Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My Sprout Growing Operation

I would like to dedicate this post to a delicious and healthy food trend that's generating a lot of buzz these days, sprouts!  After sampling the microgreens I brought home from my work at Kind Organics, my family and I were hooked.  So for Christmas I set my parents up with their very own sprout growing operation (well it's really more my operation, but they get to eat the product).

Today I want to share with you the current outcome of my microgreens experiment.  This is definitely an ongoing project so I will try to post updates every once and a while.

If you are not familiar with sprouts, they are basically the baby version of edible plants.  There are dozens of different types.  Pea shoots, sunflower, radish, kale, broccoli... The list is quite long.  They are great in salads or as a topper for almost any dish.  They taste good and they are very healthy.
Go try them.  You can probably find them at a farmer's market or a health food store.

In order to grow them, I started off with a UV light.  Fortunately I already had one since last year I started my seeds for the garden indoors.  Then I ordered pea and sunflower microgreen seeds online (I got mine from Mumms Seeds but there are many different companies).  I used potting soil from my local garden centre and trays from the dollar store (you can also buy trays from your garden centre).

Pea shoots

Sunflower sprouts almost ready to cut

Right now I am growing pea shoots and sunflower sprouts.  I am not exaggerating when I say we eat them with everything.  Just throw some pea shoots on your meal and you are good to go.

They are very simple to grow.  Fill the tray with dirt then scatter on some seeds (it might take a few tries to figure out the proper seed density).  Water them everyday and make sure they don't dry out too much.  Once you see leaves on the sprouts then it is time to turn on the UV light (only have it on during the day).  It takes about 10 days for them to grow, then cut and refrigerate.  I could go into more detail but it's more fun to experiment on your own.

Future goals: add radish sprouts and spice things up a little (literally).

I am really excited about this project.  Already we have enjoyed several trays of sprouts.  I wonder if there is such a thing as too many pea shoots... hopefully not.  If you have any questions, ask away.

Bye for now!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Changing Our Perspectives On Small-Scale Farming

I've recently spent a couple months living and working on an organic farm, and it has been one of the best educational experiences of my life.  A different kind of education.  From seeds to vegetables, community living to spiritual healing, I have learnt to appreciate a lifestyle I am not use to.

However, the most important lesson I've learnt had nothing to do with farming but with opening up and being vulnerable.  Every week we sat together and talked about the issues we were facing.  I have many, but since this blog is not my therapist I will only address one.  It goes a little something like this.

"You agreed to work on a farm? Why?  Are you getting paid? Isn't that like slave labour?"  
My first problem was dealing with this misconception behind organic, small-scale farming. Not an easy task, especially since I have a low tolerance for close-minded people.  But I learned, from my fellow farmers, that I can't let these questions get to me.  People seriously don't know any better.  So here is what we should know.

Being a farmer is not demeaning.  Is it hard work?  Absolutely, but it is not a job that you can overlook.  In fact, it's not really a job at all but a lifestyle.  Small-scale farming is a lost art, a way of life that is making a comeback as well as a huge impact on society.  I recently read an article saying young farmers are the new superheroes, and frankly I agree.  They are taking the ultimate necessity (food) and making it more sustainable, even healthier.  Well if that isn't a noble cause then what is?

I have spent the last few months with some of best people I have ever met.  They are smart, caring, funny, and best of all happy.  And since happiness is the ultimate success, I have no doubt that these farmers have what it takes to succeed. 

So please, try to learn more about the farms nearby.  Try to learn about the farmers who work these lands.  It's worth it.  I am so glad I had the opportunity of working on an organic farm, I've learned so much about myself.  I strongly encourage everyone to try it.  Who knows, it might just change your life.

Happy holidays everyone!  Stay tuned for my next blog on my indoor sprout growing attempts.

Friday, 12 December 2014

New Blog on the Block

Hello Everyone, my name is Naddy!

I am here to share with you all my experiments and projects related to
my new found passion; edible gardening in the city.  There is no better time
to start a blog about gardening then in the winter!

Starting a blog is something I've been looking into for awhile now, and
I believe I have found the perfect topic.  Urban farming has been increasing
in popularity these last couple years, and I think it is high time everyone
else climbed aboard.  After all, food is essential to life.  

As someone who is tired of the disconnect between people and the food they
consume, I truly believe edible gardens in the city are a must.  If you
 are tired as well, then join me in my crusade to grow vegetables in the city.
What is more local then your own backyard?

Follow along as I clumsily work my way through my growing list of
projects.  My winter tasks will include making my own garden beds, indoor
sprout growing, vermicomposting and much more.  I will also be documenting
all successes and failures, and this blog will become a learning experience
for everyone.

I have been inspired by so many different people when it comes to food
security and urban gardening.  Let me inspire you.  Please feel free to share
any stories/questions/concerns with me.

Thank you and remember to make healthy choices!

Running into our next adventure