sprouts.jpg I decided to start growing some alfalfa sprouts. I love sprouts in salads and on sandwiches so I gave it a go. I picked up some sprouting seeds at Vitamin Cottage, along with a jar (any jar would do) that had a lid with a screen. I have seen these screens sold separately before to fit a canning jar (like these ones). The fist day I put my seeds in the jar, rinsed and washed the seeds about 10 times, then I turned the jar on it's side, set it on the countertop and covered it with a towel (seeds don't like sun). On days 2-5 I rinsed out the seeds (which became sprouts) two times a day. I just poured water into the jar and dumped it back out. The screen kept everything i n the jar. Make sure your jar is well drained. Drenched seeds keep them from sprouting. Again, I always kept the jar on it's side and always kept a towel over it. On day five I did one last rinse and dry and then I took the towel off and set them in the windowsill for several hours. They greened right up. I then used a ton and put the rest in the fridge. Don't put wet sprouts in the fridge, make sure they dry first. That's it, super easy.

Now, onto my herb garden update. Houston, we have a problem.

This just in: My basil plants have Aphids.

My first round of defense was to spray with watered down dish soap. I use the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Dish Soap. That didn't seem to help much. Although I might have been too gentle with my soaping, I didn't douse them or anything. So my second line of defense has been to add more soap in the squirt bottle and to really give them a soaking. The aphids are hitting the underside of the leaves and are attacking with vigor the standard basil plant and are shying away from the "Windowsill Basil" variety that I have in there as well. My third line of defense has been to put the plants outside today. I hear (from the internet) that Aphids don't like cold weather and it's quite chilly today (plus I just gave them a dousing).

The other plants are doing divine. My sage is SUPER happy and I have harvested parsley, rosemary and oregano. All the plants have bounced back from harvest wonderfully. Now if I could just get my basil on board I would be happy. I know why basil is tricky...it's because it's so tasty :).