One way to grow vegetables in a tiny house, year around, is to sprout organic seeds. Indeed, sprouts are considered by many people to be Super Food. The process of soaking and sprouting seeds activates the enzymes within. It is the enzymes that change the composition of the seed, increasing the amount of protein and vitamins, and decreasing carbohydrates. Further, digestibility is improved as the result of sprouting, so nutrients are more available for absorption.
Although there are sprouting trays and hemp sprouting bags available for purchase, the easiest and least costly way to sprout seeds is to recycle an empty quart-sized glass jar, which has been carefully washed. Use no more than a tablespoon or two of seed, depending on the size of your jar. Begin by soaking your seeds overnight in purified water, then rinse and drain.
Continue to rinse and drain your seeds twice per day, once in the morning and once at night to prevent the formation of mold and harmful bacteria, which could make you sick. Covering the tops of your glass jars with a mesh screen or cheese cloth will allow the water to properly drain from the jar without losing seeds in the process.
In nature, sprouts prefer to emerge in darkness, so is best to lay the jar on its side in a warm, dark cupboard. Seeds will germinate within two or three days from the start soaking, depending on the temperature of their environment, and perhaps even the type of seed.
Sprouts are at their peak flavor and nutritional value when tiny green leaves appear at the tips. Should you be unable to consume the sprouts at this stage of their maturity, they will store well for several days in a refrigerator, where they will continue to grow, but at a much slower rate.
Take care to begin with only untreated (preferably organic seeds) meant for sprouting, not treated seeds meant to be planted in the ground. Assuming you have purchased quality seed to begin with, poor seed germination could only result from soaking in too little or too much water, a cool growing temperature, or too much light.
The most common seeds used for sprouting are mung beans, sunflower, buckwheat, red lentil, red clover, non-GMO alfalfa, and the Brassica family which includes radish, cabbage, and broccoli. Less commonly sprouted seeds are fenugreek, mustard, and onion seeds. Each seed will bring its own nutritional and flavor profile to your table, offering you endless variety. Organic, untreated sprouting seeds may easily be purchased online. Shop around for quality, price, and availability.
Spouts may be used in smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups, and of course stir fry. Your purpose for sprouts will determine which seed you will want to soak, as the sprouts often taste like the adult vegetable they were intended to produce. For example, can you imagine an onion flavored smoothie? Wouldn’t that work much better in a sandwich, instead?
Even in the dead of winter you can garden inside your tiny house. Ronnie and Minh, have graciously allowed me to share this video on how you can grow sunflower greens inexpensively inside a tiny house.
Video Credit: Ronnie & Minh. Used with permission.