Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Growing Sprouts for Hens and Humans
Since The Egg Project is about eggs from grass-fed, cage-free hens, I have to figure out what to do about providing grass/greens in winter when the portable laying house is stilled for the season. One answer--- sprouts.
Growing various kinds of sprouts is an interesting exercise in personal self-sufficiency that I've done before. But I've misplaced/discarded most of my sprouting equipment and had to buy new. The Victorio 4-Tray sprouter is a nice little unit for producing alfalfa and other salad type sprouts in your house. If you are worried about the winter unavailability of fresh local greens in your diet, this sprouter can be heaven-sent.
For poultry purposes, I intend to start one tray a day (for which I will need a second sprouter, as alfalfa sprouts take 7 days) and each day one tray will become ripe. A little of the sprout-mass will be diverted for human consumption, and the rest goes to the hens.
I have also thought of sprouting some grains and/or beans in mason jars for additional feed. Problem is, I might not be able to get certified-organic grains and beans to sprout. Before 'organic' became the name of a government program, that might not have mattered, since the seeds were sprouted without chemicals or non-organic additives. But now, I wonder if some people will worry that my eggs are not organic enough. They'll still be grass-fed/green-fed, though.
As the poultry flock grows, I'll have to go larger-scale. I've seen pictures of people using plastic trays like the kind you get bedding plants in, on plastic shelving units, as an indoor sprout farm. I have a couple trays like that--- I once planned to grow wheatgrass in them. Might be something to try.