(Health Secrets) Whether you are studying politics, gardening, preparedness, peak oil, martial law, or all of the above, one common theme is this: it is essential to learn to grow a portion of your own food. The Great Depression of the 1930’s came at a time when 90% of people lived off the land. Now only 10% do, and many feel we may face a currency collapse soon, which would be just as economically devastating. There has never been a more important time to learn how to grow sprouts, save seeds, and plan a garden. Sprouts are not only easy to grow but they happen to be one of the most nutritious foods available. Sprouts taste great and contain all the nutrients needed to produce a mature plant. Watching sprouts grow is itself an energizing experience, and gardening is one of the most empowering things a person can do.
Enzymes Are Your Friends
While humans may feel comfy here on Earth, the reality is that we are submerged in two of the most corrosive substances in the Universe: Oxygen and Water! Seen at the microscopic level, we are dissolving like an antacid tablet. What keeps us alive in this highly solvent medium? It turns out that the enzymes in fresh, raw foods offset the damage caused by our environment, reversing the aging process and maintaining a delicate balance.
Without enzymes we would rust like an old nail underwater. Though we all eventually succumb to the ravages of time and oxidation, we can slow the process by consuming living foods like sprouts that are loaded with enzymes. Cooked and irradiated foods have no enzyme content and can only provide fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Sprouting Sunflower Seeds
While most sprouting seeds such as alfalfa, broccoli and radish are normally left in the sun for a couple days to produce chlorophyll (a process called greening), sunflower seeds are ready to eat once they sprout, so they require less time and thus are a great start for your first sprouts. While most of us have enjoyed sunflower seeds at some point, chances are they were no longer alive. In other words, by the time we ingested them, they were already shelled, irradiated, salted, preserved, bagged, shipped, and stored for long periods of time, by which point every last enzyme in the seeds had perished.
Wouldn’t it make sense to consume foods that are still alive? Better yet, what if we could somehow make them even larger and more nutritious before eating them, and throw in automatic shell removal? It turns out you can, and it’s so simple that you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
If you are feeling braver, you might learn to grow Sunflower Greens too. This requires trays and more experience with sprouting. A great way to start a garden indoors is with a mini greenhouse that fits 60 seed plugs in about one cubic foot of space. The next step of course is whole Sunflowers. If you can’t find space in the yard, you can use 5 gallon buckets on the balcony and grow whole sunflowers or other edible plants. Or ask neighbors if they wouldn’t mind a few plants that have started. They might let you plant a garden on their property if you share the bounty come harvest time.
Even if you don’t choose to grow seeds, it is still important to carry on the seed heritage of generations past. Countless farmers dedicated their entire lives to producing seeds for plants that would grow well in their local area. Seed diversification and saving are essential if we are to withstand food viruses such as the one that caused the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in the 1840’s. Sadly, the pesticide industry has been aggressively buying up seed companies for the past 20 years and reducing the number of varieties of seed available.
Special interest alliances are seeking to irradiate and/or patent all seeds. Also, the majority of commercially available vegetables today are those from seeds that corporate interests prefer. They tend to have tougher skins in order to survive shipping. Given a choice, consumers prefer the opposite, as the best tasting vegetables ripen on the vine and have tender skins, but these are too fragile for shipping. Tragically, thousands of the most robust and best tasting seed varieties have gone extinct on our watch.
Soon, we may have primarily GMO patented seeds with terminator technology (so as not to produce sproutable seeds). Should plants from these seeds cross pollinate and destroy what’s left of traditional crops, we may need a stock of our own seeds more than ever.
GMO companies not only have already contaminated neighboring farms with pollen drift, but many have sued those farmers for patent infringement! (Note that the Patriot Act contains specific language removing liability for damage that might be caused by GMO crops.) Stock up on organic seeds while you still can.
Recipe for Sunflower Sprouts
· A Sprouting Jar (I use the Ball Wide Mouth jar)
· A Screen Lid (or Mesh Cloth and Rubber Band)
· Sprouting Sunflower Seeds
· Filtered Water (preferably distilled)
· Fill jar about half-way with raw sproutable sunflower seeds.
· Add enough water to cover them.
· Soak seeds for 2-3 days and drain (I water my plants with the soaking water).
· Turn jar upside down and rest at an angle inside a soup pot to allow excess water to escape
· Keep seeds in a moist, dark area at room temperature for 2-3 days.
· Rinse and drain seeds once each day.
· Sunflower sprouts do not grow large and are ready to eat nearly right away.
· The sprout will be about twice the size of the seed.
· They can be stored in a container in the refrigerator until brown.
· Add a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar to prohibit bacteria growth and enjoy your sprouts.
The Seed Exchange Garden Seed (Sixth Edition, 2004)
Seed to Seed, Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners (Suzanne Ashworth)
Square Foot Gardening (Mel Bartholomew, 1981)
The Future of Food (DVD, 2007).