Tag Archives: Indoor Garden
What would any urban gardener be if he didn’t bring his garden indoors. And what would an indoor garden be without alfalfa sprouts? I love alfalfa sprouts, so full of goodness and so easy to grow. I remember starting to grow alfalfa when I was but a wee lad, probably 5 years old with nothing other than a jar. I think I perforated the lid for drainage, by hitting a small nail through it a few dozen times.
I recently purchased a great little sprout grower for our kitchen – I am testing it out at the moment and will do a full product review once my test is completed. Really though you cannot go too far wrong when growing alfalfa, all you do is put the seeds in a jar, rinse them with water and put the jar in filtered light. By filtered light I mean natural light, just not direct sunlight. Rinse them a minimum of 3 times a day and let the water drain. If you want to water them more, go for your life. They are usually good to eat in as little as 3 – 4 days after planting them.
If you haven’t had them before, they are great in salads, on sandwiches even eating by the handful. They are really very nutritious also.
One of the real positives about alfalfa is that they are perfect for getting children involved with growing things. Because they grow so fast, the kids don’t lose interest. They get to eat their own produce in less than a week after planting it, then they get to plant some more. It grows so fast they can almost see the sprouts grow. At the time of writing this post, I have a 3 year old son and a 5 year old daughter. Every day I find them checking the sprouts when I come downstairs. They take turns with everything, planting the seeds, watering, eating when their individual crop is ready for harvesting. Its almost like TV for them they get so involved. Its really lovely to see.
If you have not grown alfalfa sprouts before, there is really no excuse for this one. Everyone has enough room, everyone has enough time, everyone can afford it and I have never met anyone who could kill an alfalfa plant. So go on – get to it
I really love this alfalfa sprouts (and other seeds) sprouter. There are just so many positives with growing sprouts at home. How cool is this image too – these are two of my 3 children and this is how I found them when I came downstairs yesterday morning. They each have a tray and they religiously come down to see how their seeds are growing.
This specific 4 tray sprouter is a “Mr Fothergills Kitchen Seed Sprouter”. I bought mine from Bunnings for just under $20 but have also seen them around at department stores like Big W. Here is a quick video I took of the sprouter when I had alfalfa, wheatgrass and broccoli growing in it, but just after I had harvested mung beans also.
So apart from the benefits mentioned in this video, they also pay themselves off very fast. Here is the mathematics of buying and using these sprouters.
- The unit costs $20
- Seed packets cost $4.50 each
- Each seed packet (alfalfa/mung beans etc) will make about 6 trays of sprouts.
- Its a bit difficult to perfectly measure this given variable prices etc, but I think each tray will produce a minimum of $1.50 worth of produce (alfalfa) and up to $3.50 with some of the other types of sprouts and herbs. This is using prices at supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles.
- If we say the average tray then produces just $2.00 worth of produce, the average seed packet will produce $12.00 worth of sprouts.
- This means that when you are in your 3rd packet of seeds, the produce you have grown will have paid off the sprouter and the seeds you have paid for. IE. You will have produced about $36 worth of sprouts if you had purchased them at the supermarket, yet the sprouter and three seed packets would only have cost you $33.50
Thats pretty good and fast value if you ask me. If you schedule your seeding too as explained in the video, you would have achieved this payoff within a month of buying the goods – and you’d be saving money every time you use the sprouter after that.
If you really want value too – you can then look around at places to buy seeds in bulk. The $4.50 seed packets are nicely packaged and rather costly for the amount of seeds in them – just by nature of being convenient for us. I have seen some online retailers selling sprout seeds in bulk, like in 1kg parcels. I will hunt around and find some shops that do this and let you know where they are.
If you want to buy one of these but don’t really have time to get down to a department or hardware store, I have found this one on Amazon which is really similar to the Mr Fothergill’s one and a bit cheaper. I do recommend everyone gets one of these for their homes though. They are fun and give you a daily hit of fresh produce.