Ever thought about having your own micro greens growing on your window ledge? Well now is the time to give it a try. I recently read an article on this and it brought back all sorts of childhood memories for me so I thought I would share these easy steps.
1. First go to your local garden center and pick up a package of mustard seed or watercress. I went to East End Garden Centre on Queen St. E. for mine. If this is not your taste you can purchase canola seeds, mung beans, alfalfa, chick pea or sunflowers seeds.
2. Take a tray, empty yogurt container or peat moss container, which you can find at the dollar store. Line the tray with tissue or paper towel, top that with cotton wool and then another layer of paper towel. Wet them evenly. The tray or container must be clean to start with.
3. Sprinkle seeds onto the surface of the tissue quite thickly, staggering your seeds according to how you want them to grow. Mustard seeds germinate faster by four days than cress, so plant them first. This is only important if you are doing something artistic for hair, but if not don’t worry.
4. Within a few hours they will begin to germinate. Plant them in the morning and look at the shoots by nighttime. By the next morning they will be quite even and pronounced.
5. Check the water level and mist to keep it damp. Don’t allow it to dry out at all, but be careful not to flood it either. It is best to check for dryness in the morning and evening.
6. Check for mold. Cress seedlings sometimes go moldy before they are ready to pick. This means your tray is not in a warm and light enough area. So throw these out and start again.
7. After a week you can snip the stems to harvest the cress and eat straight away. Make more each day for an ongoing harvest. If you have a big enough tray with compartments you could get a variety of seeds and watch how they all sprout differently.
If you want to get the kids interested, just follow the same process by using washed out empty eggshells. Pop them into egg cups and decorate by drawing faces on the front and the cress will grow out the top to make hair.
These sprouts can be used in sandwiches, salads and as sprinklings on top of stir-fries. They are high in A, C, and B complex, and so much fun to watch them grow daily. Once they are snipped, use them straight away, as they don’t last long.
If this seems that it might be too much work with all the watering, you could always fill up your peat moss containers with good clean soil and sprinkle your seeds on the top and not have to pay so much attention to them.
Whichever way you decide to go, it’s a great winter project that you can enjoy for the rest of the season.