Saturday, March 27, 2010

Starting my edible sprouts

I have finally started sprouting some seeds myself, for some better nutrition, and so far it's disappointing. I bought organic mung beans last week at the Roanoke Natural Foods Coop, and also some alfalfa seeds. I started the mung beans about 4 days ago, and they aren't doing well.

Actually, that's not quite true. Some are doing quite well. I know the problem is not me, nor the water... I've been growing mung bean sprouts since the 1970's and I rinse them at least twice a day, and they get plenty of air so they don't moldy.

Close inspection shows about half have no germination whatsoever. Most of the unsprouted beans look like slightly swollen brown peas, squishy as though almost rotten. I'm thinking the beans are very old and probably were not good even when fresh. Over the years I have successfully sprouted mung beans that I've had stored in a mason jar in the pantry for a year or more so it may be more than just age.

I haven't started the alfalfa seeds yet, but they came from the same store. The alfalfa seeds were in a Frontier Herbs bulk gallon jug, and if indeed they are from Frontier, I should have no problems.

When I started the mung beans, I also soaked some hard winter wheat berries to sprout. I want to sprout, dry and grind some sprouted wheat berries for flour to add to breads. I trashed those berries today. Admittedly, I have had those wheat berries in a container for an overly-long time, part of my
'just in case it all GTHIAHB' stash. They did swell up, and by late the 2nd day tiny nubbins of a sprout began to emerge on a large percentage of the old berries. Never got any better with repeated rinsing though, so today they went into the compost. I did buy some fresh wheat berries 2 days ago, and will start them tomorrow.

One other thing I am doing is making my own sourdough starter from scratch, which is just flour and water, and whatever natural yeast is on the wheat bran and in the air. It is doing okay so far, doubling twice a day when I discard half and feed it.

Our water here is highly chlorinated city water, which I won't even drink, much less use to soak seeds or use in my starter. A notation I have come across several times is to use slightly acidic water, so I guess I need some pH strips to see what the pH of the bottled water I'm using really is.

The new battery for my camera came, and a new charger. I may have wasted my money. The battery was in the travel charger overnight, yet read zero once in the camera today. Just in case, I put it back on the charger and plugged it into the cigarette lighter receptacle in my truck. At any rate, I still cannot take photos to show what I am doing. Sigh.

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