Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As promised... the sprouter. (Yes, the wait is finally over.)

We bought some spinach in a plastic bucket type container and I couldn't see any point in just throwing it away. Surely it could be used for something, right? Well, around the same time I'd also started checking out sprouting trays. We've always sprouted in a mason jar, but never with wonderful results. Many seeds wouldn't sprout and wheat was the only thing that didn't mold in there. I wanted to try other stuff and thought I might have better luck with a sprouting tray.

But, why should I buy one? They couldn't be that complicated. I'm sure I could make one if I had the right stuff.

Behold: the spinach "box" and a large piece of netting.

(I should have a picture here, but never took one. So just imagine an empty spinach container and a large piece of blue-ish netting. Okay, ready?)

First I cut a large piece of fine netting, bigger than the box, but roughly the same shape. Then I cut a small slit in each corner of the box, about halfway up the sides. I forced the netting corners into the slits and pulled until the netting was flat and tight. Then I tied each corner in a knot as close to the box as possible. I ran some packing tape around the outside to hold everything tight.

I used a knife to poke holes in the box for air circulation, but this made the box buckle and I was afraid it would crack or break. I also tried a nut pick, but that was so dull it killed my hand to force it through. I settled on a pair of scissors, slowly twisting one point in until it penetrated and then twisting again to create a small hole. That worked. I also cut a larger hole on one side on the bottom to drain the water.

Okay, all assembled. I soaked some wheat overnight and then spread it on the netting. It held. Twice a day we rinse it with the sprayer and let the water drain out the bottom hole before returning the whole thing to the counter top. We keep the lid on to keep moisture in, but the air holes prevent it from getting too wet. When the sprouts are ready, we take the lid off and set the whole thing in a sunny window.

We made sprouts last week and ate them on our avocado sandwiches on Fri night. It's funny to pull them from the sprouter, b/c the little roots grow through the netting. See?

But they aren't hard to get out. A little leaf or two will also get stuck in the netting and torn off sometimes, but they are fairly easy to rinse out. I let it dry out between batches. I also bought some more spinach and will make another one so we can have a continuous supply of sprouts. This time I want to try lentils or mung beans. I don't know if the mesh is fine enough to do alfalfa or broccoli, but I'll try those later, too. And maybe watercress. Ooh, the possibilites are endless.

And in other news, take a peek at the sight that greeted our neighbor on the other side of the deck last week on a gorgeous day as she sat outside trying to read a magazine and enjoy the weather.

She listened to Joseph's 4,000 "hello"s and Nathan's tales of everything that happens in our family. (Don't laugh. If he knows you, she probably knows about you, too!) I forget what Mary told her, but don't doubt that she filled in any gaps Nathan may have missed. She has kids of her own, so she was a good sport about it, talking with them and laughing.

And this... This is what happens when a 7 yr old boy ties his arms and legs into a blanket while sitting on a chair over a tile floor (so he sorta resembles an egg shape) and then tries to scoot off the chair thinking he'll land with a bump on his bottom. Alas, the head is still the heaviest part of him and when he leaned over a bit to get a good scoot-start... Well, the lump speaks for itself.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Lisa!! Looks like you're having a good time in Boston. You always amaze me with all you do!!!