Saturday, 22 February 2014

Old seeds and what to do with them....

So as I told you all in my last post I finally got all my seeds sorted so I could sort out what I would need for this year...just like always there were a few seeds that had gone 'out of date' according to packing instructions so what do you do with them. I hate to waste space with seeds that don't germinate but at the same time I hate to waste money by throwing things away...so what am I going to do??

Sprouting seeds
Sprouting seeds.
Well I'm going to sprout of course!!!

Now this can be done for two reasons...either to test germination of your seeds or to eat as sprouting seeds and depending on which you are doing it for depends on how you will treat the seed and follow your process!

So if you want to test your seeds for germination for planting them you can simply put them on a piece of kitchen towel , keep it damp and see what happens. You will soon see if your seeds will still germinate.
finding out germination ratio.
finding out germination ratio.
 Now is the bit where it gets sticky and opinions differ...for instance one article I have read states.........

'While some gardeners suggest that sprouting seeds is a good way of using up any veg patch surpluses, it's perhaps best to stick to seeds sold specifically for sprouting as seed for sowing outdoors may have been treated with chemicals to aid germination – but certainly not human digestion!'

But then again I have found this too...


soak and sprout
soak and sprout
Obviously I am showing you all this so that you can make your own decisions...I am just sharing what I do and giving you some ideas on how to use your old seeds!!

You can go in most garden stores these days and buy packs of sprouting seeds but they area generally higher priced than seeds for planting and this is probably because they are 'treated' differently.

As suggested above you can 'soak' your seeds overnight...I can't say whether this would definitely work or not , I am only telling you information that I have found whilst I have researched, the decision will have to be yours.

You could of course save your own seed therefore knowing it hasn't been treated in any way and will be safe for you to consume.

Probably the easiest and cheapest way for you to do it if after reading this you just fancy having a go at sprouting seeds would be to go to health food stores or Supermarkets. Bigger bags mean that this avenue works out much more economical, so check here first. After all if they are selling seeds for you to eat they are going to be just as healthy once they start growing if not more so.

So having taken in all this information and totally making up your own minds you then have the biggest decision of all to make....

What to sprout?

Just about any vegetable or herb seed can be sprouted and eaten in its infant stage, though there are some usual suspects perfect for this purpose, including alfalfa, sunflower, fenugreek and radish, along with legumes such as the mung bean (the common Chinese beansprout), adzuki bean, lentils and peas. Each type of sprout brings its own distinctive texture and flavour, making them invaluable as salad ingredients, garnishes, soup toppings and more. Experiment with things, I know from experience I have found some more palatable than other and as of yet I have not come across any peas shoots that I like and yet I love peas!! But please if you are going to experiment with unusual seed then do your homework as there are plants out there which can be toxic or disagree with us.

So I will be sprouting my seeds for eating purposes, obviously I make that choice and you have to make your own!!. I start by soaking the seed overnight in a jar of water. I do this with all of my sprouting seed no matter where I got them from. What I am going to sprout them in I will share with you soon!!

Of course sprouting your seeds isn't the only way to get them used up if you aren't sure about planting them out.You could get a large tray, put some compost/soil in it, add your seeds and leave them to there own devices for a while...if you have chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs...anything like that...they could have some lovely fresh greens in just a few short weeks which hasn't cost you a penny, you could even use old compost up form last year!!

This was supposed to be a quick easy post but when you look into things a bit deeper because you are going to be sharing them with others it really does open up all sorts of avenues....honey is so much easier. In fact I did a great facts post yesterday over at Grantham Beekeepers I'd love for you to go and check it out...even after all this time I learnt a few things I didn't yet know. In a way I think that as much as anything this is why I like writing the blogs. The more research you do the more you find out and there is always the chance to learn something new!! Feel free to join/follow or leave any comments/questions over there or here if you have them too.
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14 comments:

  1. We have used left over leafy veg seeds as salad leaves - this way we didn't eat the actual seeds. (Hope this isn't your next post! :)

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    1. Not my next post Sue so that's Ok but I have also done this before and grown them on the kitchen windowsill so they are nice and fresh to eat...maybe should have added that into the post..lol

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  2. very interesting. now if I had a green thumb I might give this a try

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    1. No green thumb needed for sprouting Ann, seriously give it a go..it's so easy , I will be showing just how easy later in the week!!

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  3. I've never sprouted seeds, but it's a good way of using up old seed. Researching things you're going to write about on your blog is a great way of learning something new, I end up learning lots of new things this way.

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    1. You should try it Jo, one of my favourites is radish sprouts!!

      I have learnt so much since I started blogging...I think I am a more knowledgeable person now through both experience of my own, others and research. Also when people ask questions that I then want to know the answers for!!

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    2. My favorite kind of post: educational yet still personal. Now to go back and reread it. :)

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    3. Glad you enjoyed it tpals. I do enjoy writing this kind of post and learning some new things as I research...think maybe I should start putting a little more personality into the 'bee blog' too so that it's more appealing to readers!!

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  4. I'm planning on sprouting some for my chickens next winter, always planning ahead. Though for ourselves we have only sprouted mung beans for stir fries.

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    1. Planning ahead is always good...and the chickens will love the fresh veggies in the winter!!

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  5. Those use by dates are generally nonsense and the viability is still good even years after (for most types of seed). I think the date is mainly used to encourage you to buy new seeds ;)

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    1. Pretty much as the same as the use by dates on anything really Tanya, I tend to use more common sense than what's printed on a packet but there are lots of people who follow dates to the letter!!

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  6. Dear Tanya, This was so interesting. I never knew to do this. Thank you for this. I will tell Tammy. She loves gardening and planting. She will find this very interesting as well.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!