Sprout Garden in a Jar

Many people are starting to think about where their food comes from. If food is grown far away, there can be a lot of energy used to ship it to where it will be eaten. Fruits and vegetables that travel far might not be as tasty as ones grown nearby. It might be better to grow some of your food at your own home. Here is an idea to help you get started. Grow your own sprouts.

What You Need

You will need some dry beans from the grocery store. Try lentils or mung beans. You will also need a clean 1 pint jar. A pint canning jar with the canning ring is good. A pint sized jelly or jam jar, or peanut butter jar will work fine. For a jam or peanut butter jar you will need a rubber band that can go around it. You will also need some nylon netting or the foot cut out of a clean nylon stocking. You also need a plastic container that the jar can stand up in on a slant. 

What To Do

1. Measure about ¼ cup of the lentils or mung beans into the jar. 
2. Fill the jar with water. 
3. Put the netting or stocking foot over the open top of the jar. Use the caning ring or rubber band to keep the cloth in place over the top of the jar. 
4. Leave the water in the jar overnight or at least 4 hours. 
5. Leave the netting on the jar while you dump the water out and then fill the jar with water again and dump it right out again. This rinses the beans out so they will not get moldy.
6. Stand the jar almost upside down in the plastic container so any water can drip off the seeds.
7. Once or twice a day, fill the jar with water and empty it again so the seeds get rinsed. This keeps them from spoiling. Spoiled beans will smell very sour! 
8. The seeds will start to grow or sprout. In three or four days you will have beans sprouts ready for a salad or to add to a cheese or tuna fish sandwich. Yum!

Visit some of the sites below for outdoor gardening ideas and information.

Start a vegetable garden 

Start small. Use a large planter to make a small garden. Be sure to follow the directions on the seed packs. If the seeds are too small to handle easily, put some on a piece of masking tape and plant the piece of tape. For more help visit ESP’s page onstarting seeds

You might even try to grow seeds from fruits you are eating, as long as they haven’t been cooked. Some need a little extra care before planting. Visit our page on how to pre-treat seeds

Can't have a garden? Visit a farmers' market. These are local farmers who have grown the food they are selling. Buy some things to eat. Talk to them about how the food is grown. Maybe you could visit one of the farms sometime to see how things are grown and picked.

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