To provide information, ideas and solutions to cold climate gardeners of all experience levels.
Author: Diane Ziomek
I am a mom, grandma, independent author/publisher, freelance writer, fiber artist, and information product creator. I like to share what I have learned with others over the years, in hopes of making their lives easier and more lucrative. My published works can be found on most ebook platforms, as well as on my website.
I also have two just-for-fun websites: one about gardening where I share information about plants, how-to's, and gardening in a cold climate, and the other to document my journey to a healthier me by practicing yoga and low-impact exercise.
BRRRRR! It’s cold out there today! It’s -35 Celcius (-45 C with the windchill) and not much sign of it warming up anytime soon. The sun is shining though so that makes me happy.
A few days ago I posted about the sprouts I started. I’ve been munching on them for a couple days now and they’re oh so tasty. Well, in my opinion anyway.
It didn’t take long for them to grow, and the alfalfa seeds definitely give you a lot of bang for your buck. I can see how that one little package can easily yield 30 cups of sprouts. My one tablespoon of seeds yielded almost four cups of sprouts on Day 4. I’m sure if I had left them another day the jar would have been completely full.
I took pictures of the progress each day starting with the seeds after the initial soaking for several hours. Check out the pics below.
The best part of the process is being able to enjoy fresh greens within a few days. The photo below is of my supper Sunday evening, which was Day 4.
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It seems like it has taken forever, but in all honesty it’s only been a few days.
My sprout seeds arrived and I couldn’t wait to get some started. The lids came with two packages of seeds, plus I ordered a separate package of seeds for more selection. And with the temperatures quickly dropping to minus 30 degrees Celsius, a taste of spring will be welcome.
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When I took the Sprouting Workshop I bought seeds from the same company as above and they had an excellent germination rate. The lids are a little (okay, a lot) different from the one I bought at the workshop but they seem to work well. I like the ease in which the water can be added and drained, and the jars don’t want to roll away because of the flat design on the lids.
I put the seeds (1 tbsp of alfalfa in one jar and 4 tbsp of Crunchy Bean Mix in another) in water and let them soak while I was at work. Each seed type has a different recommendation on the package which I suggest you follow, at least until you know how much room they’ll take up in the jar.
After soaking all day, I drained the water and laid the jars on their sides. I’m anticipating some sprouting by morning. The trick is to keep them moist, so I’ll rinse them again before I go to work.
Last time I sprouted seeds the beans were ready in a matter of a few days. They were crunchy and had a somewhat nutty flavour. I can hardly wait for these to be big enough to eat.
I love sprouts in salad, on a sandwich or just by themselves. Adding some fresh greens to our diet will be a good mid-winter boost.
The package of alfalfa seeds is supposed to yield at least 30 cups of sprouts. If I remember I should measure each batch I do so I can see just how much I get. It will be interesting to know.
It’s easy to get started with sprouting, and no specialized equipment is needed. I have had success with a plastic mesh as well as the stainless steel screen I bought at the workshop. I plan on buying a few different types of lids as well as an actual sprouting tray just to see how each works. I just have to be careful not to get ahead of myself, or I’ll have more sprouts than we can eat in a week.
Stay tuned to see how they turn out. I’ll be posting pictures so you can see the progress.
Have you tried to grow sprouts? If so, did you enjoy the process and the tasty reward?
With the new year comes a change in direction for me. I am so excited to be working on this gardening site. It was a long time coming.
I have tossed the idea around for a few years now, but the stars finally lined up so I could set it in motion. It took a lot of bouncing ideas around inside my head and on paper, and it has now come to fruition.
I’m in this one for the long haul and have recruited a good friend of mine to help out with the articles. Jim spent many years as a journalist and editor, plus he is an avid gardener. He’s working on his first article for me as I write this. I have asked him to write a short bio which will be posted alongside mine within the next few days.
We are supposed to get some snow over the next few days which will add some extra insulation to the ground. Out here in the country the extra insulation isn’t a bad thing because septic systems tend to freeze when the frost runs too deep.
The extra blanket of snow also means less chance of plants succumbing to the frigid temperatures we endure each winter. I’m an Albertan through and through, but the older I get the less I can tolerate the cold. Maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age.
I ordered some seeds so I can start sprouting again which is the easiest way to get started with gardening. Being able to enjoy the fruits (or sprouts) of your labour within days during the cold winter days not only adds some green to your day, but also some green to your wallet. The rising cost of produce deters people from eating as healthy as they should, so gardening in even the simplest form will help offset the grocery bill.
I’ll be documenting my gardening journey this year starting with my sprouts when my order arrives. Then I’ll share my seed-starting experience so I have my own bedding plants this year. It has been several years since I’ve grown my own bedding plants. I think it’ll be like doing it for the first time.
Watch for product reviews, recipes and general tips and tricks from my partner-in-crime and me. And feel free to ask questions about gardening. We’re here to help.
Are you an experienced gardener or a newbie? Let me know in the comment section.