Crunchy Mama's Urban Homestead

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Sprouting Towers — avoiding trouble with them

A few years ago I purchased what I refer to as a sprouting tower.  Sprouting towers can be trouble but you might be able to get yours to work for some seeds.  Some of the complaints about them is that seeds don’t sprout well in them or the seeds start to rot.

Victorio VKP1014 4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter

You might think that this is a magical little contraption into which you just put seeds in, pour water in the top tray twice a day, empty the bottom tray of water, and in a few days, you will have sprouts.  Well, it doesn’t quite work that way — at least for some people and some seed.  You have to give the seeds in a tower a little more attention than those sprouting in a jar.

I actually do like the tower for alfalfa seeds. However, when using a tower, I have found that I can’t just pour water into the top and remove the water from the collection bin at the bottom. The seeds need to get some air and need to get stirred (with my finger) when I put the water in. So, twice a day I take the tower apart to give the seeds in each tray air while I am giving each of the trays some fresh water. I pour the water in, sniff the trays to make sure that the sprouts smell as they should, swirl the water and seeds around with my finger. (I plan on posting about using 4 of your 5 senses when you are growing sprouts).  Then I stack the tower trays back up until the next rinse/drain cycle HOWEVER I DON’T snap the lid on (that would prevent good drainage).  I simply place the lid on loosely.

I also make sure to watch closely for when the trays need to be cleaned with soap.  They can start to get slimy around the underside rims.  Also, the tiny holes can get clogged.  You can use a paper clip end to clean them out or use your mouth to blow out the clogging seed or hull.

I hope that that helps.

These towers are about $20 each.  I’m not sure that I’d buy one again but since I have it and I’ve learned how to make it work for me I do use it — pretty much exclusively for alfalfa seeds.

Lastly, if you have one of these and need the instruction manual, here it is:

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you use one of these towers?  If so, what has been your experience?

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Onto our new and exciting journey in Michigan

A warm greeting from the Mitten!  We have been in our new home for 3 months and things are going wonderfully.  We actually really love our new area, even though we are in the heart of the suburbs.  It may be big and traffic might be awful sometimes but I like to look on the bright side.  There are a lot of very interesting places to visit and a lot people with similar interests here: Permaculture, holistic living, etc.  With the help of Facebook and Meetup, I have joined some homeschooling/unschooling groups and Permaculture groups and have made friends quickly.

Now that the craziness of moving, settling in, and the holiday season are just about over, I am really looking forward to increasing my knowledge base through reading.  Thankfully, Michigan has a similar inter-library loan system to what Ohio has and I have requested a slew of books on Permaculture and related topics.  I plan on sharing my thoughts on the books as I read through them.

I also have been able to go to several in-person workshops (or skillshares) hosted by the various Permaculture groups that I participate in.  In November, I attended two different workshops: a rocket stove workshop as well as a “making hard cider” demonstration.  In December, I attended a meeting wherein three presenters presented their craft in short demonstrations: carving wooden spoons, making paper and wool felting.  I was really intrigued with the wool felting.  The presenter said that she doesn’t like knitting or sewing but really found that she likes wool felting.  I am not enthusiastic about knitting or sewing either.  I prefer other crafts such as soap-making, growing plants, and cooking.

In November, a co-leader of my county’s Permaculture group put a call out to invite people to present a skillshare at future meetups.  I offered to present on seed sprouting, soap-making, and baking artisan bread.  She took me up on my offer.  In a few weeks, I’ll be presenting on sprouting seeds for eating (not gardening) and then in March I will be presenting on cold process soap making.

alfalfa seeds sprouting in a sprouting tower

alfalfa seeds sprouting in a sprouting tower

In preparation for my sprouting presentation, I am doing a lot of researching — revisiting what I already know but also expanding my knowledge base and my experience (by sprouting a larger variety of seeds).  I am really, really glad that I am.  I am learning so much.  I have also improved my previous sprouting techniques.  So, I plan on posting a series here on the blog about my adventures in sprouting seeds for eating.

There is more to write but I will save that for later.  Happy New Year to each of you!

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