There is so much to learn about gardening. I used to think gardening involved either flowers or vegetables and was always done outside. However, recently I took a class on how to plant an indoor sprout garden. It was wonderful! I left the class with my beautiful garden full of seeds and my heart full of excitement of what was to grow!
I always tell my girls to really appreciate each new day for what it has to offer. You never know what the day will bring or where it will lead. Whether it is a great day or not, there is always something new and exciting – it all depends on how you look at things. For example, I had no idea that when I decided to do a running class one morning that I would be introduced to a fantastic woman named Pauline. Trisha told me later that Pauline teaches indoor gardening classes and that it would be a great idea for a blog post. I completely agreed and contacted Pauline right away. The next morning, I was planting sprouts! Before I get into the sprouts – I really want to share how delightful it is to be around Pauline. She is so passionate about gardening and about sprouts that you just want to soak up everything she has to say. She has such a positive energy about her and when you are around her, you just can’t help but be happy! It is no wonder that her plants grow so well! So, if you live in the Apex area and want to learn about sprouts and how to plant them, Pauline should definitely be your teacher!
Okay, back to the sprouts…
Sprouts are basically seeds that are starting to grow into plants. In this class we grew a variety of sprouts, including broccoli, sunflower, radish, lentil, buckwheat, and amaranth. I should mention that we learned how to grow soil sprouts. The type of sprout is important because it determines which part of the plant you consume. You eat the leaf and stem of the soil sprout, not the roots.
There were about six of us learning how to grow sprouts at this class and we all seemed to have about the same level of gardening experience. Pauline was organized and completely prepared to handle beginners like us. Everything was laid out in order of use and she had visual samples of products she purchased, such as the types of soils and seeds. I found this helpful as I will be likely to remember what the bags looked like when I go to purchase my own. Pauline also explained how practical indoor gardening can be, especially since you can use items already in your cupboards. It is not necessary to purchase fancy planters, although, that can be fun too. You can plant in bowls, baking dishes, really anything that can hold soil. For the class Pauline provided us each with small galvanized planters with plastic liners. Once we layered compost, kelp, and soil we were ready to “plant” our seeds. The planting was merely placing beautifully colored seeds on top of the soil. By the time we were finished with our gardens, they looked more like pieces of art rather than something that would soon grow food. After one more good look at our masterpieces, we covered them up with wet newspaper. They were ready to be placed in dark cupboards when we got back to our homes. A few days later I checked on my seeds and they were already sprouting!! I couldn’t believe it! Could my thumb really be turning green?! I took my sprouts from the cupboard and placed them on my kitchen windowsill. A few short days later, there was a salad waiting to be harvested! Yum!
Not only are the sprouts deliciously crisp and flavorful, they are easy to digest, and also high in vitamins and minerals. I am very serious about the flavor these sprouts provide. I tossed them with some romaine lettuce, mixed in an avocado and that was our salad! I didn’t add dressing and my kids didn’t ask for it either. My family loved it and my youngest even helped herself to seconds!
What I love about the sprout garden is that the results are quick! With each passing day, you notice the changes and progress of the plants. As a novice, and impatient gardener, I appreciate this aspect of indoor gardening. Pauline pointed out that the indoor gardens add beauty and cheerfulness to the inside of the home, especially during the winter months when outside is cold and snowy. This is so true! It is nice to see lovely greens growing inside when plant life outside seems halted for the season.
Pauline refers to the book: Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening by Peter Burke throughout her lesson. It is available on Amazon.com (of course).
If you are interested in learning how to grow sprouts and would like to take Pauline’s class, contact her at email@example.com. You will love the class and Pauline!!
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak
Marianne Lindgren, MS. RD