Tuesday, April 26

A few of my favorite things...

Popcorn and sprouting are two of my favorite food things... can you imagine my delight when I discovered you can sprout popcorn? 

SO exciting! Jill and I are embarking on a new sprouting adventure. While previously we have only sprouted seeds and grains in glass jars, we are moving to a new world of sprouting; sprouting in medium. A few weeks back, Jill and I were walking back from our dear friends' home and we stumbled upon a stray window. For who knows what reason, there was literally a window laying on the ground, near the sidewalk. Naturally, as most foragers/scavengers do, we took it home. We knew we were destined to find a purpose for it! On our way back, we decided that it would make the perfect mini garden bed, for the garden unit. Conveniently, we ran into our apartment manager, with our window in hand, and he remarked that one of the other buildings owned by our landlord was being renovated, and included were the windows! A few days later, he dropped off some more windows, to add to our recycled garden bed collection.

Last Tuesday, Jill and I lined our first window, to prevent any rotting of the wood. To do this, we simply cut a garbage bag in half, and tacked it to the edge of the wood with nails. To prevent the nails from ripping through the plastic liner, we placed strips of thicker plastic (which we sourced from our empty cottage cheese tub!) atop the bag as reinforcement. Then, we filled the window with soil.

Here is the process for sprouting popcorn:

1. Soak popcorn seeds overnight and then drain in the morning. Rinse and drain, twice daily until a tiny little root pops (ha!) out.

2. Next, lay the seeds on top of moistened soil. Spread the seeds to that they are comfortably next to each other; too close and you may have a helping of mold on your sprouted popcorn... yuck! If you have mold or fungi problems, reduce the density of seeds. Maintain moisture and cover the tray. Make sure there is still air circulation! Keep in low light with room temperature.
3. Water once or twice daily, using a spray bottle, so as not to over water. In three or four days, your sprouts are going to raise the roof! Your cover should lift. At this time, you should put your popcorn shoots in a well-lit area, and make sure they are moist. The shoots are ready to harvest after they are 2 to 4 inches, with green leaves.
Once you harvest your shoots, you can do many things with them. You can eat them raw, otherwise many people suggest blanching them. Blanching simply means boiling them for a short while and then submerging them in ice cold water immediately after boiling, which stops the cooking process. We snacked a little on them, though we were surprised by their sweetness!
After leaving the garden unit for the weekend (we all went to be with our families for Easter weekend, which was delightful), our sprouts went a little bit crazy... They outgrew their tasty stage. So our popcorn sprouts have found a new home; the community garden! Along with some chives that my dear grandpa gifted me for my birthday, we also planted some hostas and hollyhocks from Jill's grandparents. We were assisted by nearly 15 helpers from the neighborhood, and our garden bed is looking quite nice, if I may say so myself. Spring is here (thank goodness!)

Happy growing!

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