Prepping Without a Green Thumb
Guest Post: by Davis Mauldin
Many folks will agree… an economic crash is not “if” but “when.” I believe that we are living in the eye of the storm and any number of happenings could be the spark for a crash. Choose your poison: super high inflation, a derivatives fiasco, a too big to fail failure, 1859-esque solar flares, terrorist attack, a huge quake in California or SE Missouri (New Madrid). The list goes on and on. But the truth is the occurrence will likely catch us completely off guard with a disaster no one expects… something we never in our wildest dreams expected like the 9.2 quake and tidal wave in Japan. Who could have foreseen that nightmare?
My spouse and I have been preparing since our wedding six years ago. We’ve been moving forward by the numbers: food, shelter, water… food, shelter, water. When it comes to storing food, most of those concerned about the future usually have 50 pound sacks of various dried beans and white rice and maybe an assortment of dried something or other. That bland combo of beans and rice, rice and beans might work for a follower of the Dave Ramsey Show while they’re working their way out of being in debt but what about fresh produce a month or two after the collapse?
Put in a garden? that’s easy to say. That’s a prudent idea but it’s easier said than done to provide your loved ones with all they’ll need month after month. My wife and I have tried to grow a garden now for three seasons and will continue to sharpen our green thumb skills next year and the year after. But after three seasons of trying, all we have succeeded in doing is lowering our price per tomato from $48.98 each to under $9 (our tomatoes really tasted good!). That’s making progress but sadly, this level of success and puny production won’t feed your family for very long. What’s a lover of fresh vegetables to do?
Several months ago, I had one of those “ah-ha” moments. Sprouts! We could grow sprouts twelve months a year and there are so many kinds from which to choose (broccoli, radish, alfalfa, clover, garlic, mung bean, etc., etc.). In the past I have grown some alfalfa sprouts in those plastic layered trays but somehow my plastic gismo had disappeared. I went online and did some google searches looking for the lowest prices on seeds and suggested methods for growing these little veggies.
Finding the best bulk prices was pretty easy – google “buy bulk sprouting seeds” and compare – and I decided to use the mason jar method of sprouting (a wide mouth mason jar fitted with a plastic ring and stainless steel or plastic screen insert). With 2 months of non-stop kitchen mini-farming experience, I have declared myself to be an expert and want to explain exactly how you can grow and harvest fresh vegetables every few days year round.You can either use pint or quart wide mouth mason jars for your countertop mini-farm. For a one day ration for 2 people of these yummy and extremely healthy little plants, I have found that the pint-size jar is just perfect (broccoli sprouts, for example, are more than 10 times more nutritious than the full-grown broccoli plant).
If you use the smaller jar, measure a level tablespoon of sprout seeds and dump them into the jar (use two tablespoons of seeds if you use a 32 ounce jar). Next, cover the seeds with an inch or so of water and let the seeds soak for 8-12 hours. My “south forty” sprout farm is located next to our kitchen sink so it acts as an in your face reminder for me to religiously carryout the twice daily rinses. NOTE: The sprouting jars should not be in direct sun light.
After the 8-12 hour soak – with the plastic ring and screen screwed on to the jar – shake the water out of the jar and refill it. Rinse (shake) this seed-filled fresh water for three or four seconds before emptying the water (I set the jars upside down on our toaster oven’s broiling rack to catch any excess water drainage). You’ll find that when you think all the water has been shaken out, if you will rotate the jar about forty-five degrees even more water will drip out. Repeat this rinsing regimen every 12 hours placing the jars upside down on the broiler rack so air can circulate a little bit.
Voila, in three or four days your mason jars will be filled with fresh sprouts. I have a glass container that I shake my crop of fresh veggies into for storage in the refrigerator. Now I’m ready to start another crop. Actually, I have 3-5 jars growing continuously that I have started a day apart. This gives me a non-stop supply of sprouts.
With or without a green thumb and with just minimal effort, you can provide your family with healthy greens all year round… even Mikey will like ’em… and they’re really good for you!
Davis Mauldin is a self-declared guru in the area of sprout cultivation. Feeling that economic collapse is inevitable, he and his better half have been prepping for 6 years. Having had little success to date in growing a garden that would sustain them, they discovered that growing sprouts year round is a simple way to provide their loved ones with fresh and healthy veggies. Other important items related to prepping can be found at this web site, http://survivalgearchecklist.net
“I march to a different accordion”
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