Kitchen Gardening by Kato Haws
A few tips on Sprouting, Seed Testing, Indoor Plant Starting and Sauerkraut Making.
We often sprout mung beans and lentils to improve the mineral balance and vitamin level. This is all there is to it:
- Measure a ¼ cup of seeds into a quart jar
- Soak for 8 hours
- Rinse and drain every 4 to 6 hours until ready to eat
I (Kato) usually test old seeds using this method before planting outdoors. I also use this method to force seeds to sprout when it is kind of cold still:
- Soak a few seeds in a Styrofoam cup for 8 hours
- Drain the water carefully
- Place a wet napkin on top of the seeds
- Put a second cup inside the first cup loosely, to hold the napkin in place
- Turn the cups upside down and allow to sit on the counter for a few days
Indoor Plant Starting
Start plants indoors to save time and trouble before putting outdoors:
- Buy a “jump start” light, AKA “grow light” at a hydroponics store
- Put good quality potting mix in small containers
- Place three seeds in each container
- Water the containers
- Turn on the light when the seedlings begin to appear
- Transplant seedlings outdoors when secondary leaves appear
Growing Wheat Grass Indoors
Just do this:
- Drill holes in the corners of a plastic shoe box
- Put about an inch of potting mix in it and cover it with wheat seed
- Put the shoe box with the holes, potting mix and seeds inside another plastic shoe box without holes
- Water and cover to hold in moisture
- Wait for germination
- Keep under a light for a few days and water as needed
- Harvest with scissors when ready
We make sauerkraut often because of its health giving properties of beneficial bacteria and its immunity enhancement qualities against the common flu and colds. We also make sauerkraut because it takes less room in the refrigerator to store than do the heads of cabbage it was made from. These are the simple steps:
- Shred the cabbage.
- Place in a large bowl or bowls with 1 tsp. of sea salt per pound of cabbage (no iodine), optionally put in a little caraway seeds.
- Stir the shredded cabbage and salt together and let it sit.
- After about 1 hour pack the cabbage into clean one gallon glass jar(s).
- Mash the cabbage down in the jar using a bean masher, to below the level of the cabbage juice. (Juice will naturally appear with the combination of shredding, salting, waiting and mashing).
- Seal the cabbage and juice from the air using a gallon plastic freezer bag partially full of water.
- Let sit at room temperature for seven days (less time makes crisper kraut, more time makes softer and more acidic).
- Remove the plastic bag and store finished sauerkraut in the refrigerator (or cool root cellar), and eat some every day!