A few years ago, I got a very efficient and convenient seed sprouter with stackable trays, four for growing, plus one to collect water at the bottom:
Seeds are spread in each translucent tray; the trays are stacked on top of each other and placed on the collection tray (opaque tray), and water is poured over the top, 2-3 times a day. The translucent trays have a draining system, and as the water slowly siphons through the trays, the seeds are gently soaked, and germinate (see photo at the top of the post); sprouts are ready to plant in soil for growing, or eaten as sprouts, after 3-7 days, depending on the type of seed. The process works with any number of the growing trays, from all four (for a large batch of one type of seed, or four small batches using different types of seed), to a single serving, using one tray.
In the past, I have sprouted alfalfa, pea, lentil, radish and green-mix seed for eating, as well as for giving some stubborn seed a head-start before planting, such as parsnip and eggplant. I particularly like to use my sprouter around this time of year, when I feel taunted by the lengthening days to start growing vegetables, but it is still cold outside here in Canada. This year I am trying broccoli seed, especially produced for eating as sprouts (photo below, left). To grow them, one to two tablespoons of seed are soaked in water for a couple of hours, then rinsed, drained, and sprinkled over the sprouting trays (photo below, right):
Instead of crowding the two tablespoons in one tray, I divided the seed between two trays, then stacked them on top of the collection tray (photo below, left). Pour about two cups of cool water in the top tray (photo below, right):
Keep in a cool spot, with indirect light. After a few hours, discard the water in the collection tray, switch the order of the sprouting trays, then pour more fresh water; repeat two to three times per day. The growing tray design uses water surface tension to drain excess water, and keep the correct moisture level in each tray for all stages of the growing process. In the photos below: broccoli seed on day one (left), sprouting by day two (right):
The same broccoli sprouts after four days (photo below, left), and after one week, ready to eat (photo below, right):
The sprouts may be stored in the fridge for a few days by covering the growing tray, but are at their best when eaten right away. When ready to eat, transfer sprouts to a colander (photo below, left); I spray them with a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water, to disinfect (photo below, centre). Rinse thoroughly under running, cold water (photo below, right):
Once drained, crunchy, healthy, and fresh-as-can-be broccoli sprouts are ready to enjoy:
These sprouts are delicious in salads, sandwiches, and soups, and also are an elegant alternative for topping appetizers and finger foods. They may also be a great source of greens for tacos or other Mexican snacks, especially lately that lettuce has become an expensive oddity at the supermarket.
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4 thoughts on “Indoor Gardening – Sprouting Broccoli”
That’s a great piece of equipment.
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Works really well, indeed.
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Great idea. I like that these go from seed to eating within about a week!
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