July 12, 2012
Urban Homesteading: Grow Your Own Sandwich
You don’t have to have a large garden spread to grow your own organic food. In
fact, you can grow plenty of food to supplement your diet in a small space.
While growing enough grain for bread might be a challenge in, say, a small
apartment or tiny yard, you can grow nutritious grain sprouts anywhere to add
to your sandwiches.
Start with one to four tablespoons of food-grade organic seeds. Put them in a
wide mouth jar, and cover the jar opening with nylon mesh or tulle cloth from a
fabric store and affix it with a rubber band. Add water, swirl it around and
drain. Repeat the water, swirl and drain cycle twice a day for three to six
days, and you will have sprouts ready to eat.
A word of warning for growing sprouts: Use only food-grade organic seeds, as
some seeds are poisonous. Also, non-organic seeds could be contaminated with
food-poisoning bacteria. Several online companies offer food-grade organic
seeds specifically for sprouting, including Johnny’s Selected Seeds
(johnnyseeds.com) and Peaceful Valley (groworganic.com).
Good sprouts to grow are lentils, garbonzo beans, mung beans, red clover,
sunflowers, radish, rye, winter wheat, alfalfa, arugula, broccoli, buckwheat,
canola (non-GMO) and adzuki beans.
For those who are more ambitious — and have more room or access to a community garden plot — you can grow your own sandwich. With 100 square feet (a 10-foot by 10-foot plot), you can grow enough amaranth, barley or rye to bake bread twice a month for a year.
You will have to buy (or rent) a grain mill, or find someone who grind grains in
small quantities. Peaceful Valley (groworganic.com), offers a hand-cranking
grain mill for $149. A bread maker would be nice, too.
Bread From Your Garden?
If you’re interested in growing grain in your garden, a good book on the
subject is “Homegrown Whole Grains” by Sara Pitzer (Storey Publishing, 2009,
As Pitzer notes, in a 10-foot-square plot, backyard farmers can grow enough
wheat to harvest 50 pounds in a single afternoon—and that can be baked into 50
loaves of fresh bread.
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.