We buy sunflower seeds in big sacks to feed the birds in winter, the birds love them and I guess that means they hold a lot of energy.
What I didn’t know was that you could get sunflower seeds to shoot indoors and that they TASTE GREAT!!!
OK, we’re a bit deprived of green stuff here (snow still on the ground in late March, not a chance to grow anything outdoors) but these sunflower shoots are heavenly. Just clip them straight from the kitchen window and in they go into a plate of pasta, onto a guiltily-imported tomato from Spain, or on a ham and cheese sandwich. Crunchy, fresh, juicy, mmm!
So this is how we did it. Take a handful of sunflower seeds (yep, the same ones the birds get) and soak them in a jar of water overnight. Spread them tight, tight, tight onto the top of the soil in some sort of planting container. Drainage holes are good to have, but if you don’t have holes just put a layer of newspaper in the bottom to soak up excess moisture. Leave the seeds exposed, no extra soil on top. But its good if you’ve watered the rest of the soil first. Then pop the container into a dark cupboard for a couple of days.
Bring it out into a light, warm place and just watch! They grow before your eyes.
You can do the same thing with mung beans and a bunch of other seeds that sprout, I haven’t tested that yet as we have rather a lot of these ones here to eat first!
Out of interest, I did mix Bokashi compost into the soil here. A thin layer of plain potting mix, a good handful of fermented Bokashi compost, then a good layer of potting mix. If you’re going to do this, make sure you prepare the container a couple of weeks before you plant. These sprouts sprout so damn fast they’ll be down into the Bokashi in no time and they won’t like it if it hasn’t had time to sort itself out — the pH of Bokashi needs a couple of weeks in soil before its ready for the roots. And as long as it’s had its couple of weeks it doesn’t matter if the food hasn’t actually “disappeared”, the plants will love it anyway. The fermenting process has prepared it for them by breaking down the carbohydrates into proteins and amino acids and stuff that the plants can access immediately, so for them your old banana skin is like a drive-in McDonalds. Fast as anything. But a damn sight healthier.