Monday, November 15, 2010

homemade sprout shelf; homemade cat toy

Now that our outdoor garden is petering out, it's time to focus more on growing our food inside.  We don't have grow lights or a heating mat or anything fancy, but we can still grow sprouts.  In fact sprouts are a little easier to grow in the winter because they're less likely to mold.

Even in summer when produce is plentiful, I usually have some sprouts growing.  I love how in just a few days, a tablespoon of seeds can turn into a whole quart of food.  But we didn't have enough space to grow more than one jar at a time...until now!  Check out the sprouting shelf that Jake built:

Pretty, isn't it?  And see the plastic shelf underneath? That's to catch the draining water.  (The shelf where the jars sit has drainage holes.)    What a great design! 

Sprouts are easy, easy, easy to grow.  My rabbits could grow sprouts if rabbits had opposable thumbs.  All you have to do is soak a tablespoon or so of sprouting seeds overnight.  Then drain them, add some more water, swish them around, and drain them again.  Wash and drain them twice a day and...that's it!  You'll have sprouts in less than a week.  I use the plastic mesh lids on my mason jars for washing and draining my sprouts, but lots of people use cheesecloth, and one of my regular readers uses a different system with coffee filters.  (Maybe she'll explain in the comments?)  I always keep my jars at a 45 degree angle so all the water drains out and the seeds don't rot.

I'm lucky because the co-op has a huge assortment of sprouting seeds: alfalfa, broccoli, radish, oats, clover, and lots of seed mixes with interesting items like cress and fenugreek.  I'm currently growing a French blend, a salad blend and a legume blend.  I'll post pictures when I get a full jar.

Another side effect of colder weather is that Trilby doesn't get to go on many excursions, so he needs more toys.
I made this catnip fish's face from some thrifted linen.  The body fabric came from a great local store, Affordable Fabrics, which sells manufacturer's overstock fabric for 1.99/yard.  I had bought it for another project a while ago and still had some scraps lying around.

I did do a little driving and shopping today.  I went back to Connecticut College's library for Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail.  And because the college is so close to the supermarket, I bought twelve cans of cat food, four organic pears and one bunch of organic celery.  I didn't need apples today, but while I was there I noticed that the price of conventional apples is hardly any cheaper than the organic apples at the co-op.  I was relieved, because I wondered if buying organic was a big splurge.  Nope, not really.

Daily consumption totals:
People Food: 5.86
Cat food: $4 (on sale and generated a $1 coupon)
Miles Driven: 6.3
Stuff we made from stuff we had on hand: sprout shelf and cat toy.


  1. Your reading sounds great! Please continue to mention titles because I'm taking note. :) And I love how Jake makes your soap dishes and other wooden things for your household. You two make an awesome team.

  2. I love how Jake makes things for the household, too. :) About the reading, I thought some of it might be dry but it is fascinating. I didn't know anything about the black jacks despite living in an old whaling town. And the abolitionists were so brave. Some of them are still well-known, but a lot of heroes have disappeared into obscurity.