In the wintertime I start to get the gardening blues … I don’t get nearly the amount of time playing in the dirt that I crave. That’s one more reason I love growing my own Sunflower Seed Greens in my kitchen window. I get to play in the dirt and I have my own organically grown nutritious greens to add into salads and green smoothies at my whim. YAY!
If you want to grow your own, here’s the low-down on how to do it … (this also works great with Buckwheat greens which are a little thinner stem and equally as yummy … and wheat berries for wheat grass though I haven’t done that one just yet).
1. Get some seeds. I got my sunflower and buckwheat seeds from my favorite nut and seed place: Sun Organic Farm. If you get them anywhere else, here’s what you need to look for:
- seeds in shells (they won’t grow if they are hulled)
- raw seeds (they won’t grow if they are roasted)
- organic seeds (why add chemicals if you don’t have to?)
Now you have your seeds. Store whatever you aren’t using in an airtight container. I keep mine in the fridge to make sure they last well.
2. Get a pot of dirt. I have this lovely little yellow pot I love to use since it’s so cheery. I fill it with garden-quality dirt I bought from the store, but if you have your own compost dirt, that would be even better.
3. Soak your seeds. Get a handful of seeds – enough that will cover the top of your pot but not so many that you can’t have every seed touching the dirt. Soak that handful of seeds in pure water (filtered so there isn’t any chlorine in it is best) for at least 8 hours. I soak mine at room temperature overnight.
4. Drain the seeds in a colander. Some say to drain the seeds for 8 hours (just let them sit in the colander) however I’ve had just as much success (or more) without this step … just drain them and move on.
5. Water the soil in your pot, then put the drained seeds on top so they are a thick carpet with every seed touching the soil.
6. Cover the pot with saran, but don’t tighten this over the pot. Just drape the saran over the edge of the pot without making it cling. This will keep the moisture in while giving the seeds air to grow. I put the pot in a warm darker corner of my counter top (frankly it’s the back of my stove since I don’t use it so much).
7. After 4 days, remove the saran and give your seeds their first dose of water. Move the pot to a sunny location and water the greens once a day.
8. About 3 days later you should have greens worth harvesting. Buckwheat and Sunflower greens will be about 5-7 inches tall and wheat grass about 7-8 inches tall. When you harvest your greens cut them as close to the base as possible since this is where the majority of the vitamins are stored.
I put my greens into green smoothies and on top of salads and sometimes I just eat them straight up. What a delightful treat!
9. When you’re done with the greens you can compost the used soil and start a fresh batch with already composted or store-bought soil.