Tiny Homes On Wheels : Sprout & Herb Garden

You love the idea of edible plant gardening but you are not sure you will have space in your tiny home on wheels to do it?  Well, don’t fret there is something you can do with that thumb of yours that wants to be green.

bowl of mixed sprouts

In this blog, I will discuss a type of gardening that does not take up much room: the growing of sprouts and herbs.  Vegetables that can be eaten as sprouts are alfalfa, red clover, chickpeas, mung beans, kidney beans, lentils, azuki beans, mustard seeds, buckwheat, broccoli seeds, radish seeds, pumpkin seeds, and snow peas seeds.  There may even be more then I am currently aware of.  The youngest version of these plants have nutrients and enzymes their grown-up versions do not possess.  Many of these can be added to a salad.

Lettuce does not take up much room so you can grow a favorite type or two along with different herbs, such as basil, chives, coriander, parsley, etc.  You can make lettuce last a long time by just harvesting their outer leaves and leaving the rest of the plant where it is.  It will continue to grow in new leaves.  Keep taking the outer leaves out only and you will have lettuce for a couple of weeks.  When flowers start to appear, take the plant out completely.  It is still edible, but will likely have a bitter taste to it.  You may or may not like that taste.

How To Grow Sprouts And Herbs: The Simplest way.

There is more than one way to go about sprouting different plants.  The simplest is just to use some old jars, mason jars are usually the best with a strainer or cheesecloth.  If you are planning on recycling old jars be sure to sterilize them.  You can do so with just dish soap and water or, water and vinegar. 

If you really need to be sure to kill off all bacteria you can put the jars in boiling water for a few minutes.  It all depends on where you obtained the jars.  If you are just recycling from a used jar from the kitchen table some light washing will do.  If you are recycling from a bin more precaution will be needed.

Once you have a reasonable size jar to work with put your desired amount of seeds in the jar and add water.  How long should the seeds soak for?  I was told that big seeds like sunflowers and beans should soak for 24 hours and small seeds like radishes and broccoli should soak for 12 hours. 

Some people believe the seeds should be drained through the cheesecloth or strainer and soaked again during a third and 2 thirds of this time period.  Do what you think is best, just make sure the beans are soaked in water for 24 hours and the smaller seeds 12 hours.

After the soaking is done you will have to rinse the jar with the seeds and put them in the dark for about 3-4 days.  During this time you will have to add water in the jar and rinse again about every four hours and then put the jar back in the dark.  The jars should be tilted at an angle so that excess water goes toward the bottom of the jar. 

There are many videos on sprout gardening on youtube.  Use the search words “sprout garden” in their search engine when searching for them.

Once your sprouts have grown to an acceptable length you may start storing them in the fridge.  Before doing so you may want to pick a few sprouts that are doing really well and transplant them to a big plant pot with the right earth mixture to become full grown plants if you happen to have some room for them.

Jar-of-sprouts

You can use this sprouting method to start growing your herb seeds.  You won’t use as many seeds, however, since you will only want a handful of plants, later on, to sow and not eat.

You could also just sprout some seeds in some earth in a pot that is not very deep, water the seeds and keep the pot in the dark.  If you make sure the earth remains moist and not over flooded, the seeds will still sprout.  Just don’t bury the seeds too deep in the earth, keep them close to the surface. 

For me, the pro of this method stops the sprouts from tasting too watery, especially sunflowers. The con, washing the earth off the sprouts in preparation for consumption can be somewhat of a chore.

The More Sophisticated Ways To Sprout And Grow Herbs.

You could use a 4-tray seed sprouter.   With it, you can grow four different types of sprouts at a time.  You soak all of them at the same time and you drain them all at the same time.  There is also another type of seed sprouter you can use if you just want to grow one type of seed or a mixture of them all at once. 

For the sowing of your herbs and lettuce, you could use a Miracle-Grow Aerogarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit, Platinum.  These are plants grown through hydroponics.  The lightening imitates the sun’s rays. The kit comes with herb seeds.  The kit itself is not too big and won’t take up much room.  Similar kits look like these pictures.

If you have a bit of bare wall where the sun shines on for at least eight hours a day available, you could hang your plants on it with a special type of wall plant holder, as seen in the pictures below.  They are not exactly the same but fulfill the same purpose.

Getting Your Seeds.

When you need to restock your sprout seeds you could get them at Amazon.  Healthy broccoli seeds you could order there.  There are of course many other types of seeds you can order there for sprouting.

Cooking Sprouts and Herbs

Sprouts can be eaten raw with herbs in a salad or sandwich.  Some of them can also be cooked.  Mung beans are used in chop suey.  Sunflower sprouts can be stir-fried.  You can find many recipes on the internet under the general search words “Sprout recipes” or you can be more specific and use search words like “Sunflower sprout recipes” or “Mung bean sprout recipes” etc.  Below are pictures of sunflower sprouts and mung bean sprouts”.

Sprout and Herb Gardening Are Great For Small Spaces.

Tiny homes on wheels do not provide a lot of spaces for big edible plants to grow.  Depending on whether you own the land you are installed on or have an agreement with the person you are renting land from, you may not have the option to grow food on it.  Sprout and herb gardening are ideal for that type of situation.  They do not need much space to grow on.

As an added bonus vegetable sprouts are healthier for you than their full-grown versions.

Acknowledgments

Pictures were taken from Yahoo images.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Marina Tidbury

Marina one

marina@tinyhomesonwheelsfornorthamericans.com

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10 thoughts on “Tiny Homes On Wheels : Sprout & Herb Garden”

  1. This concept is similar to that of urban agriculture where spaces within the house are used to grow healthy vegetables, flower pots, plastic bowls and artificial gardens are all employed to achieve this aim. it is a source of fresh supplies for the household and local markets around the neighbourhood. This article has been quite detailed and illustrative. Following the steps listed here will definitely lead to a pleasant result. 

    Thank you.

  2. Marina, what a fabulous post! It is my dream to one day live off-grid in a tiny house and be as self-sufficient as I can, growing my own food. I LOVE the idea of growing lots of different sprouts and herbs, packed full of nutrition and they take up so little space. Oh, the recipes I could create! A great way to get lots of lovely vitamins in to my children.

    They would also love planting and growing their own sprouts and herbs, there is something magical about planting a little seed and watching it grow, don’t you think? A lovely way to teach kids about nature.

    Hydroponics also interests me greatly and I will definitely be having a closer look at the Miracle-Grow Aerogarden. I have read about people having amazing success using this growing method. 

    In the meantime, although I don’t yet have my dream tiny home, I can put your tips and advice to good use. I’m off to buy some seeds (and very possibly, an Aerogarden!)

    Sharon 

     

  3. This is a great post detailing how to grow  sprouts and herbs.This makes for interesting reading.I never knew how to grow herbs before but this post has just enlightened me clearly. I like broccoli and I will try out growing it soon.This post will be useful to many people, thanks for the good work.

  4. Hi!

    What a great post! I do not own a tiny home myself but I’m in an apartment so space is still pretty limited. What caught my interest in this post is I’ve been looking into urban farming. I don’t have a ton of cash to drop on it and any DIY method is always better!

    I will have to try your instructions on using glass jars as I have plenty of those lying around. So all I need are the seeds to get started. One of the great things about sprouts: they are quick and take up minimal resources but very nutrient dense. I love them in wraps!

    Thanks so much for this info. I’m excited to try!

  5. Hello Marina,

    I love fresh vegetables and having plants in my home but nothing seems to stay very healthy looking for too long. I don’t know how well I’d do with the whole draining the sprouts every four hours thing. Is there any particular type of sprout that is hardier for those people whose thumbs aren’t so green? A good starter sprout variety? I might be better off putting the kids in charge of this project. A good lesson for them and a bonus of healthy food for the rest of us, if they can do better than Mommy at it. 🙂

    Thank you for the post! 

    1. I don’t think any seed is really hard to sprout.  The challenges usually occur when you wish to grow them to full term.  One easy seed to sprout is the sunflower.  It can be eaten raw or stir-fried.

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