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Edible Sprouting Medium  RSS feed

 
William James
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Hi,
We've been asked to try and sprout Teff for eating. Our client wants it in a "carpet" that looks like grass on a plate.

Our process is usually sprouting on organic potting soil. We'd be willing to use another substrate that is edible, but I'm having trouble finding one.

We've tried germinating without a substrate and it looks horrible, nothing you would want to eat. Plus, we need to keep it within the realm of substrates for other reasons.

Germinating it on soil makes the Teff look great, but you can't eat potting soil, so we're kinda in a problematic situation.

Thanks for any help,

William

update: thinking of chicory or barley "coffee" grounds.
 
John Elliott
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You could try sprouting it on old stale bread, that's got a nice loamy texture and would retain "soil" moisture. The problem you run into is that other things would find this a nice substrate to grow on, and you don't want to have Penicillium mold growing along with your teff. If your "soil" has lots of nutrients, which stale bread does, then you've just fired the starting pistol for every airborne spore to try and colonize it. On the other hand, if you go to sawdust -- high cellulose material, retains water, has pore space for roots to grow, low in nutrients -- can you eat the sawdust along with the teff sprouts? I suppose so, during the siege of Leningrad, sawdust was used as filler to deal with the shortage of flour. It has next to no calories, but it does add a lot of insoluble fiber to the diet.

Maybe those rice cakes, the ones that look like disks of styrofoam, would make a reasonable medium.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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I would try a few edible compost looking mixtures....I'm thinking bread crumbs, pine nuts, nut meal, tapioca, things like this

Browned nicely in a pan it could resemble a soil, or broiled in the oven.......

Really you just need a matrix because you aren't growing out these plants right?
 
William James
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Growing for 5-10 days.

Worried about the edibility of any medium kept in plastic and watered for 10 days. Nuts would be interesting.
William
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Yeah, ten days really cuts down the list....and if it does last ten days watered in plastic, do you want to eat it?

Hmmmmm....thinking

I get a product called "dandi blend" for tea and coffe replacement, it is just dandelion root roasted and ground, this might work as it is root matter.

I feel like anything that supports the life of your plants and the client is going to support the bad things.......even though I gate to say this you may need to look into food grade minerals or charcoal particles, something along those lines that are less likely to begin a breakdown process.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Dandylion root is quite bitter when taking an actual bite of one. Carrots or parsnip are sweeter.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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You are right, I forget that not everyone likes that........so dry crush a carrot or parsnip? Whatever you use it might be good to boil it to sterilize before you start, that might buy a couple of days....
 
William James
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As for food grade minerals, sand does work in the growing part. Getting the sand off in the end was a total disaster. Tried with perlite, same problem. The roots do a good job of sticking to things.
What about just a solid rock?

Daisyblend. Tasty stuff, I had it once. Rosted barley is easy to come by and may be less bitter.

William
 
William James
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Oh oh oh. News!

from a sprouting forum:
"Teff is mucilaginous so you can grow it, without medium, on porous terracotta platters or plant saucers."

I'm wondering if I could buy some mucilage to make it grow more predictable.
-W
 
Steve Farmer
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Some sort of gel medium that would simply wash off?
 
William James
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Found this:
8 spoons of gelatin
3 spoons of vinegar
1 spoon lemon or mint flavor
heat stir violĂ 

You have something sticky that is edible and may (?) help the seeds stick to a stone/terracotta/whatever surface.
Raising the vinegar portion and making it less sticky might actually provide a gel-like substance that is edible and can germinate seeds without decomposing.

Back to the lab to test that.
William
 
Peter Ellis
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Gelatin is a textbook growth medium for bacterial culture. That is to say, it will decompose quite readily. It makes wonderful substrate for growing microscopic life.
 
William James
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Peter Ellis wrote:Gelatin is a textbook growth medium for bacterial culture. That is to say, it will decompose quite readily. It makes wonderful substrate for growing microscopic life.


Bummer. Guess I better go with terracotta. Good to know.
W
 
Peter Ellis
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I wonder if you could grow and serve on the same Terra cotta plate? There's "farm to table" for you!
 
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