Finally! I’ve been wanting to grow my own microgreens, especially CHIAS!! I kept reading that chia had to be grown on clay, so just didn’t want to deal with it, Anyway, I followed SproutPeople’s directions (mostly).
Great thing is no special equipment needed (like I have room for more gadgets anyway!); though, I do have some sprouting trays from the old days when I used to grow wheatgrass, in storage somewhere. I’ll use them, eventually, I’m sure.
Anything would work — even a plate. I’ve read a paper towel is sufficient!
For larger crops, I’ll use my dehydrator trays, as I did here for amaranth sprouts (but on cheesecloth):
Just need a double layer of Non-bleached cheesecloth (or other natural fiber, like hemp. It won’t work on a tray alone; they will fall through the holes and a solid sheet is not breathable).
You can wet the cloth first or not but just put a layer of seeds on the cloth then, add water, and, with the flat bottom of a fork spread the seeds around. If you use your fingers, it’s just too sticky as the seeds are sucking up the liquid. You get a nice, single (which is important) layer quickly with the fork. Add more water if it needs it, cover it with a towel and put it in a dark place and check it at least once a day, and water if it needs it. You can also use a spray bottle filled with a dilution of the kelp mixture or just water. I just put water at the corner and let it seep through the bottom instead of dousing the delicate leaves!) That’s it!
I wasn’t sure how long to let them grow. You could eat these as soon as they sprout (a day or less, if you want);or you can let them grow and green them in the sun. I was hoping they’d get a bit bigger, for some reason; but I think that’s not necessary, and possibly lessens the nutrition…I don’t know.
In any case, the harvesting is even easier: Just pull them off the cloth! Or you can clip them, if you don’t want the roots. I found that, even when I just pulled them, the hulls just fell off and I didn’t even get any in my green smoothie or salad; but, if some did, it would simply be fiber I would have consumed if I hadn’t sprouted them, so no biggie anyway.
For storage, I let the cloth get dry, rolled it loosely, then just put them in the fridge like that, instead of cutting them and breaking the roots. It’s unnecessary, and why kill it and start its decline before I eat it? I keep it a living food this way, all its nutrients in tact 🙂 Again, easier-peasier. I ate them later that day, but for longer storage of a larger ‘crop’ 🙂 I may put them (on the cloth) in a container or bag.
Here are some pictures:
This first attempt was simply to familiarize myself with it all, anticipatory of a failure, to tell the truth. So it’s as sophomoric as it looks :D.
First attempt, DAY 1 24-hour sprout:
First attempt DAY 2 sprouts:
My second try was much, much better. I used many more seeds, closer together (depending on how these green, I may use just a tad less)
Also, these were covered the whole time, and, interestingly, grew faster than when I left the seeds to sprout in a low-light location.
So, this third day, they are getting their first shot of light (unfortunately, rather overcast today, but, according to SproutPeople, this doesn’t matter too much, since even artificial light works. The sun is much better, though, since I noted the sprouts literally grew and greened very fast with just an hour of being exposed; so, for me, the sun is superior.
Second Attempt (I used the bottom vessel my container this time); this is the first step of just laying the seeds and wetting them. They’ve soaked up most of it, creating that gel around them:
DAY 1 – After 24 hours, having been completely covered with a dark towel:
DAY 2 – 48 hours, having been completely covered with a dark towel (they greened anyway!):
Here they are after only a few hours of greening:
They actually greened even when not exposed to sunshine at all, and only having been exposed to light for the few seconds it took to water them.
We were in the upper 90’s and into the 100’s past few days; so they dried up quickly, and moreso when in the windowsill, sunning themselves. So I watered them a few times a day at that temperature.
They soak up water and you can tell they need more; I was just carefull not to leave them sitting in a puddle of it.
I also used this kelp fertilizer which supplies hydroponically grown fruits and veggies minerals they don’t get from growing without soil; however, the nutritional content of chias is so high, it’s not a necessity at all, and pure water worked/s just fine. (purchased at a gardening store; most carry it, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, etc.)
DAY 3 – This is how it looked this morning:
Here is a top shot. Next time, I’ll use a tad less seeds:
DAY 4 _ I’m eating some of these super-nutrient Microgreenie babies tonight!! Simply gorgeous. I feel stronger just lookin’ at ’em…Huh, take that, Popeye, with yer Spinach and hey, “King Kale ain’t got nothin’ on Chias”
Here are the roots, which are brown only because I used the kelp; they are pristinely white with just water, almost clear, translucent — very pretty. I’ll get a shot of them next time!