Saturday, December 13, 2014

How to Grow Pea Shoots: Edible Greens to Grow Indoors

How to grow pea shoots indoors.
How to grow pea shoots indoors.

Pea shoots are baby pea plants. You can grow them indoors in small containers, harvest them a few times, then transplant outdoors where they can grow into full-sized, pea-pod producing plants. 

Why grow pea shoots inside? They are a fast, easy-to-grow, edible green with fabulous flavor. And, because we want you to start growing some of your own food. Pea shoots are an excellent way to get started. We started with Green Pea Sprouting seeds from SeedsNow.

Start now, and your first harvest will be ready in about 2 weeks.




Here's the how to.

1. We started with a pie plate, measured out enough seed to cover the surface of the plate.
2. Put the seeds in a jar, cover them with water and soak them for about 12 hours.
3. Drain and rinse the peas. You'll notice some are already starting to sprout.
4. Fill the pie plate with about 1 inch of moistened, organic seed starter medium.
5. Spread the soaked seed over the top of the growing medium.
6. Cover the pie plate with a plastic lid, or slip into a plastic bag to help keep them moist.
7. Spritz the top of the garden with water as needed. Use just enough to keep it moist but not wet.
8. Once the sprouts are starting to root in and produce green stems, remove the cover and place in a sunny window.
9. Mist the garden daily with water and watch those shoots grow. Once the shoots have grown thick and taller, you may need to pour water in the bottom of the tray to keep them moist.
10. Harvest the pea shoots when they are about 6 inches tall. Cut them with clean scissors to about 2 inches tall, leaving leaf nodes on the stem so they will continue to grow.

Enjoy raw pea shoots in salads and on sandwiches. They are delicious sauteed with garlic and olive oil.

Happy gardening,

~Julie


Friday, December 5, 2014

5 Health Benefits of Sprouts and Why You Should Grow Your Own

Sprouts are higher in essential nutrients than mature fruits and vegetables.
Sprouts are higher in essential nutrients than mature fruits and vegetables.

We are growing sprouts for health. Specifically to fight the cancers and health issues that seem to plague our family. Everyone knows nutrition is the foundation for healthy living, and sprouts pack a bigger punch than the mature plants they grow into. They are so easy to grow, and they are ready to eat in just a few days. 

Sprouts can be grown indoors all year long, which makes it easy to have fresh food on hand at all times. You can't get more local than grown in your own kitchen. When you grow your own, you can be sure they're clean, safe and 100% organic. 

The health benefits of sprouts are the best reason to grow and eat your own. 

1. More enzymes and antioxidants than mature plants. Sprouted seeds, nuts and grains can have up to 100x the enzymes of raw fruits and vegetables. Enzymes are special proteins that are the building blocks of life. They keep your body running smooth and healthy. Antioxidants are essential in warding off chronic and serious diseases, including cancer. 

2. Sprouts can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. The fiber content in sprouts binds to fats and toxins in our body and escorts them out. 

3. Sprouts supply essential fatty acids that promote heart health, help build healthy cells and help maintain brain and nerve function. Most Americans don't get enough of these nutrients in their diet. Sprouts are an easy and delicious way to make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to maintain health. 

4. Sprouts are packed with vitamins. The sprouting process increases the vitamin content by up to 20%. 

5. The fiber content in sprouts is helpful in preventing diabetes and heart disease and helps maintain colon health. 

If these 5 reasons aren't enough to get you sprouting, do some research and learn more about the health benefits of fresh sprouts.

If you are ready to get started, make sure you buy seeds intended for sprouting. You can find a good variety of sprouting seeds and supplies at SeedsNow

Happy sprouting, 

~Julie


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sustainability on Our Little Urban Farm

Sustainability and finances on the farm.
Sustainability and finances on the farm.


I know sustainability is one of those buzz words people are probably tired of hearing, at least when it is about environmental issues. It is important to practice sustainability for the environment, and that is one reason we do it. But I'll be honest, it is as much or more about money, at least for us.

Even a small farm like ours can suck up the cash. Animals need food, gardens need food, people need food. Everything needs to be fed and cared for. If you are buying everything you need, it gets expensive. It makes sense to produce as much as you can and eliminate as many expenses as possible.

That is what we have been working for. I have plans in motion to seriously amp up our production. We already grow a good deal of our own food. We are also going to grow more of the animal feed, especially for the chickens. If we can reduce our feed bill, then I can justify more chickens. More chickens is good. More chickens means more eggs. More eggs without killing the budget would be excellent.

There are so many things we can do to reduce costs and increase output. Everything we do to become more sustainable equates to higher savings and earning potential. Our little farm is a tidy little business venture. It doesn't make a fortune, but we do alright. I think it comes down to producing as much as possible, using what we have and not letting anything go to waste.

Ultimately, my goal is to get this property to pay for itself. I need to make the intermittent income a regular, reliable, predictable income. We have a ways to go but we will get there. Just having the opportunity to make it happen excites me.

So with all that said, I'm off to the gardens to work on it.

Happy gardening,

~Julie




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