Anyone else out there anxious for spring to arrive?!
The evenings are longer but the temperatures, here in Eastern Newfoundland anyways, are not warming up enough to match. The ground is certainly not ready to be worked for gardening.
I have a solution to help bring some of that spring feeling into your home while at the same time, getting some awesome nutrients into your body. Grow your own pea shoots (also called sprouts). I did just that a few weeks ago and wow, it was so easy.
The shoots are the young leaves of the pea plant and when harvested as microgreen, after a few days or week of growing, are in their most nutritionally dense state. High in vitamins, antioxidants and even fiber. And eating local can’t get any more real than eating something you grew yourself.
I put them in my smoothies, add them to salads or one of my favourite things to do is to put them on sandwiches. It’s so easy to do that the hardest part may be finding the full dried green peas, split peas won’t work.
This is what you need:
- Dried whole green peas. Some places to look for them are in the health food section of your grocery store or at specialty health food stores.
- A container to grow the shoots in. I used a small plastic container that small tomatoes came in. It already has drain holes on the sides and bottom.
- Potting soil.
This is what you do:
- Fill the container with soil to about an inch from the top.
- Put the container on a plate or a dish to catch the water and any soil that may fall out.
- Sprinkle the peas over the top. I use lots, cover the whole top.
- Cover the peas with a thin layer of soil. They don’t have to be totally covered, probably best they are not. You just need to make sure the peas make contact to the soil so they take root. One of my favourite yoga quotes “you have to root down to rise up” applies here.
- Water with a small watering can that has a small sprinkle head. You want a gentle spray.
I watered lightly twice a day and it was only 2-3 days and the sprouting began. It was amazing how quickly they grew and how thick the root system got. Don’t overwater them or let them dry out. I’m really no good with exacts and I will admit I have a green thumb so I do find it easy to keep things alive. You’ll have to experiment.
I let the sprouts grow to 3-4 inches high before I started to harvest (see top picture). Just cut them with scissors and use as you wish. I actually got two rounds of harvesting. What I cut grew again. I think by that time, the nutritional value is not as high.
That’s it, easy peasy. It’s so lovely to have something growing this time of year and to be able to eat your own produce. Makes the snow that is still out there a little more bearable.
Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts! Happy early spring gardening.