#2 – Sprouter
Our top recommendation – Gardening for Wimps & Terra Cotta, Basket, and/or Hemp Bag Sprouter
We all know that raw foods are best. Sprouts are a form of raw with even greater increased nutrition. In addition, many seeds are not eaten in the form we get them (ie. dried, grains and beans); sprouting makes them more digestible. Sprouts are a small, easy, and cheap improvement to your diet with big benefits, but it is a lifestyle change that will take time to become a habit.
Sprouting is indoor gardening that allows you to have fresh organic “baby vegetables” year-round. Sprouting has been traditionally done in a glass jar with cheesecloth or fine netting over the opening but a Sprouter adds convenience and lessens the chance of molding, and they are quite inexpensive. The key to Sprouting is good air circulation and good drainage. These are 2 big problems when using a jar. Jar sprouting tends to many crop failures, due to spoilage.
Gardening for Wimps is a Freedom & Simplicity™ guide to sprouting, from Me and My House. It tells you all you need to get started in kitchen gardening–why sprout, the proper equipment, the various seeds, proper care, etc. It also includes recommendations for sprouters, going into more depth than I do here.
We’ve used several types of sprouters over the years, beginning with those glass jars, moving on to a plastic 2 layer “jar” with drainage, and then on to tray sprouters that provided verticle sprouting and that provides a much better environment for the sprouts with room to grow and much better crops. One of our favorite tray sprouters was in a clear “house” with a roof. This sprouter provided the humidity needed for good sprouting. The Sprout Master is a verticle sprouter with 3 plastic trays with covers. (Here’s the Single, and Mini Triple.) These are easy to use and good method and inexpensive, …
… but I’d really like to avoid the plastic. I have 2 choices I know of, 1) find some good traditional bamboo baskets for sprouting, or 2) a newer type of sprouter (to me anyhow) made of TerraCotta. I’m really excited about these. Untreated clay, great environment for the sprouts–with no plastic out-gassing, has great ventilation, absorbtion. TerraCotta Sprouters (or this one) provide an environments most similar to natural growing conditions. (However, last I checked these were currently unavailable).
The baskets were the first used and sold by the Sproutman in 1977. However due to inconsistent quality he quit selling them. You can look for a good sprouting basket made of unshellaced bamboo with a tight “bread basket” weave.
The Hemp Bag Sprouter (made here in the USA) is also an easy to use and natural option. Just dip and hang. We recommend it for certain types of sprouts.
If you really get into sprouting, or you’re really a gardening wimp, you may want to get an automatic sprouter. They can be really handy if you tend to forget to water your sprouts, or if you have many sprouts growing. The drawback is, again, these are plastic. The Freshlife automatic sprouter is made up of round trays that sit on a water reservoir and has a misting head that sprays over the top of your sprouts. Another type of automatic sprouter is the Easy Green. After researching these out and talking with a friend who uses one, I think I can highly recommend the EasyGreen MikroFarm. We may eventually partner with them, but for now, here’s an Amazon link, for the best price we’ve found there. Easy Green Automatic Sprouter