Three Things I Have Learned About Growing Sprouts

Last month, we visited my daughter and her family, which includes a three-year-old and a six-year-old. We were only there for a week, so I thought a neat activity which we could complete in that timeframe would be to grow some sprouts to eat. It turns out I didn’t really know what I was getting into. My idea of sprouts was the light, crunchy bundle of hair-like alfalfa sprouts that nearly all of us have garnished a salad or a sandwich with at some point in our lives.

I did a quick read-up on sprout growing. The basic mechanics are quite simple: get some sort of screened or mesh lid for a Mason jar, put a couple tablespoons of sprouting seeds in there, cover them with a couple inches of water, and let them sit overnight. Then pour that water off, and every morning and every night run some fresh water in through the mesh, swirl it around a little bit to moisten the seeds and wash off bacteria, and pour that new water off. Keep the jars inverted, but a little tilted, so air can get in through the mesh. Keep the jars out of direct or reflected light. In about three days total you are done.

What could possibly go wrong, you ask? Well, I got seduced by all the glowing claims and enthusiastic comments online by sprout devotees about various types of seeds for sprouting. Instead of sticking to just plain alfalfa, I ended up buying a suite of sprouting seed mixtures which was highly rated on Amazon. What came was about 20 little plastic bags, each with a mixture of seeds for sprouting.

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