After years of playing with different sprouting devices, I came
up with a simple, inexpensive way to
grow perfect sprouts in God's sunshine. It works for me, and it works for my friends. I think it wil
work for you, too.
The key piece of equipment you need
is a round, black sprouting tray,
which is 10" in diameter. The tray
has tiny circular grooves in which
the seeds insert their growing tails. One side of the tray is smoother than the other. You want
the smoother side UP. The seeds poke
through the smoother grooves and
push their roots down into a shallow
pan. It's an ingenious device.
The tray costs $9.00. This is your
major, ONE-TIME expense for this
method. The round, black tray is
available from the Tribest Corporation. Tribest makes a sprouting machine called the Fresh
Life Sprouter. The tray fits into the machine. BUT YOU DON'T NEED THE
MACHINE -- JUST THE TRAY! Tribest's
phone is 1-888-618-2078. The code
number of the black tray is FRESHO5.
Their website is: www.tribest.com
Incidentally, I don't work for Tribest or ANYONE! I'm not trying
to sell you anything. But this tray
makes sprouting easy. I've had seven
of them for years. They're made of
strong, durable plastic.
Now you need a shallow pan to put the tray in. Go to your Home Depot
and buy, for less than $2.00, a 14"
clay-colored, plastic pan. It's about 2" deep.
The black sprouting tray sits inside
the shallow pan, smooth side up. Now
all you need are seeds to sprout.
I'll suggest sources of seeds later
in this post, but first, an overview
of what you do.
TINY sprouting seeds like broccoli,
red clover, alfalfa, radishes, and
Chinese cabbage do NOT need to be
soaked first. The black tray id
divided into four quarters. If you
have four kinds of seeds, you can
grow four "crops" at one time.
At your sink, wet the black tray.
Make sure the glossier side is up.
Then carefully spoon some of your
sprouting seeds, say broccoli and
alfalfa, onto the tray. The seeds
are still dry, at this point. Now
pour some CLEAN, PURE water in the
14" shallow pan; enough to almost
float the round black tray.
Carry the shallow pan to a sunny
spot. Set it down. Now use a mister
(not a husband, but a water-misting
bottle) to mist the seeds. Get them
good and wet. Mist them as often as
you like, but at least 5 or 6 times
a day. Mist them first thing in the
morning, and just before you go to
In a couple of days, the sprouts will insert their tiny tails through
the black tray, and begin growing.
In a week, you'll have sprouts to eat.
Bigger seeds like sunflowers, wheatgrass, barleygrass, and buckwheat lettuce need to be soaked
in pure water for around 7 hours.
Use a glass jar or plastic container
that has a screened top. You probably have an old sprouting jar
in the back of your cupboard. Drain
out the water, and let the bigger
seeds sprout in the dark container
for a day or less. As soon as you
see the tiny white tails emerging,
put the seeds on the black tray.
Sunflowers are a great sprout to
start with, if the seeds are fresh
and vital. You'l have a tray FULL of
6" sunflower seedlings in 7 days.
Radishes are good, too. They grow so
fast, that you can literally watch them.
Each morning, change the water in the shallow tray. The sprouts contain enough vitality to grow and
live for about a week, with nothing
added but pure water. Most of you
will probably eat them before the
week is up. But I live alone, and I
grow a lot of sprouts that I'm still
eating 10 days after I planted them.
So I add some organic fertilizer to
the pan water after 5 or 6 days. I
use Sea-Plus, an all-organic, seaweed-fish fertilizer. It comes in
a 16 oz bottle which costs me $8.20.
I buy it from Johnny's Selected
Seeds in Maine. Their website is: www.johnnyseeds.com. The Sea-Plus
code number is $9578. I add about
6 drops of the fertilzer each day,
so a bottle lasts me forever.
You can find sprouting seeds in lots
of places. Try to use organic seeds.
Whole Foods Market has a good selection, and their sunflower- seeds-for-sprouting, are fabulous!
The best buckwheat sprouting seeds
I've found come from Sun Organic
Farms in California. Buckwheat can
be hard to find. Sun also sells
broccoli. alfalfa, sunflower seeds,
and very tasty Daikon radish seeds.
Make sure that you specify that you
want seeds for sprouting! Sun Organic's phone is 1-888-269-9888.
Their buckwheat costs $1.95 a pound.
Another terrific source of all-things sprouting is The Sproutpeople. If you go to their
website, you'll learn TONS about
sprouting. The address is: www.sproutpeople.com I use their
Easy Sprout plastic containers instead of jars (for soaking). But
the only things you really need for
this method are (1) the round black
tray, (2) the larger, shallow tray,
(3) seeds, (4) a mister-bottle.
As I write, there are six pans on
the floor in front of me. Two of
them contain wheatgrass and barleygrass. I used to grow both
grasses in compost, and it got to be
a hassle. Now I grow both grasses on
the black trays and they grow
quickly into delicious blades of
green grass. Soak the seeds for 8
hours, and then proceed as described
above. In one week, you'll have green grass 6" high. You can then
juice it (careful: some juicers don't handle wheatgrass), or you
can cut a swatch, pop it into your
mouth, and chew it thoroughly. Spit
out the wad of fiber, through it
won't hurt to swallow it. If you opt
for the chewing method, grow wheatgrass. It's much sweeter than
And that's it! Takes much longer to
describe than it will to put into
operation. For less than $15.00, you
can give this method a try. Start
with one black tray, like I did. If
it works for you, you can always
Last thought: Buy a copy of Steve
Meyerowitz's book, SPROUTS, THE
MIRACLE FOOD, or his equally good
book, THE KITCHEN GARDEN. Steve will
teach you all you need to know about