Saturday, November 3, 2012

Misadventures in Sprouting Wheat Grass

When I decided to embrace my inner hippy and get into sprouting, my main motivation was to give my poultry fresh greens all year round. The fact that sprouting seeds are a fabulous addition to our food storage was secondary. Pretty much everything is secondary to my chickens and ducks these days!  Sorry family. ;) 

Once I proved that the Victorio 4-Tray Seed Sprouter made sprouting ridiculously easy, I wanted to try and grow massive quantities of greens for my birds the lazy way. Here's a bit of a recap and the end result of that experiment.

Soaking the wheat 

The first step is to soak the wheat for about eight hours. I used a cup of the same hard white wheat that I regularly bake with. 

Day 1 

I spread the wheat seed evenly among the four trays of the sprouter and watered it three times a day.  

Day 2 

It was about day two when I started to notice a rather distinct odor wafting through my house. Since I have four children, weird odors are par for the course, but this was something different. It was sour, almost cheesy. My wheat was beginning to ferment! I tried to rinse and drain the trays thoroughly and more often, but it didn't seem to help much.

Day 3

On day three it became obvious that the wheat wasn't going to grow into the neat little green carpet of my dreams. The alfalfa and vegetable seeds I had sprouted formed a neat little mat of roots that held everything in place by day three. In contrast, the wheat dislodged itself with every watering and smelled a bit like sweaty gym socks. I proceeded on.   

Day 4 - More of the same

Day 5

Five days was as long as I could stand the stinky goat cheese smell in my kitchen. The sprouts were between 1-2 inches long. I rinsed them really well and gave them to the birds. They gulped them down with gusto. 

Obviously, this method will sprout wheat, but is unsuitable for producing a true wheat grass that you can get several cuttings from. I guess the experts were right, the know-it-alls!  

I'm going to buy a few cheap pieces of hardware and then give it another shot and report back. If you can't stand the suspense, watch this video from Sprout People to see how wheat grass is really supposed to be grown. 

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