Alfalfa Sprouts – Grow in Your Kitchen

Alfalfa has been grown for many civilizations for over five thousand years. Alfalfa was planted in hot, dry regions of Mesopotamia before recorded history. Alfalfa is grown throughout the world under extremely diverse climatic conditions. Alfalfa seeds are in the legume family. The name "alfalfa" means "father of all foods." The saponins in alfalfa sprouts may help to reduce cholesterol. They contain significant dietary sources of phytoestrogens connected with prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Alfalfa sprouts are full of nutrition. Research shows that sprouts are loaded with antioxidants, and are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins and amino acids. Sprouts contain enzymes which digest themselves. They add enzymes that heal the body, aid in digestion and are affordable. Enzymes are considered the key to longevity and are abundant in sprouts. Sprouts have the largest relative content of nutrients per unit of intake of any food known. More nutrients reach the cells with less food. Research has shown sprouts to have high levels of disease preventing phytochemicals. They contribute to better health by prevention to treatment in life threatening diseases.

Sprouts are widely recognized by those who are nutrition conscious and health care professionals as a wonder food. Home sprouting can supply delicious fresh food without the environmental toxins. They require no soil, only water. Sprouts are usually added to other foods. They are completely natural and known for their powerful nutritional and healing properties. Sprouts continue to grow even after you have ate them. Alfalfa is the most famous sprout in the United States. It has a mild flavor, an abundant amount of nutrition, and easy to grow.

Alfalfa sprouts are low in calories, about 10 calories per cup. Other nutritional information include: vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Alfalfa sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges. They also have calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and protein – 35%.

Sprouting Instructions: Yields approximately 2 cups of sprouts. Add 2 tablespoons of seeds to a mason jar with strainer lid. Rinse thoroughly with 60-70 degree water. First day, fill half way with water overnight to soak. Set out of direct sunlight and at room temperature, 70 degrees is optimal. The kitchen counter is fine. Rinse and drain twice a day. At the end of day 5 or the start of day 6 your sprouts will be ready to eat. Refrigerate your sprouts 8-12 hours after the final rinse and drain. Enjoy your sprouts in salads, sandwiches, soups, juices, omelets, slices, pizza, stir fry, casserole, scrambled eggs, wraps, dips, spreads, side dishes or as a topping to any dish.

Seed to sprout: 5 to 6 days, yield: 7 to 1, Sprout shelf life: 2 to 6 weeks,
Sprout seed shelf life at 70 degrees: 3 to 4 years. …

Raised Bed Gardening A Gardening Idea For This Weekend

Raised Bed Gardening What do you mean by raised beds ? A raised bed is a framed planting area which the soil exists above the surrounding ground level. The bed size is anything that enables you to work on without stepping directly onto the bed of soil itself. Why have raised bed gardens ? There are many reasons people decide to make use of raised bed gardens. For example: raised bed gardening gives you much better soil conditions. Pests are far easier to control. If the raised bed is at least 2 feet or 60cm high then you will have a better back with far less bending to dig or harvest crops. And finally you will conserve water as more water reaches the plant roots meaning you use less. Every time you walk up and down a non raised bed garden you typically compress the soil.

Occasionally the earth becomes hard and compacted creating various problems for plant roots, drainage problems and of course future digging difficulties. How do I make a raised bed garden? You can make frames out of old railway sleepers for that chunky look or old floorboard planks. However it is better to use pressure treated timber. As this will last longer and there will be less danger of damage to the crops from using preserving treatments like creosote. Mark out where you would like to place these raised beds by using flour, sand or even lay out a hosepipe. Then knock in some short stakes of 12 inches or 30cms at each corner. Tie string between the stakes to work out your levels.

Then fix the frame to the stakes. Remove any vegetation by digging it out or using sheets of old cardboard. The cardboard can be left in place for a few months and then removed or if it is thin enough it can be left there as it will eventually rot away. The frame can now be filled with soil up to the level edge of the frame.Try not to make the bed more than 4ft or just over a meter in width. Or if you do then you must have a plank of wood to stand on that is long enough to rest on the edges of the frame. You can have the length any with the only limitation being the length of the garden or plot. For low growing crops it is best to have the beds in a north south orientation as this way the plants will get maximum light exposure on both sides of the bed. Taller crops such as runner beans would be better in an east west configuration with ground level crops on the south side.Here is a project for you this weekend. The simple guide to creating a raised bed garden .