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Gardening in a jar: sprouts from alfalfa to peanuts
Mid-February in the Shenandoah Valley is hardly a time to be outdoors working in the vegetable garden. There is, however, an edible crop you can grow indoors at any time of the year.
Growing sprouts from seed for food is not as difficult as one might imagine. Perusing garden catalogs, you will find many sophisticated sprouting kits. Any basic method, however, of keeping the seeds damp and in a warm (room temperature) place will suffice to grow sprouts. Home-based seed sprouting can be accomplished by using glass canning jars with fine mesh screen or cheesecloth stretched across the opening. All you really need is something that air and water can pass through, but the seeds cannot.
Let’s use a standard mason canning jar as an example. Cover the bottom of the jar with seeds. Then run cold water into the covered jar and soak the seeds overnight at room temperature. You should rinse the seeds several times (at least twice) a day until the sprouts have grown to the desired size for eating. Researchers report it is vitally important that the sprouts be rinsed regularly. This is to make certain that the seeds do not turn sour. It also ensures that mold doesn’t form. Once sprouted, most sprouts will keep seven to ten days in your refrigerator.