Indoor Gardening and Sprouting Workshop by decree


									Indoor Gardening and Sprouting Workshop
Questions? Contact Julia Govis at:

Growing Plants Indoors:
Although the snow is now flying in Chicago, there is no reason you can’t indulge your green thumb indoors! Try
some of these ideas in your dorm room or apartment!

You can grow wonderful micro greens and herbs in containers located in a sunny winter window (south or west
usually works the best) You can purchase seeds from Pine tree Garden Seeds They have
wonderful seed mixes for your windowsill garden listed as “Micro Greens”. Many ornamental hot pepper plants
also grow well indoors and provide you with VERY hot fresh peppers throughout the winter months. Consider
starting your own from seed or purchasing the following types: Black Pearl, Prairie Fire, and Sangria.

If you want to grow herbs to add to your salads and meals, the following will do well indoors in a sunny window:

       Basil, Bay, Cilantro, Thyme, Savory, Sage, Rosemary, Parsley, Marjoram, Chives and Ginger.

Here’s what you do: Use any container that will sit securely on your windowsill and remember to make sure
your container has drainage holes and a tray underneath to catch excess water. Cottage Cheese and sour cream
containers, washed and dried make great windowsill size planters.
       1.)     Fill container with potting soil,
       2.)     Add seeds to lightly cover soil
       3.)     Gently press seeds into soil
       4.)     Water thoroughly
       5.)     Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (I put a cookie sheet on my radiators and put
               the containers on top of them)
       6.)     Check daily. The soil should remain evenly moist. Remove the plastic wrap from the top
               IMMEDIATELY when germination has begun and when you see small sprouts. If you do not
               remove the plastic wrap at this point, mold will appear and the seeds will decompose rather than
               continue to grow.
       7.)     After removing the plastic wrap keep the soil moist and place in a sunny window until ready to
       Harvest times will vary with what seeds you plant. Check the seed packet for harvesting instructions


Besides the ornamental peppers I mentioned above, certain varieties of Citrus trees actually grow well indoors
with proper care. Certain strawberries, blueberries and bananas can also be grown indoors.

Citrus fruits can be lumped into two main categories-sweet and acid. For indoor growing, the acid types
perform the best. The sweet verities need far more heat than most of our homes produce (or we would want to
pay for!) The list below recommends fruits not sweet enough to enjoy eating fresh from the tree, but they do
make wonderful jams and jellies and even juices when sweeteners are added. They are:

Calamondin, Kaffir Lime, Limequat, Mandarin Orange, Meiwa Kumquat, Meyer Lemon, Pomegranates,
                                     and Blanco grapefruit.

Citrus plants, ”Tophat blueberries”, and strawberries are available from a variety of online seed catalogs, I like
Burgess Seed in Bloomington Ill The plants they sell will be small and require several years
of patience before realizing any fruits. Purchasing plants mature enough to produce fruit can cost anywhere from
$30.00 to $125.00 occasionally, nursery departments in local home improvement stores (Home Depot and
Menards) will carry these plants.
Indoor Gardening and Sprouting Workshop
Questions? Contact Julia Govis at:


   1.) First of all…what is Compost and how does it help make healthy, living soil?

It is soil that can support healthy plant growth, which is composed of the right combination of beneficial
microbes, fungi and earthworms. Healthy soil absorbs CO 2 from the atmosphere and break down leaves and
other organic material, which in create essential plant nutrients and store water at the right amounts for plants
to absorb.

   2.) How do we get healthy soil?

NOT by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides!!!! These products may appear to provide a “quick fix” to get rid
of the problem of insects, plant disease or make our plants lush and green, but the reality is that long term use of
these products actually depletes the soil by killing beneficial microbes in the soil. Chemical fertilizers will in fact
allow plants to thrive, but this can be compared to feeding humans a steady diet of sugar, it will indeed provide
the plant with energy, but long term, sustainable health requirements will not be met.

   3.) So how can you get really good soil?

Make your own! By composting your kitchen scraps you will have all the necessary ingredients to provide your
plants with all the nutrients that they need to be lush, green, happy and productive.

   4.) How do you make compost?

 There are many types of garden sized composters for sale in garden centers, on line and through the city (we
have included details below to make your own). The main thing that you want to consider when filling your
composter is that you have a balanced amount of “greens” (nitrogen based materials) and “browns”, (carbon
based materials). Adding a small amount of plain old garden soil into the composter will introduce some of the
enzymes that will help break your compost down more rapidly.
        “Browns”-Fallen leaves/Chopped woody pruning’s/Sawdust from untreated wood/Black & white
        “Greens”-Fruit & vegetable trimmings/Lawn clippings/Coffee grounds & filters/Egg shells/Citrus
        rinds/Tea bags/Barnyard manure
        What should not be composted? Meat, bones or fish/Dairy products or grease/Grains, beans or
        breads/Dog, cat or bird feces/Sawdust from plywood or treated wood/Diseased plants (in cold piles)

Indoor Gardening and Sprouting Workshop
Questions? Contact Julia Govis at:

The Wonderful World of Sprouted Foods:
Sprouts are one of the most nutritious sources of fresh produce you can eat. When a seed is in contact with
moisture, it begins to germinate. During this process, several key nutrients are made more accessible to us. Some
of these compounds include vitamins A, B-complex and C; minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium;
protein; fiber; essential fatty acids; and various beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

                                                   Dishes above all contain the same amount of antioxidant
                                                   The full article that this information came from can be found

To Grow your sprouts you will need:
      1.)     A glass jar (clean, empty spaghetti sauce jars) works great.
      2.)     A bowl, cup or container that will hold the jar when it is upside down.
      3.)     A piece of screen, netting, cheesecloth, clean kitchen washcloth (the porous type) or cut up nylon
      4.)     A rubber band
      5.)     Fresh water
      6.)     Seeds****

       treated with fungicides and other nasty stuff- Seeds that have been grown and handled for farm
       planted seed crops could be contaminated with salmonella or e-coli leading to food poisoning. Reputable
       sprouting seed suppliers test seed lots for contamination- if in doubt ASK!
       Most Health Food Stores and many Grocery stores carry bulk seeds for sprouting. To buy on line, I like;:,,

Here is what you do:
       1.) SOAK: Put 1-4 TBS of seeds in your jar. Cover the jar with the screen, cloth or nylon; secure it to the
           jar with a rubber band. Add water, swish it around drain that water, then add 1 cup of cool water and
           soak for 4-8 hours. Drain and rinse
       2.) RINSE: Twice a day you will need to pour water into the jar, swish it around and pour it out. Turn the
           jar upside down on the cup, bowl or container that will hold it upside down securely.
       3.) EAT: In 3-6 days, when your sprouts are 1-2 inches long, they are ready to eat. To “green” them up, put
           them in a sunny window for a few hours on the last day. Keep the finished sprouts in a covered
           container in the refrigerator and treat them like you would any other greens.
Indoor Gardening and Sprouting Workshop
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                                                           minutes; drain. In a food processor or blender, purée
Recipes Using Sprouts:                                     chickpeas, garlic, and parsley. Add rest of
                                                           ingredients and blend. Serve sprinkled with paprika.
Adzuki Bean Nut Mix                                        This will keep, if refrigerated in a plastic container,
                                                           for about four days.
I use this mix to sprinkle on top of salads or steamed
vegetables. It also makes a good snack food.               Crunchy Rice Salad

2 cups toasted* adzuki bean sprouts                        You might try using different varieties of rice. I use
1 cup toasted* sunflower sprouts                           1½ cups cooked brown rice and ½ cup wild rice.
½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts
1 clove garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder         2 cups cooked brown rice (works best if rice is cooked
½ teaspoon celery salt                                     at least one day before and refrigerated)
½ teaspoon dried basil                                     1½ cups bean sprouts, or use a combination, such as
½ teaspoon dried oregano                                   adzuki, mung, and lentil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or                         ½ cup water chestnuts, chopped or daikon radish
Romano cheese                                              1 medium red or green pepper, chopped
dash cayenne pepper                                        1½ cups broccoli, chopped
                                                           1 cup green onion, finely chopped
*To toast spouts:                                          1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread sprouts on a large           1 cup chopped parsley
cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes
(five to eight minutes for wheat sprouts). The             Dressing:
sprouts should be slightly crunchy but not dried out.      ¼ cup sesame seeds
Sprouts good for toasting include: adzuki beans,           2 medium cloves garlic, minced
mung beans, sunflower seeds, wheat berries, and            2 teaspoon ginger root, peeled and minced, or ½
chickpeas. Sprinkle cumin or paprika on top of             teaspoon ground ginger 1/3 cup frozen orange juice
humus and serve with pita spread.                          concentrate, thawed
                                                           1 tablespoon canola
Sprouted Humus Spread
                                                           1 tablespoon sesame or walnut oil
Humus is good for spreading on pita bread, crackers,       2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
or raw vegetables.                                         1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1½ cups chick pea sprouts, blanched 2 medium cloves        ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
garlic                                                     ½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil                                    Toast sesame seeds in heated non-stick skillet for a
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)                        minute on medium-high heat. Stir frequently (don't
¼ cup lemon juice                                          let burn). Whisk other ingredients together or place
½ teaspoon tamari                                          in blender to mix. Toss together salad ingredients,
1 teaspoon honey or sugar                                  dressing, and sesame seeds. Chill and serve.
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper dash of paprika

Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Pour
in chickpea sprouts and turn off stove. Let sit for five

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