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John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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The food system in Wisconsin is a mess if you ask me, in general nobody seems to care very much, I'm always trying to eat well in spite of my surroundings and the selection at the stores and restaurants. Seems you can have anything you want to eat as long as it's junk food like corn flakes, Cheetos, pringles or highly processed meats. I can count 10 mcdonalds restaurants, at least 1 in every nearby town. I drive an hour each way past maybe 50 farms to the one that has figured out how to sell pastured raw milk in a legit way if that tells you anything about the situation (instead of having 5 local farmers fighting for my 6+ gallon per week business the way I envision it should be in Americas so called dairyland). That being said one food I was looking at adding into our diet is microgreens. I haven't really found sprouts to be a big hit I our house yet but the idea of using the new growth of microgreens in salads and shakes or in other meals appeals to me. Has anyone done sunflower seed sprouts? I was also interested in how muskmelon seed sprouts taste. Every melon we buy has a load of seeds in it, was thinking if I sprout those seeds it would make a nice batch of sprouts as well. Getting live greens that haven't been shipped long distance is a challenge in the winter. Starting to think I need some sort of a greenhouse.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 494
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey... i do sunflower soil-sprouts/microgreens. i soak the seed overnight. strain them. water them twice a day and bury them in soil, when the sprout appears.
i made sprouting jars from jars with screw on plastic lids and made many holes in them.

to grow them i use compost. it s best to have deep flower pots or similar. not these flat trays. much soil means less watering. i resuse the soil after harvest and take off just the first inch or so, which i put into an indoor worm bin (just starting, not running that well by now). the idea is to have a closed system for the soil and nutrients.
i grow them on window sills.

just test how they taste in different stages.

grass fron barley-grains and pea-shoots are very nice, too
 
John Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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Excellent, do you have a suggestion for finding bulk seeds that sprout? I bet the snack food bags of sunflower seeds are roasted, what about the bags intended for bird food?
 
Andrew Brock
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I do sunflower seeds and buckwheat. Buckwheat groats are a cheap source. I use a similar method as above except I use a thin tray. I have them under a humid me so moisture isn't an issue.. I use coconut coir so I don't have to worry about potential bacterial contamination
 
Tobias Ber
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Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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i sprout PEELED organic sunflower seeds (not roasted). there are some broken seeds in it, but that does not matter, when you bury em. they ll end up as fertilizer or worm-food.
when you sprout them in glasses, the broken seed tend to get messy. you would have to rinse them out after the good seeds are sprouted.
i also use seed harvested from last years sunflowers in garden. it was a wet fall, so most of harvest rotted away. but i got some and use them.

you could test bird food. i think, it s 2€ per kg. a kg of sprouting seed would be 11-15 € or so. most sunflower seeds with hulls on are roasted.

i use cheap (non-organic) dried soup peas. they are 2-3€ per kg and sprout nearly 100%. these are for sprouts (3-5 days or so).
that s a higher germination rate than my store-bought pea-seeds for gardening (i pre-sprout them for 2-3 days before sowing them). these are for growing complete plants.
 
John Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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I found these, will give them a shot and see if we like them. http://www.amazon.com/Hulled-Sunflower-Seeds-Organic-grams/dp/B0017O74DE
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 494
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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john, i think they will work, but are very expensive. over here i get them in the organic-food-aisle of supermarkets or "drug-stores" for 5-6€ per kg.
but that package will last a very long time when you re just doing soil sprouts with it

i just dug up a flowering box that had pea-shoots, some wheat grass and some sunflowers. i found some happy earth-worms. when i planted that box, i added earthworms from garden and kitchen scraps. i bury kitchen scraps, leaves and even small branches in the trays. so it s important that they re deep. i get a few harvests from one batch of peas, barley- or wheat-grass. that seasier to do in more soil.

i d like to try lettuce and spinach soon... just sow em densely, harvest some as baby-greens and let the rest grow and just harvest some leaves from time to time...

i m working on an indoor system that will produce it s own soil and nutrients. i m not there yet, but step by step. i d like to build a flow-trough worm bin, where i just drop the finished shoot-growing boxes/trays and let the worms process it. at the bottom i ll take out a mixture of the original planting substrate and worm-compost. it should work very quickly, because it s mostly soil as input. not like normal worm bins which will get 100% kitchen-scraps and bedding material.
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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I'll find a cheaper source for the next bag, going to see if they go over well first. Look into bokashi style composting as part of your soil from food scraps idea. That has been for me the easiest no smell way to go from food scraps to soil in very little time.
 
Stephanie Ladd
Posts: 67
Location: Southeast Wisconsin, urban
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[quote=John Master]The food system in Wisconsin is a mess if you ask me, in general nobody seems to care very much, I'm always trying to eat well in spite of my surroundings and the selection at the stores and restaurants. Seems you can have anything you want to eat as long as it's junk food like corn flakes, Cheetos, pringles or highly processed meats. I can count 10 mcdonalds restaurants, at least 1 in every nearby town. I drive an hour each way past maybe 50 farms to the one that has figured out how to sell pastured raw milk in a legit way if that tells you anything about the situation (instead of having 5 local farmers fighting for my 6+ gallon per week business the way I envision it should be in Americas so called dairyland). [/quote]

That's an interesting perspective. I'm in Milwaukee and I notice some of what you talk about, but also notice a huge boom in healthier eating. I supposed it's different in rural areas, but here we have many many farmers markets during the summer and a winter farmers market that's pretty much sold out if you get their after 10:00 am. We have several micro green and aquaponic companies in the area that sell to local health food stores. We have a health food store chain that is booming as well. There are a lot of urban community farms popping up and last year I was involved in a urban farming program put on by the UW Extension system.

Where are you located?
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 494
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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i do not know much about bokashi. looks somewhat expensive. how do you use it in your place?

is bokashi worm friendly?

i wonder if i could use lacto bacteria from ferments like sauerkraut to add into compost. or as "first stage" of a worm bin. but too much acid will not be good for the worms.
what s the ph value of finished bokashi compost?
 
Lee Kochel
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I believe that bokashi is just a means of increasing the natural healthy microorganisms (as opposed to the putrifying ones) that are already in your soil. As such the pH will tend to be in the 6 to 7 range that most bacteria and fungi like. However, for nutritious plants, per Eileen Ingham, what is required is biological turnover, which is accomplished when the bacteria and fungi are eaten and pooped out by their predators such as protozoans and nematodes and earth worms, which you are already doing. Making bokashi, while interesting, seems extraneous in your case.
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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Stephanie, I live between east troy and Mukwonago, somewhat in rural area. The east troy farmers market had about 5 vendors all last year. On the positive side we have square roots in east troy organic farm family with a restaurant, Zinnikers biodynamic farm, Michael fields agricultural institute in east troy (stella gardens grows organic/biodynamic produce), cobblestone farm highland cattle honey valley beekeeping honey and a few other organic/biodynamic minded producers. I am hoping to join them in some ways as my kids get older and can help more, to move more from a consumer to a provider. Unfortunately we have plenty of mcdonalds, burger king, subway, cousins, taco bell, dairy queen, culvers, greasy spoon diners ( I like grease just not Sysco big-food restaurants), bars, liquor stores, gas station convenience stores and gma member (mostly gmo-processed food) chain grocery stores like pick n save, piggly wiggly, sentry, etc and junk food vending machines scattered far and wide. Finally a health hut just moved into Mukwonago which has been a huge bonus for us, even a lot of the selection there though is "processed-healthy". For instance I can get earth balance spread but not raw milk cultured butter. I drive past about 50 places I could buy cigarettes to get to the only place I can buy raw milk where they use clever ways to do it legally...10 other states have it legal-available for sale in the grocery store.


Bokashi is a culture, temporarily stored in/on bran or sawdust, that when scattered on food scraps or vegetation will inoculate it with the culture speeding and helping the matter to breakdown and turn into rich wonderful soil in as quickly as a month. the initial process starts in an anaerobic container, after awhile you can spread it into other soil like a compost pile or garden and the rest of the breakdown will take place. What I like best is you can bokashi almost any form of food scrap, whereas the worm bin is particular no meat, no citrus, no dairy etc. with Bokashi composting I just throw it all in. It's not just for composting though, it has many other uses.

 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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Also, the seeds in the link did not sprout, not sure why as they are raw, I got sunflower sprouting seeds from good harvest in Pewaukee and they came up thick and tall. Awesome!
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 494
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey john,

would you be able to grow sunflower seeds yourself? sprouting seeds are very expensive, so that could make sense. when you do soil sprouting, there is no need to sort out or process the sunflower seeds. so that s not toooooooo much work.
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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Yes, I would either grow my own for seed or buy in bulk, I just bought the small bag because it was convenient and I wanted to see if I woul d like the flavor, so far they seem like they would work well in all kinds of salads, shakes and other uses, very nice flavor, not bitter.

 
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