Archive for the 'Window Gardening' Category

Some Observations About Wheatgrass


February 4th, 2008

art of analog

Well, it’s been about a month since I started my experiment with my WINDOW GARDEN. I like how you can see the back of the audio geek magazine in the lower left corner. It says ‘The Art of Analog’.

harvesting

My boyfriend took some pics of me harvesting wheatgrass from the garden. I found that initially I was not cutting the grass close enough to the bottom. So, I wasn’t getting the maximum harvest.

one day harvest

This is about how much grass I harvest from half a tray of wheatgrass. I’ve been doing about a half a tray a day. Ann Wigmore says that it’s important to take at least one day off a week. This somehow makes your body more receptive to it. I guess it’s sort of like how they say you shouldn’t work out every day. You need a day of rest.

one day juice This is the max amount of juice I’ve harvested from a half tray.

shot and a half It works out to be a little less than 2 shots.

grapegginerparsleyapple We’ve made some pretty intense juice concoctions. This one is grapefruit, apple, pear, parsley, ginger, and wheatgrass. WOAH!

lime parsleypear wheatgrass This one is similar but we used lime instead of grapefruit – a little more mild but still pretty punchy.

lime parsley pear grass apple juice

I like how there’s a guitar pick in this picture.

cooking with gas

Now we’re really cooking with gas. I moved all the raw books to another shelf so I could get the maximum output from my window. This is how my garden looked a couple days ago.

garden 2-1

I’ve got 4 trays of wheatgrass going (at various stages – about 2 days apart) and 2 trays of sprouts (one buckwheat and one french garden blend).

wheatgrass

I know what you’re thinking…The all important question: How do I feel? Do I think it’s helping?

Well, it’s interesting. People talk about how you get all this extra energy after a few weeks and get addicted to the feeling. I have definitely been noticing that I’ve been craving more greens. Esp in my smoothies. We made one the other day that was just coconut and fruit – one of my favorite a few months ago. I felt somehow unsatisfied. I wanted something green in it. I’ve definitely noticed a pick me up from drinking it. But I will say that as I’ve mentioned in EARLIER POSTS, I’ve been working through some health issues lately. So I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet. There have been days especially in the last week or so where I’ve gotten glimmers of feeling AMAZING. But they aren’t consistent. I’ve also had days where I’ve felt really tired and nap prone – kind of like I’m trying to work through something. So I guess my answer to the how are you feeling question is that I’ve had little teasers about where this can go, but I get the sense that my body is going to have to work through some things before I can get there. If that makes any sense. It took Ann Wigmore 3 years to work through her chronic diarrhea this way. So, I’m not expecting an overnight miracle here. And I AM really encouraged by the glimmers I’ve seen. If I could get to a point where I felt that way consistently, amazing things would happen. So, I’ll keep moving in that direction. And I’ll keep you posted…

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The Wheatgrass Debacle


January 17th, 2008

grass harvest

cut grass There it is. My first harvest of homegrown wheatgrass. Doesn’t it look lovely? I decided to start with a small batch for my first juicing as I haven’t gotten entirely used to the taste yet. Well, after patiently watching the grass GROW FROM THE SEEDLING STAGE, I was anxious to get started. The juicer seemed easy enough to setup, and I was running late for work. So, I decided to skip the instructional video and just go for it. I gathered up all the parts and assembled them in the seemingly most logical configuration like so:

juicer setup

That looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

NO! I did it WRONG. By the time, I discovered my error I had already spilled green juice all over my kitchen, leaving a very small amount for my first wheatgrass containing juice (satsuma orange, pear, beat, carrot, apple, wheatgrass mixture).

first juice first froth

Not very much wheatgrass, but it made a lovely froth.

the right way

Well, needless to say, as soon as I returned home from work today I got to work figuring out where I went wrong. It all makes so much sense now. Above you see the RIGHT WAY to set up the healthy juicer. Today I tried juicing it with a satsuma orange and pear (all in the Healthy Juicer – yesterday I juiced everything else in my BREVILLE).

Green Alien Blood

I started with the wheatgrass first, and everything was going smashingly. Look at that THICK, green juice. It looks like GREEN ALIEN BLOOD which I find kind of interesting. Ann Wigmore talks in her book about how chlorophyll is kind of like plant blood in that it performs similar functions. She also discussed how closely the molecular structure of a chlorophyll molecule resembled a hemoglobin molecule. They are almost identical except that hemoglobin is built around an iron molecule, and chlorophyll is built around magnesium. They say that because they are so similar it’s very easy for your body to convert the chlorophyll ESP if you’re eating foods rich in iron (like say BUCKWHEAT SPROUTS, for example!).

wheatgrass pear juice

Anyway, despite my success with the wheatgrass, I found that the breville was FAR superior at juicing other kinds of fruits. When I put the pear slices in, the hopper got backed up pretty fast. Thus, I wasn’t able to juice all the pears slices I had prepared. Though they made a yummy snack. I have to say that I REALLY like the wheatgrass pear juice combo. The pear really takes the edge off the wheatgrass. It’s somehow softer and easier to take. I also didn’t notice the aftertaste really. So I think I might be making that again (though maybe in separate juicers). I feel REALLY GOOD right now. Definitely a kick start. We are starting this green year off on the right track!

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Smoothie Fixation


January 14th, 2008

Bunny Spice

I’ve been experimenting with some smoothies this week. I usually do some variation of a coconut smoothie in the morning. But my boyfriend is on tour down under, and he’s the one who really excels at opening the coconuts. So, I’ve been spreading my wings. This is one I tried from RAW FOOD REAL WORLD that was really fantastic. It’s called Bunny Spice. It’s basically NUT MILK, carrot/ginger JUICE, banana, and cinnamon. WOW. It’s really amazing. It’s really sweet, but I didn’t really add any sweetener (other than what was in the nut milk). It just makes you realize how sweet carrots are. You just don’t notice it as much in that context. I felt really strong that day too. Carrots are powerhouses of energy.

blue sunset

I also tried this lovely concoction called the Blue Sunset. This one cost me an arm and a leg as it’s pretty tropical and it’s kind of the middle of winter, but man was it yummy. I actually made the two person batch and had no trouble finishing 2 1/2 pint glasses of this all to myself. I was drinking it in honor of my boyfriend who sent me this lovely pic from New Zealand.

Karekare beach

This is Karekare beach. Can you believe that?! You would splurge too, wouldn’t you?

Finally, here’s an update on my developing URBAN GARDEN.

Sprout Update

The sprouts are starting to shed their hulls all over the place. It’s so interesting how they pop off completely clean. No energy is wasted. Our modern society could learn a lesson or two from these little guys.

grass update

The wheatgrass looks so amazingly healthy! Not bad for a first try, eh?

Time to start thinking of recipes…

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Urban Gardening


January 12th, 2008

the garden

So, as I MENTIONED in earlier posts, my big initiative for this year is to eat more greens. And since I live in Minnesota and it’s the middle of the winter, the best way to achieve the freshest greens is of course indoor gardening. Well, I also live in a 325 square foot TINY apartment with my boyfriend. So I needed to get creative.

expedit

So I measured out my window and went to ikea and picked out this shelf to fit in front of it. It also that had shelves which were the perfect size to fit my cafeteria trays. I suppose you could order some sprouting trays. But ANN WIGMORE recommends cafeteria trays in her book. So, I figured if it was good enough for Ann Wigmore, it was good enough for me (Ann Wigmore cured herself of chronic diarrhea by developing her own wheatgrass/sprout garden. Did I mention that I’m obsessed with Ann Wigmore?)

sprouting wheat

To start, I soaked the seeds in a jar for 12 hours. These are wheatgrass seeds. I forgot to take a picture of the sprout seeds, but you get the idea. Soak the seeds for 12 hours. Then, rinse and let them sprout for 12 hours. I rinsed mine about 3 times during that 12 hours.

tray of dirt

Then, I spread some nice organic soil on a cafeteria tray.

wheat sprouts dirt

mixed sprouts dirt

Next, I spread my baby sprouts over the tray. The top tray is my tray of wheatgrass. The bottom tray is a mixed tray of sprouts. The black seeds on the left are sunflower, the middle is buckwheat, and the right is a fancy sprout mix (containing daikon radish, arugula, and cress).

sproutlab

I covered the sprouts with another cafeteria tray (I’m using 12 X 16″), and put them somewhere dark for 2-3 days. Since I’m not really using my oven for anything these days, I’ve turned it into my little sprout lab.

wheat one

sprouts one

During this time, I periodically check on them to make sure they are happy and have enough water but not too much (don’t want to see mold).

wheat two

The wheatgrass starts growing these white spiky shafts first. Once they get tall enough that they start raising the tray, I put them out in the light.

sprouts three

This little guy seems like he’s looking for the light. So…into the window they go…

wheat three

The shafts start turning green right away.

sprouts four

These guys start looking like little martians too.

wheat four

Next, little blades of grass start shooting out of the shafts.

sprouts five

The buckwheat (on the right) is going crazy!

wheat five

The blades keep getting taller…

sprouts six

The buckwheat is taking over the tray! The sunflower seeds are the ones on the left. The fancy mix is on the right.

wheatgrass today

Here is my wheatgrass this morning. It looks super healthy – way better than what they had at the coop. I never had reason to notice before. But yesterday I checked them out and the blades were thinner and a darker green. They’re probably several days older.

sprouts today

I think these guys are gonna be ready to harvest soon. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have to start coming up with some recipes. I’ll keep you posted…

(Here is my FIRST POST on this topic if you want to read more on the setup.)

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New Year, New Plan


January 6th, 2008

Well, it’s the new year. Time to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Reflecting on the past and SAYING GOODBYE to old friends…taking stock on where I am (I finally got a diagnosis on my health issues – more on that later)…and looking ahead to the future.

My big goal for the year is to incorporate more greens. A LOT more greens. I’m setting myself up to have a window garden. My apt is VERY VERY SMALL, but I’m trying to outfit my window with room to get something going.

ikea shelf

You can kind of see where I’m going with this…

ann wigmore books

I’m been studying up on the methodology in these lovely books from wheatgrass/sprouting pioneer ANN WIGMORE.

wheatgrass seeds

I’ve ordered a few different varieties of seeds to get me started: Wheatgrass, Buckwheat, Sunflower, and a couple blends from SPROUT PEOPLE

salad greens

french garden

healthy juicer

And finally, I ordered a hand wheatgrass juicer for greens and sprouts.

hand juicer

Everyone thinks I’m being really ambitious…some think it’s downright crazy. But this is my plan to combat all the fatigue I’m feeling from the chronic D. I don’t like to talk about it. I’m going to start referring to it as visits from my friend, Darryl. Well, Darryl came by again today…getting on my nerves as usual. So, I’m feeling particularly inspired. Wish me luck! It will be interesting to see what impact this will have. It definitely can’t hurt. But there is no way I’m going to just lie down and accept hanging out with Darryl one week of every month. I’m gonna fight him tooth and nail. He has no idea what he’s got himself into…

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