture needed for germination.

Cover the container with plastic, or place it in a sealed plastic bag. Containers that are placed in a warm area germinate faster and have less problem with mold than ones that are in a cool location

By the next day, the seeds will have started to swell. Open the plastic slightly to allow air to circulate through the sprouts. Warm, humid conditions that have just been created to enhance germination also breeds mold. Check the container on a daily basis removing mold that appears.

Sprouts will start to appear on the second or third day. At this point the container should be moved to a sunny location. Bright light will turn the sprouts a dark green.

Expect the seeds to germinate over a number of days as there is variation between individual seeds as well as different varieties.

Once the sprouts have produced their first two leaves they should be eaten. Try them as individuals straight from the tray, in a salad or sandwich.

When the majority of the sprouts are ready to eat, place them in the fridge to slow down the growth allowing them to keep for a longer period of time.

If the children are eager to try the sprouts earlier; let them.

As seeds, they will be hard, and only the spicy ones will have flavour. Once they have started to swell, all the seeds will be enjoyable.

For people that enjoy sprouts, there are a number of different containers on the market that make growing sprouts easy.

A good cleaning and a quick sanitization between crops keep the harmful bacteria away.

Sprouts are a easy and inexpensive way to add fresh greens to the diet.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives close to Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Central Alberta protester supports rail blockades across Canada

A protester, with a chain around his neck, stood near Samson Cree… Continue reading

Alberta and two First Nations make deal for proposed oilsands mine

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has struck deals with two northern Alberta… Continue reading

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation are expected to return to British… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read