Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I had mentioned previously that for Christmas I received a Mr Fothergill's kitchen seed sprouter from my wonderful mum, and thought you might be interested in how it turned out. Well it has been fantastic! We have had an endless supply of sprouts for salads and sandwiches ever since.
I did attempt growing sprouts a month or so earlier just using a glass jar. I had perforated the metal lid with tiny holes using a hammer and nail. I did this to make draining the water quick and easy without losing the seed. But I was quite disappointed when it didn't work. The seeds sprouted but quickly died. It wasn't until reading the instructions from the kit my mother had got me, that I realise the simple yet devastating mistake I had made... Must be kept shaded. I assumed the process would have required direct sunlight, so I had placed the jar in the window sill. The new kit now sits on top the fridge with no direct sunlight, and works a treat.
The great thing about this tool is it enables a continuous supply of sprouts by having 4 stacked trays. It takes about a week to go from seed to mouth, thus if you top a tray up with seed every 2nd day, by the time you come around to that tray again it has had 8 days to grow. I have found rotating the trays upward to be the best, that way the tray at the top is the one that you harvest from.
The other thing that has impressed me is the minimal effort required regarding watering. Even during the hot periods watering once in the morning and once in the evening has sufficed. I even wonder if the evening watering could be missed. And it is great how you only have to pour water into the top tray then walk away, despite the watering system being imperfect.
The theory behind the watering system is that it uses a set of valves that hold the water in the tray until it is about a centimeter deep before it drains down into the tray below. This gives the seeds/sprouts in each tray about a 30 second soak. In practice I have found it doesn't quite work. It works for a new clean tray, but once the valve has residual water the siphon process kicks in the moment water runs into the tray. The net effect being the water you pour in at the top pretty much runs straight through all the layers. Amazingly this doesn't seem to be a problem.
I give it one and half cups of water.
The cost of this tool is only 20 Australian dollars, and if you consider the price of sprouts at the store, it pays for itself in no time. I have also managed to source cheap seed from my local organic store. I now only need to find a source of human hair seed for the top of my head.