I am working on a little garden area for some herbs, but am having more fun laying out the rock border than figuring out what I’ll be planting. This is one of the sections I’ll be working on:

I get the stones from our little creek not ten yards from our house. My husband suggested making steps going down to the creek, so when we had a gorgeous sunny day over the weekend, I spent a few hours clearing the brush and putting in these stone steps:

I’m pretty happy with it so far, and and am hoping the rain will help the soil settle a bit. Weather permitting, I’ll be working on the area some more this weekend.

In addition to my landscaping projects, I’ve been experimenting on some indoor miniscapes with edible sprouts. I’ve read that sprouted seeds are more nutritious than the regular dried seeds, and even after soaking them for a few hours, the seeds become more easily digestible. I followed Judita Wignall’s easy-to-follow steps on seed sprouting in her Going Raw cookbook. I had some raw sunflower and quinoa seeds which I soaked (separately) overnight in jelly jars covered with cheesecloth secured with rubber bands. Over the next few days, I rinsed them out a couple times a day while they slowly sprouted. I kept some of the sprouts in the fridge for immediate consumption, while the rest were placed in a tray filled with soil. After a few more days they developed roots and sprouted up even more.

Little flax sprouts muscling their way through the soil.

I also sprouted flax seeds, which were a little different. They didn’t germinate as quickly nor as noticeably as the sunflower seeds or quinoa, but instead developed a viscous coating which caused them to clump together in a big, gooey gelatinous mass (just a little gross, I never expected sprouting seeds to be slimy!) I couldn’t rinse them off so decided to leave them be and dumped them in a tray of soil, spreading them out as best as I could. After about a week they grew nice and green and were ready to eat.

Now although this seems pretty cut-and-dry, when sprouting seeds you do have to be careful of bacterial growth, mold, and also be sure that the seeds you wish to sprout are consumable. Here are a few websites that have good, easy-to-follow advice on how to begin and what to look out for when sprouting your seeds:

Here’s a good video explaining the hows of sprouting: http://rawfoodswitch.com/raw-food-equipment-reviews/sprouting-guide-sprout-seeds-bean-sprouts/

More great information from Holistic Jose, a personal trainer: http://holisticjose.com/2012/04/30/i-soak-my-nuts/?year=2012&monthnum=04&day=30&like=1&_wpnonce=f1acfe089f&wpl_rand=bd7786b91a

You’ve sprouted your grains…now what? Check here for some recipes!