THE GOOD EARTH
|photo Margaret Mossakowska|
This is a DIY wicking system that you can either build yourself or that you can get help with from either a friend or the ‘men’s shed.’
I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au
Let’s find out how to build it.
|photo Margaret Mossakowska|
Things you need are polypipes/pvc pipes that are 10 - 15cm in diameter.
It’s achievable and once set up, you’ve got an ongoing self watering system to last you for years.
This system could even be erected on a balcony and is a much better system that the vertical plastic grow bags.
In Summer this watering system doesn’t have to be topped up for around two weeks.
- All you need are the seeds to start with, a jar with a wide mouth and muslin or cheesecloth or some other lightweight mesh to cover the top of the jar, a rubber band and water.
- Oh and a dark place to put your sprout jar until they’ve sprouted then you need to move them to a lighter location, otherwise they won’t grow and will probably go mouldy.
- That’s it.
- Sprouts can be grown all year even in winter, but you’ll need a warm kitchen at that time.
- Remove any broken or discoloured seeds, stones, twigs, or hulls that may have found their way into your sprouting seeds.
- Place one type of seed in the jar.
- Use about a tablespoon of seeds or one-third cup of beans.
- Why so little? Because you’re going to be soaking the beans or seeds and they’ll grow in size when they sprout.
- Cover the seeds with distilled or filtered water.
- How much water?
- For a couple of tablespoons of seeds, cover with at least one cup of water. For beans, nuts, or grains, use at least three times the water of the amount of seed.
- That will meant one cup of water for one third cup of mung beans for example.
- The seeds need to soak for about 6 to 12 hours in general but some need more and some need less.
- Small seeds: 3-8 hours
- Larger seeds or legumes: 8-16 hours
- Grains: 10-16 hours
- It’s a good idea to start them before going to bed if you’re working, otherwise during the daytime is fine.
- Cover the jar with the cheesecloth and make the cloth tight using a rubber band. Or you can make a lid using mesh like in the picture.
- Then drain off the water.
- Rinse the beans or seeds with fresh water and drain off the water again.
- Set upside down in a clean, cool spot in your kitchen area, preferably on a slight angle to allow excess water to drain off.
- Otherwise you could put the jar on a stainless steel dish drying rack which gives the sprout jars the perfect angle for draining.
- Rinse the sprouts two to three times a day.
- Be sure to drain them well each time so they’re not sitting in any water.
- When the jar is full the sprouts or legumes are ready to use.
- Alfalfa or mung bean sprouts are ready in about a week.
- Now’s the time to put them in a large bowl of cool water and stir them around to loosen hulls and skins from the seeds (this is an optional step).
- They’ll usually come to the top so you can remove them.
- Don’t worry about removing every hull but if you do take the time to remove the hulls, the sprouts will last longer.
- Drain your sprouts well and store in the refrigerator covered for a week to 10 days, depending on the sprout type.
- Store in an airtight container (a capped sprouting jar is fine) in the fridge.
|Ready to eat sprouts|
They’re useful plants to have because they tend to be used almost daily throughout the year in our cooking.
This is one herb that’s not talked about too much when Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme are mentioned.
Let’s find out …
Lemon balm is also used for insomnia, cold sores, indigestion, and heartburn.
Grow it from seed if you don’t know someone who can give you a piece.
Remember Simone’s tip, grow it in a pot if you don’t want it taking over your garden.
In the evening, things cool down a bit, but the sun stays up late.
So what do you do if just outside the back door where the outdoor dining setting is, it’s still really stinking hot?
You sit outside for a little while and then you can’t stand it anymore and retreat inside.
So what can you do to fix that?
Let’s find out.
I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer
You could make yourself a shade hut or a dining canopy.
Or if you want a pergola, grow a deciduous climber on it that will drop it’s leaves in winter so that you can enjoy some winter sun.
Wednesday 1st May, 2019