It was May of 1993 when we sprouted our first seeds professionally. We were expecting our first child, were about to move into our log cabin (no running water, small solar power system which allowed us to run up to 150 watts at a time,
no indoor plumbing, heat only from a woodstove - you know - a real log cabin), and we were in our first month as venders at the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin (which was 90 miles away from our cabin). We were
planning on selling hierloom vegetables, and seeds (which we were going to save from vegetables we grew). It was a wet spring in the Midwest. We were unable to get our garden planted early, and once we had sold all of our plant
starts we had nothing to sell. We were destitute, living on less than $150 a week (more than half of which came from the Farmers Market). The day we sold our last plant starts at market, Lori asked; what are we going to bring next
week? I replied that there was nothing I could grow in a week. She suggested sprouts. "I hate sprouts!" said I "you grow them if you want to." So, Lori went to the food co-op in the town we lived near (Gays Mills, WI - population 500)
and bought some seeds to sprout. The thing about Lori is that she didn't just buy Alfalfa and Mung Beans - she bought Adzuki Beans, Lentils, Peas, Wheat and more. She got our quart sized mason jars out (we did a lot of canning back
then, so we had dozens of jars) and soaked the seeds. By weeks end we had 50 mason jars full of various sprouts. We did better then ever at the market. We took our money to a co-op in Madison (Mifflin Street Co-Op) and bought more
seeds. By the third week I was on board. I love seeds, so I found that was my way into sprouts. We made up mixes that made even me like sprouts as a food. We started growing in nursery trays (rinsing, draining and subsequently
cleaning 50 quart jars every week is a pain). We were selling something completely unique at this amazing market (the Dane County Farmers Market was, and is located around the state capitol in Madison. It had a lot of organic
producers, even back in 1993 - and was patronized by 15-20 thousand people every Saturday). No one had ever seen sprouts grown from many of the seeds Lori started with - and our offerings grew dramatically as the weeks passed.
We learned how to grow by comon sense. We made a lot of mistakes, but as time passed we developed our own methods, which allowed us to add even more seeds to our mixes. We're still learning.
Thanks to all of you! We've been Sproutpeople for quite a few years now, and we've been sending seeds to some of you for well over a decade - we get a kick out of seeing your names on your orders - we don't know most of you personally,
but we feel a kinship of sorts. You make it possible for us to live our lives, raise our kids and animals, and - you are helping farmers do the same. Because you buy from us, we buy from our farmer friends. We aren't big, but our
40,000 pounds of seed (which is about what we buy every year) is sales our farmers wouldn't have - and every little bit counts - ask any farmer - or anyone else for that matter.
I have to take this space to advertise a couple things. Share a smile. Smile at a stranger, acknowledge someone positively. If we all do it, it will spread a lot faster. Along that track, thank you so much for all the kind words you
send us (while checking out of our shop or sending E-mail) - it is truly touching and hugely appreciated! May you all be well and happy.
How Sproutpeople Sells Seeds
We sell seeds by the pound (since September, 2001). With the exception of some and Kits and Samplers we sell by lesser weights
only on particular seeds: Garlic, Onion, some Micro-Greens, and a couple other
Exotics, which sell by the 1/2 or - in rare cases - 1/4 pound.
We will bag your seeds in as few bags as possible - for example:
If you order 3 pounds of Alfalfa, we will send you one bag weighing 3 pounds.
If you want us to ship your multiple pounds in 1 lb. bags, please tell us as you check-out of our online store.
Everything we have is sold by the Unit.
In the case of a Sprout Kit, a Sprouter, a Juicer, or other non-seed item - a unit is one, or one package.
For seeds, a unit is whatever weight we sell the seed in. Each Seed that is sold in a quantity other than by-the-pound is clearly noted. Any seed without a weight notation is sold by-the-pound.
Why We Are the Way We Are
It was on July 28, 1996 that we registered the internet domain sproutpeople.com.
On September 1 we put our first site up. We had few pages back then and we hosted our site on an old
(even then) Mac SE/30, in our Gays Mills, Wisconsin Sprout Factory. The Mac was attached to a 14.4 kb modem.
When a visitor came to sproutpeople.com the Mac would make a doorbell sound. We were always busy growing sprouts back then,
but we would often stop and run to the Mac to see what pages our visitor looked at.
It was always so VERY exciting! We have jumped back and forth from our .com to .net to .org domains when making big changes to the site, but all are Sproutpeople. We no longer hear a doorbell when you come to our site,
but it is still very exciting to us, to know folks use our site. We're very glad you're here.
We have always done our own web work.
At first we posted several pages with sprouting instructions and the like. We kept it small until we decided
we had to share all we had learned about sprouting, so, I (Gil) built the site we just replaced, between 1999-2001.
I have maintained it ever since. It was getting old years ago, but it was only in late 2010 that we finally got our new
site (once again 2 years in the making) online.
Lori and I have always done everything Sproutpeople needs. Everything! But the web has gotten past me, so we worked with an actual web design company to re-build our site.
That didn't work out at all well. We paid them a huge amount of money upfront (we are so stupid sometimes),
but the site languished. In the end I had to rewrite every page in html, and to learn about all sorts of stuff I'd have preferred not to, just to get the site done. We managed to get this site up through our own
hard work, and with the help of freelance designers (who are the folks we should have hired
in the first place). The new Sproutpeople site retains all of our content, but it has been improved, and it presents itself in a less crowded way. The key is our new shopping cart.
It allows you to save favorite items for easy re-ordering, maintain an order history and allows you to track shipments. It's the
dawning of a golden age at Sproutpeople. Though our older content remains, all of the purchase points are gone, or will be very soon - instead offering a link to this new site. Since so many people link to us on
their web sites, it is possible that you may have gotten in via one of our old pages. We trust you won't be too confused. Once you get to any new page, you will stay in the the new site. We hope you like this new site.
If you notice anything wrong here, please, please let us know. There is a Contact Form under the About Us menu, just to the left of the Search box atop every page.
We had plans to make some serious layout changes to this new home page, but since we ended up finishing the site largely on our own, I chose to drop some of them in favor of our traditional
rambling text. So - if you keep reading and scrolling, you'll find it looks and sounds very familiar. Enjoy the ride!
We are a tiny business, and at this point we no longer sacrifice our children to our business (though they may not agree). We do our business VERY well
(if we do say so ourselves) but it is no longer our goal to be great at business above all else (it never really was, but one does get carried away sometimes) - - we think it is essential that we be good parents and
happy people. To that end we have some limitations - like all orders come from this web site - you MUST shop online to buy from us. We fill orders quickly (usually 2-4 business days) but we reserve the right to take
longer . We are very fast on E-mail, but we reserve the right to be slow (you wouldn't believe some of the questions we get! I mean really, we have this huge, free, always available (24/7/365.25) web site, but people
still write us even though their questions are easily answered here. We also get a lot of E-mail from folks who buy cheap seeds elsewhere and then want us to fix them....), and we virtually never use the phone anymore.
We have spent years (since 1996 - how many is that now?) building this site up and we think you can find any answer to any question - if you look about a little.
Support GMO Labeling.
In November of 2012 those of us who live in California lost a great opportunity, but that doesn't mean we stop fighting! We have a right to know what's in our food. We support GMO labeling.
Learn more and join the folks at Just Label It!
We will NEVER sell seeds unless we KNOW they are NON-GMO!
This is an enormous concern for us and for the farmers and seed suppliers we buy from. We have been militant organic folks for over two decades and GMOs are NOT organic! You will NEVER get GMO seds from Sproutpeople!
We Have a Right to Know What's in Our Food: Fifty countries around the world—representing more than 40% of the world’s population---already require GMO labeling, including all of Europe, Japan, India, Russia and China. Polls show that more than 90% of Americans want to know if their food is genetically engineered. We are free to choose what we want to eat and feed our children. The free market is supposed to provide consumers with accurate information about products so we can make informed choices.
Let the FDA know how you feel about GMO labeling. Tell your friends, The President, and every Elected Official too. If we want this we're gonna have to work for it!
OUR NEWEST ITEMS, SEEDS and MIXES!
Seeds and Stuff
Weather has been inconsistent for many years now and that has a HUGE affect on plants. Plants are phenomenal adaptors however, so we are pleased we can once again say that this years crops (2012 seeds from the 2011 harvest) have impressed us.
We've heard some good reports from our farmers in a few parts of the country, but we've heard the word drought a lot more in 2012.
I'm sure we'll be impressed again. Farmers always seem to come through - but that doesn't mean the seeds will be as good as they have been in the past. Please do whatever you can to help our planet. We all need to pitch in.
Huge changes are needed, but every little bit helps.
We introduced 2 new mixes in September of 2009: Mothers Mix (especially for pregnant and nursing women - but good and tasty for everyone) and a mix for Dogs:
4 Legs of Love.
We are now offering more, in conjunction with our new web site going live we are introducing: Sprouts; Kale, Tatsoi, Dill,
and a new allergen free Bird Mix - Dr. Bird. We also have new seeds for Greens; Nalo Greens - and
Micro-Greens; Mizuna, Kale, Celery and Turnip,
and a custom mix of our own design: Bruno's Indoor Garden, which is truly glorious.
We're also experimenting with Beet, Chard, Basil, Cilantro, Spinach and several more seeds. It's a lot of fun, and we hope to keep expanding our offerings when we find things that fit organically.
We've also added a few new products - a Dehydrator, a Blender and a New Juicer,
as well as some Odds and Ends. Finally, we added Nutritional Supplements, for those times when sprouting doesn't fit into your
schedule. We have a wonderful local company, Amazing Grass that supplies these.
Seeds and the Drought of 2012
Most of what is written below (under Seed Availability Update) refers to the 2011 crops - which are the seeds we sell during most of 2012. This paragraph is about what is going on in 2012.
This has been one of the worst drought years in recent memory. Some crops have been lost completely, so we are stocking up - when possible - on 2011 crops to tide us over. We hope that 2013 will be a better year for farmers.
Yields are down in many cases so prices will once again be higher (you know - supply and demand). It is always a lot of work to find good lots of seed. We test and test and test. As I write this it is September of 2012 -
I do not usually test so much until all
the new crops are available, but that isn't an option this year as some crops won't even be available due to crop failure caused by drought. This testing is something unique to Sproutpeople. Some other suppliers just buy what they can and never test.
In addition to testing we will let you know (in the Notes section of our seed/mix pages) what is unique about the seed we are currently offering. You will see some - like Hulless Oats which will say that the current seed is
from the 2011 harvest (due to crop failure in 2012). Others - like Sunflower Greens will note that the seed we have is currently from 2011 (while we await the harvest of the 2012 crop), and is a hybrid seed - as
opposed to the open-pollinated seed we expect to have again once the 2012 crop is harvested and available in early 2013. The Sunflower Greens will also tell you about why the seed is so cool looking - with white stripes down the sides.
The Garlic Chivespage will tell you that we have current seed because our farmer irrigates and was able to compensate for the drought.
Whenever there is anything you need to know, we put it in the Notes section of those pages.
Seed Availability Update
This is a very big deal! Canada had a serious Alfalfa crop failure in 2010. We were able to get a hold of a great crop. The 2011 harvest was much better, but the price remained high. Beyond that - Monsanto is pushing forward with their genetically modified Alfalfa. GMO's are a nightmare that defies description. We and our ilk keep
fighting them, but Monsanto is one seriously huge and powerful corporation - with all the lobbyists they want helping to push their agenda through government. What it all means is
this: Alfalfa may not be available at some point in years to come. Our supplier estimates that it may be impossible to get seed which hasn't been infected (my choice
of words) with GMOs, as soon as 2017. We will NEVER sell (or eat) genetically modified seeds! Enjoy it while it lasts.
We get these beauties directly from a California farmer.
One of the fastest sprouts. We've had a steady supply of great seed for many years now.
We've not heard of a single good 2012 crop so we're stocking up on some fine seed from 2011.
Supply has been somewhat inconsistent for a few years but we have seed we are very happy with.
Our farmer in Illinois, has again provided us with exceptional seed - but this year's crop (like last year's) is a mix of certified organic (which we are using in our mixes - and transitional organic - which we are selling straight. See our Garlic page for details.
We use Garlic Chive in our Italian Blend and Exotic Sprout Sampler, in addition to selling it as a straight
sprouting seed. You should freeze this seed too. Check out our Seed Storage page. Freezing is the best way to store all seeds, but these and other
Alliums are the shortest lived seeds of all, so they require it.
Garbanzo - Black
After 2 great harvests (2008 and 2009) our farmer lost his crop in 2010, so sadly they vanished again. BUT, 2011 provided a good growing season. Read on....
Once upon a time (2003 and before) we had many Garbanzo beans to choose from - Black, Brown, Large and
Small Beige. After years of getting by with mediocre Blacks and even some pathetic Browns in our mixes -
2008 finally yielded a great crop of Black Garbanzos for our farmers in Nebraska (we sent them 50 pounds for seed stock back in the last century, but they never produced well until 2008)! 2009 was another great year.
Since the 2010 crop was lost we will be sending our remaining 200 pounds to Mark - once again - for seed stock - so we have high hopes for the future of Black Garbanzos. The 2012 drought did not help with this hope for the future, but we still have some seed from 2011.
We continue to find good Kamut, but it's never easy.
Lentils - Red Chief
These lentils have become more and more difficult to get over the years. We are pleased to have tracked some down, and hope our supply lasts. The farmer who was our source for over a decade stopped growing these a few years back,
so it has been very tricky finding any. We think we'll have them through 2013. After that it's anyone's guess.
Our farmer Mark lost his crop in 2012 but we were able to get enough of his great 2011 crop to tide us over.
We have tried many times to find whole oats (with hulls) for grass growing, but we've never found seed good enough to meet our standards, so we sell Hulless Oats for this purpose as well.
Oats & Groats
Our simplest mix. We'll have it as long as our Hulless Oats hold out.
We found some great seed from the 2011 crop. We are testing new lots from 2012 in hopes of finding more, but so far I'm unimpressed and have chosen to make it out-of-stock so that we are sure to have enough for our Russian Mix.
Oriental Mustard and Mustard Greens
This is the only mustard we love. It was impossible to get between 2007-2009, but we got lucky - or our farmer did - and we were able to get some in 2010. It is an essential ingredient in quite a few of our mixes:
Russian Mix, Nick's Hot Sprout Salad, Oriental Greens, Hot2, and
Long Life. We also - once again - have Oriental Mustard in our Micro-Greens Kit and our
Brassica Sampler. Demand is high for this unique mustard, so get it while you can as it may disappear at some point.
Peas - Green
These are an essential ingredient for us. They are typically one of the easiest seeds to find, but 2012 provided unusual challenges. I'm glad to say that we did find a great lot.
Drought in the southwest as well as increased cotton production (the price was so high that many farmers planted cotton instead of peanuts) resulted in a huge decline in peanut production in 2011.
We are out of these currently, but we are searching very hard for more. The shortage caused the price to jump (from which it will never come down, probably) dramatically.
We Sproutpeople carry such a wide variety of seeds that it is inevitable that we have difficulty finding sources for some of them every year. Keep your fingers crossed.
In our home we vastly prefer popping popcorn to growing it into shoots, but we try to keep enough seed in to satisfy your desires as well as our own. Corn was devastated by the 2012 drought so we're bringing in some 2011 popcorn from Nebraska.
Always tough to find in acceptable quality. Frankly I've not been thrilled with our pumpkin seed for many years but we have been able to find some annually which we can live with.
Rye and Rye Grass
We now have 2012 seed. It sprouts great but I'm not thrilled with it for growing grass.
Natural Sesame and Black Sesame
A few years back a loyal customer told us that sprouted Black Sesame looks really cool - like tiny dominos. So we found some, and she was right - it is cool - and it sprouts
Usually damaged in the process of hull removal, spelt is always tough to find. It is likely that we'll be out of this soon if we aren't already.
A very tender seed (nut meat) which breaks easily when the shell is removed, resulting in a percentage of broken seeds. We have to find seeds that have the lowest possible percentage of broken seed, as well as other good characteristics. It's always tough, but we have some now.
2011's crop provided the 5th consecutive year Sunflower Greens have been great (after a few years of miserable seed) -
they are excellent seeds that produce robust greens. The 2011 crop was a huge leap forward thanks to our farmer friend Mark. They were open-pollinated!
Sunflower Greens are the only hybrid seed we've ever sold. There's nothing wrong with hybrids. Hybrids are NOT in any way the same thing as genetically modified organisms (GMOs)! It's just that if seeds they produce are planted the next year (by the
seed saving farmer or the home gardener) they will not produce consistent plants (they produce a range based on the parentage that made the hybrid). Mark however has been selecting seeds for years -
he chooses the plants that produce best - and plants the seeds they produce. Through years of such scrutiny and selection he has established an open pollinated seed
(one that will produce consistent plants every year). It may not sound like much, but it is huge! Way to go Mark! So, we had Mark's Open-Pollinated (OP) seed until August of 2012. We sold out and are now going to have a hybrid he grew, while we await
his 2013 OP harvest. He tells me that drought of 2012 took a huge toll on the crop and he felt the OP seeds weren't good enough to sell. The hybrids we have in their place are gorgeous! They are big seeds with a white stripe down
their sides. I was hesitant to bring them in for fear that you all would think they were Confectionary as opposed to Black Oil Sunflowers. Though that distinction makes absolutely no difference in a seed producing Greens, it would conflict with our
seed page which specifies Black Oil Sunflowers. So, to clarify - they are Black Oil but they have a white stripe. They are hybrids, so if you plant some in your garden don't expect the seed they produce to look the same. The vast majority of you
will be growing them into Sunflower Greens so none of this makes any difference to you. They grow a great crop of Greens!
It's great, it's hard to find. Enjoy it while it lasts!
China has had yet another good growing season, so the crops we get from that part of the planet are high quality once again. There aren't many, but they are important - Mung Beans especially.
Please understand that we are VERY concerned about ALL products from China. We were so impressed by the fairly recent dog food recall (we are dog people) and more recently the toys being recalled that we now read every label when we are shopping, and if
something is coming from or has ingredients from China, or even if we are uncertain; we are putting it back on the shelf. The Chinese seeds we carry are another matter all together. These are grown by small farmers who are growing
organically. We MUST support these farmers! They are doing everything right for this suffering planet of ours, and we are not going to make them suffer for the mistakes of the greedy corporations that currently have a stranglehold on
our planet. Help us support organic farming in China by buying without hesitation.
These seeds are troublesome. They are either hard to find at all, or hard to find in good quality, but we keep looking....
Small Beige Garbanzo
Another obscure seed which has proved impossible to find, so far. We keep looking.
Gone forever - or until some farmer decides to grow some again:
A curiosity of the 2008 crop year was this; after 2 very bad years, which saw yields as low as 33% of normal - the price of wheat shot up in 2009, so many farmers planted
wheat instead of other crops - thinking it would yield a tidy profit. This resulted in a shortage of several seeds in 2009. Though 2010 seems to have remedied the shortages of other seeds -
it is notable that the price of wheat has gone up dramatically. We believe it has to do with fuel production (corn has gone up even more than wheat), but
regardless - we now pay more than 400% more for wheat than we did just 6 years ago.
What We Have to Say About the Spring, 2011 Pathogenic Outbreak in Germany
In light of the May, 2011 pathogenic outbreak in Germany, that was incorrectly linked to Mung Bean sprouts, we want to advise our customers that the safest food is that which you prepare in your own home. As long as your Sprouter is clean, your hands are clean and you are using a clean water source such as tap water, you can be assured of the highest level of safety. Some people may wish to take the added precaution of adding to the soak water 1/4 cup of white vinegar per quart of water or a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract. These two sanitizers can be added to the soak water and will clean the seed's outer coat. We want to remind you that buying seed from an organic source (us, for example) also increases your safety, since organic seeds are required to be handled in a much safer way than conventionally grown seed.
The German government has been highly criticized for being slow to act on the outbreak that began May 2. An ABC News article on June 10 states: "German officials accused Spanish cucumbers of being the culprit last week but had to retract when the cucumbers had a different strain of E. coli (which may or may not have been harmful to humans. Not all E. coli is dangerous to humans.). On Sunday, they blamed German Mung Bean sprouts, only to backtrack a day later when initial tests were negative." None of the tests conducted on the German bean sprouts showed contamination. However, after erroneously accusing Spanish cucumbers, the German authorities focused their attention on Mung Bean sprouts. The ABC article further states: "If you gave us 200 cases and 5 days, we should be able to solve this outbreak," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, whose team has contained numerous food-borne outbreaks in the United States.
Osterholm described the German effort as "erratic" and "a disaster" and said officials should have done more detailed patient interviews as soon as the epidemic began. He also disputed the idea it might be impossible to find the outbreak's source. "To say we may never solve this is just an excuse for an ongoing bad investigation," he said. "This is like a cold murder case where you go back and re-examine the evidence." Even German lawmakers have slammed the government's chaotic response to the outbreak, criticizing the confusing announcements and retractions. Christine Clauss, Saxony's state health minister and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's own governing party, said states were initially conducting their own investigations into the outbreak. "It would be especially important to cooperate more closely and in a more centralized way in situations with a nationwide germ," she told the daily newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung. As of June 7 after a botched investigation the German authorities were under immense pressure to pin point the culprit within 10 days. On June 10, with no bacterial evidence, they named Mung Bean sprouts.
As is the case with epidemiological analysis, even if the lab tests don't prove conclusive, circumstantial evidence is used to determine the answer. In this case, as in too many that have proceeded it, sprouts were blamed, based solely on information collected about where and what people ate, regardless of the lab tests coming back clean. They will probably never know for certain what food was involved, though that didn't stop them from moving the blame to Fenugreek (an of course there has been no exoneration of Mung Beans. As it has been so shall it always be - the powers that be, along with the media are happy to lay blame - but they are never inclined to apologize or correct untruths as they move along in their "investigation".). Without definitive analysis all the German government has succeeded in doing is to scare Europeans away from all vegetables. For example, AFP News in Europe states in an article June 15 that farmers in The Netherlands have lost over 30,000 tons of crops due to lack of demand for vegetables.
All of our seeds have been tested and are free of pathogenic bacteria. We eat sprouts grown from the same seeds we sell to you, as we always have, and as our children and pets always have. We continue to eat them without fear, and always will.
We were in Europe on a family holiday for all of this chaos. Our travels took us to the U.K., Holland, France, and Italy. Though we were in Europe since this outbreak began, we were purchasing fruits and vegetables at public markets and eating raw, without fear during our entire stay. We hope you too can enjoy a life free of fear and full of fresh organic food.
Gil and Lori
Educate Yourself: See what foods have recently been linked to e Coli.
Though we can no longer offer Sprout-Ease Lid Sets, we Sproutpeople have something even better.
We now have our very own 3-Lid Set of Stainless Steel Sprouting Screens!
This is the 2nd sprouter we've had to make due to a manufacturers disappearance (the Hemp Bag was our 1st). We are very proud of this addition to our line of fine
manual sprouting products - and we've perfected it by using Plastic Rings for a rust free experience.
We had the great honor to edit the sprouting section of the new Joy of Cooking and received a wonderful thanks
in Ethan's introduction. Susan and Ethan have purchased seeds and supplies from us for years and Gil had griped about the past editions poor sprouting instructions, so I suppose it was just natural.
But THE Joy of Cooking! Wow! Who doesn't have that book in their collection?!
There is now a Joy of Cooking web site.
We changed our Kelp Fertilizer brand due to problems with importation from Canada. Kelpman (formerly Sea Spray) has been replaced with "
Saltwater Farms SeaCom PGR". The kits we sell which include kelp fertilizer now contain this new brand. This concentrated liquid kelp makes up to 50
gallons of organic fertilizer! The kits cost us more with the switch to SeaCom PGR, but life is good - now you get more - and you pay only a tiny bit more than before.
We have added another soilless growing medium: Tencel® Sure-to-Grow Pads. These are identical in use to Baby Blanket,
so if you purchase STG Pads (which is what we are calling them) and look up growing instructions on our site, please follow the Baby Blanket
instructions. You will be doing exactly the right thing. The pages involved will be changed to include STG Pads in time or will be changed so both mediums are
referred to in a generic way, like Growing Pads.
Prices are going up everywhere for all of us. Fuel costs drive everything higher (virtually everything is transported from its source to its end user - and even when the price of gasoline is down from its high
point, truckers and shippers are not lowering their rates (UPS raised rates again - yet another 6% - in January - that's over 25% in just the past 4 years!)). It is a fact of life - it has been worsening for years -
and it doesn't look like it is going to get better anytime soon, but hey - it's not just us - it's a global problem...
We are trying to suck it up and keep our prices low. It is hard! We are a small family business, but we feel like we have to do what we can to keep inflation at bay. The more companies raise their prices the faster inflation grows.
It would be much more helpful if the oil giants stopped gouging us (their profits have been at record highs for years now), or the car companies, or any of the other bazillion dollar corporations - but we know that's not going to
happen - so it's up to us little people to help each other.
So what's new?!
Here is an example:
We get quite a few seeds from Canada. For years we enjoyed our dollar being worth almost twice the Canadian dollar. Now the U.S. dollar is roughly equal to a Canadian dollar. Good for Canada! We love them,
but the reality is that we now pay more than twice what we paid for some seeds, just a few years ago. Farmers are also hit hard by fuel costs (tractors need gas too). Combine that with poor weather
and the resulting bad crops and we get short supply - so there is not enough supply to meet the demand, which further raises prices. Our profit margins have shrunk dramatically over the past few years. Fortunately for us we get more
orders every year - so we make it up in volume - or have so far. With UPS sucking more of our money again, seeds costing twice what they did, suppliers raising prices on everything we sell
(sprouters, juicers, appliances, mediums, etc.)
and use (boxes, paper, packing peanuts, etc.), and the cost of getting those goods to us, it is only a matter of time before we had to raise our prices. We just want you to know that we take our part in inflation very seriously,
and we will keep our prices as low as we possibly can. Always.
THE FUTURE OF RAW ALMONDS
A lot of you have asked about the future of almonds. It is true that our government very quietly (and without public notification or call for comment) passed a law to pasteurize
all almonds. We need to make some serious noise if we want RAW organic
almonds to be readily available again. Fortunately for all of us, we have The Cornucopia Institute! The Cornucopia institute is working to
reverse this ridiculous law. Learn about what they are doing and how you can help.
Also write your elected officials (all of them) and
the USDA to demand that organic almonds not be pasteurized
(Click to download a Sample Letter (This link will download a Word file which will go wherever you file your downloads)).
This is another case where we can say that certified organic seed has never been blamed for a single outbreak of food-borne illness. That recent research shows
organic crops to be more nutritious is only more reason for us to stand up and be heard while we can still fight for healthy food.
Visit our friends at The Cornucopia Institute for further information.
END OF AN ERA
Gone is the manufacturer of Sprout-Ease Lids and The Tube. All of you loyal customers will likely remember this oft repeated sad
refrain, we apologize. We gave these people every possible opportunity but they stopped filling orders, did not respond to e-mails, their voice-mail was always full and they disregarded faxes. We haven't heard from them since early
in 2006! We are very sad to see them go. The Tube still has a page on our site - for those of you lucky enough to have one, but they are not - and will not be for sale again.
As much as we loved their products we do have better. Sproutpeople's own 3-Lid Set of Stainless Steel Lids are way better than the old
Plastic Lids, and Easy Sprout is - and has always been - way better
than The Tube. Check out those devices and feel lucky - they really are better.
The Tube was part of our Kids Sprout Exploration Kit - but we have replaced it with
another sprouter and have re-designed the kit. It Rocks, and is far less expensive: Kid's Sprout Kit.
The USPS and UPS raise their shipping rates regularly. It is an annual event that adds 4-6%. That "small" percentage is of course a larger amount every year. We are VERY sorry for the cost of shipping.
We see it as the single greatest threat to our business and to internet commerce as a whole. With this new shopping cart of ours, we now - finally - charge you actual cost of shipping based on your zip code. The only thing we add is
a handling charge - which barely covers all the costs of shipping (boxes, biodegradable packing peanuts, tape, literature, toner, etc.). UPS charges extra for shipping to "remote" addresses, so if you're paying more now,
consider all you saved in the past when our cart couldn't charge you correctly. The USPS is great - though they offer no tracking on Priority Mail - for many small orders, and they even offer flat-rate shipping. There is no way for
us to have our cart calculate whether your order will fit in one of the flat-rate boxes, so it will charge you by the pound (which is how all non-flat-rate shipping is calculated). If we are able to fit your Priority Mail order in a
flat-rate box, and the savings is more than $2, we will credit your card. You needn't ask - we just do it. We'll keep our shipping rates down as long as we can break even - - that isn't going to be easy - - gas prices, dwindling oil
supplies, greed - all of these things make shippers charge us more. We can only absorb so much of that cost, but we'll keep trying to take as much as we can.
Shipping cost is something that really pisses us off! We have always kept our product costs as low as we can afford to, and have charged you our actual shipping cost. Many online merchants raise the prices of their items and charge you "inexpensive" shipping. In many cases you end up paying even more, but we all like to see that shipping cost low. We continue to be as honest about it as possible - our goods cost what we pay for them, plus our profit margin. Our shipping costs what the shippers charge us, plus our small handling charge. When you check out of our store the prices you see for shipping are coming directly from the shippers (UPS and USPS). They are determined by your zip code (or country if outside the US). That's the story. Shipping costs suck!
We wish there were a Green Shipper - a company that ran their trucks on
bio-diesel and powered their facilities with solar and wind - now THAT would be worth paying for.....
Write UPS to suggest they Go Green.
This isn't the first year weather has been weird, it has been like this since we got into agriculture (1989), and before, but it is surely worse than ever - way too much heat and inconsistent moisture
(too much or too little and often at the wrong time). As concerned as we are about global warming, we like to think that "life will find a way" - which means, in this case, that seeds will adjust to the new conditions.
Seeds are alive and they work for the survival of their species. One way they do that is by acclimating. Seeds are amazing - they are what made us become Sproutpeople.
As always, we are trying to do better - as Sproutpeople and as human beings.
Thank you again for your continuing support and kind words.
Gil & Lori
More from Sproutpeople
It was May of 1993 when we sprouted our first seeds professionally. We were expecting our first child, were about to move to our log cabin (no running water, small solar power system which allowed us to run up to 150 watts at a time, no indoor plumbing, heat only from a woodstove -
you know - a real log cabin), and we were in our first month as venders at the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin (which was 90 miles away from our cabin). We were planning on
selling hierloom vegetables, and seeds (which we were going to save from vegetables we grew). It was a wet spring in the Midwest. We were unable to get our garden planted early, and once we had sold all of our plant starts we had nothing to sell. We were near destitute, living on leass than $150 a week
(more than half of which came from the Farmers Market). The day we sold our last plant starts at market, Lori asked; what are we going to bring next week? I replied that there was nothing I could grow in a week. She suggested sprouts. "I hate sprouts!" said I "you grow them if you want to,
I'll get some garden plants started." So, Lori went to the food co-op in the town we lived near (Gays Mills, WI - population 500) and bought some seeds to sprout. The thing about Lori is that she didn't just buy
Alfalfa and Mung Beans - she bought Adzuki Beans, Lentils, Peas, Wheat and more. She got our quart sized
mason jars out (we did a lot of canning back then, so we had dozens of jars) and soaked the seeds. By weeks end we had 50 mason jars full of various sprouts. We did better then ever at the market. We took our money to a co-op in Madison (Mifflin Street Co-Op) and
bought more seeds. By the third week I was on board. I love seeds, so I found that was my way into sprouts. We made up mixes that made even me like sprouts as a food. We started growing in nursery trays (rinsing, draining and
subsequently cleaning 50 quart jars every week is a pain). We were selling something completely unique at this amazing market (the Dane County Farmers Market was, and is located around the state capitol in Madison.
It had a lot of organic producers, even back in 1993 - and was patronized by 15-20 thousand people every Saturday). No one had ever seen sprouts grown from many of the seeds Lori started with - and our offerings grew dramatically as the weeks passed. We learned how to grow by comon sense. We knew about
gardening, but we didn't read any books on sprouting. We made a lot of mistakes, but as time passed we perfected our own sprouting methods. This allowed us to add even more seeds to our pallete, and to invent more mixes. We know a lot about sprouting - it's hard not too, with all the tonnage we've
sprouted - but we're still experimenting with new seeds and techniques, and as always - we're still learning. Life's a trip!
Our Most Popular Seeds and Sprouters have their own page...
Raw Sprouted Almond Chocolate Torte
A seriously healthy & delicious dessert!
This is a very simple recipe made with enzyme rich Almond Sprouts. Besides being extremely nutritious - it is exquisitely beautiful and profoundly delicious!
Easy, Delicious and Awesome Good!
Another simple recipe that can become a staple of your diet.
As we drift further and further down this page it is possible - if not downright likely - that there will be some "dated" information. We tend our site, but as I've said - we let our home page accumulate - so as the newer stuff is up top, it is possible that you'll see some things down here that seem old. I'd tell you why we let this stuff stay here, but it's a sort of secret.
Sproutpeople in print and on-the-air
We don't know all the times we're mentioned, or where, but here are some...
We appear briefly in spring issues of Vegetarian Times and Mother Earth News.
2008; In April we were mentioned in Yoga Journal, May had us in Bird Talk and Organic Gardening magazines, as well as back on TV.
HGTV re-aired (it originally ran in 2007) the show that includes Sproutpeople on Gardening By The Yard - in May and June! In September we're mentioned in Natural Health. We do not advertise Sproutpeople. The only way people can usually find us is via word-of-mouth or by searching the internet (We discovered years ago that we are happier selling to people who want what we have - as opposed to selling people on what we have.)
We are very happy to welcome all of you new sproutpeople.
Our site contains hundreds of pages of sprout information, including:
Detailed Sprouting Instructions for over 80 seeds and mixes
Recipes for Sprouts, Greens and even Grasses
Detailed Sprouting Device information
Sprout School - Learn the Basics of Sprouting
Shopping is completely integrated into our site!
Wherever you start you will find everything you could possibly hope to learn, and be able to add items to your shopping cart as you go!
Protect Organic Standards
The Organic Consumers Association
Note - Due to poor weather and the relentless assault on our food supply in the form of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), seed supply is down and high quality seed is more and more difficult to find.
As optimistic as we are, we are concerned regarding future supply of quality sprouting seed. The latest problem is Monsanto's choice to plant GMO Alfalfa. This will certainly create a serious shortage of safe (unless you think GMO food is safe) Alfalfa seed in the very near future. This trend is potentially devastating to all life forms on Earth.
And then there's price.
The first thing we see is decreased supply and higher prices. We have been living with this problem for years now. When farmer's seed is contaminated by GMOs there is no undoing it. Supply will go down (eventually to zero?) and price will continue to rise. We are paying 50% more for Alfalfa than we did just a few years ago! We are paying almost 100% more for Clover than we paid 2 years ago.
The cost of doing business just keeps going up and up and up. The credit card companies take about 4% right off the top, then there's taxes, taxes, taxes and more taxes, the web services, phones, power, etc., etc., etc. The cost of packaging, labels, literature... then there is insurance and did I mention the taxes?
We WISH we could afford to keep your costs as low as we did in the past, but we feel survival is the most important goal. We believe, and are told often by customers, that our prices are the best you can find. In addition, we provide this enormous, informative web site. You will find more information here than in any 4 books put together - and it is FREE and always available. Costs are a very big deal these days, as inflation continues to threaten all of us, but they are not the most important concern.
Climate change is a very real problem. As agricultural people we live with it perhaps more than the average person, but anyone is hard pressed to deny it is a serious problem these days. For Sproutpeople, climate change is a cause of decreased seed availability and lower quality seed. Having been around as long as we have, we are able to find seeds of quality in almost every case, but it gets more and more difficult, and eventually it will become impossible unless we can change the future. Do what you can: Plant more plants (trees especially), drive less, work locally to improve your environment: get your town to plant more trees - or at least not cut down those that are there. If we all do a little it will add up to a whole lot of good. Of course - demanding attention from your elected representatives on all levels of government is good too - they can make a much bigger difference - Corporations Are NOT People and that definition MUST change - RE-Regulate Corporations - tell your reps to do that for the America our fathers and mothers and their parents fought for - but - until that happens - change has to come from us little people.
Also vitally important is the need to stop the invasion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), PLEASE join the Organic Consumers Association and write to every single politician you can, DEMANDING that GMO crops be stopped. Example: After GM Alfalfa is planted, its pollen will be carried to non-GM Alfalfa and will contaminate those plants with GMOs. The farmer growing those non-GM plants will now have GM seeds AND if he saves and plants those seeds (a tradition of farmers for centuries) his crops will now NOT be organic, WILL be a GMO AND he may even get sued by Monsanto for patent infringement (it has happened)! That MUST be stopped!
Be well and happy.
Thank you again for your continued patronage and support!
Gil & Lori
Unlike some other sprout sites we will not tell you we are the biggest supplier (though we know we are several times bigger than some who claim to be the biggest) of sprouting seeds because we don't care! We will tell you that we are the best - because we are! But you should look around the web and compare. We like people to make their own decisions and to be happy with them.
We have one warning: As you look around our site and especially others - BEWARE DOGMA! Whenever anyone tells you something is so - QUESTION IT! We have been upset for years by the "wealth" of false information offered in books and on web sites about sprouts. It is our opinion that too many people who claim to be experts are not (in all fields - not just sprouts). Most seem to pass on - without question - what they were taught (as opposed to what they've learned for themselves). The result is Dogma and it is very often wrong or at best, only partially correct. Our example is this: When we started sprouting in 1993 we just did it - we didn't go get a book - we just did it. We were market gardeners at the time, so we had quite a bit of knowledge about seeds and plants to begin with. It was a year later that we first picked up a sprouting book and what we found was this: We had been enjoying great success sprouting, using methods that were said to be impossible. Because of that we realized that experimentation is the single most important thing and that the key words to remember as we wander through life are:
Question Authority! Keep an Open Mind: Experiment Freely. And Be Respectful. We are responsible for our actions and must be responsible to humanity if we are to make a better world, so Respect all things and just say NO to Dogma!
Every day is an opportunity to do better - not just New Year's Day.
But for many of us the New Year provides the motivation to begin anew.
Sprouts can help.
Want to treat yourself better? Eat better.
You don't have to change everything - just add more of the good stuff.
Sprouts are the most powerful nutrition you can grow.
Good nutrition improves your health, gives you more energy, and is the first step to losing unneccesary pounds. The raw energy of sprouts supports you when kicking bad habits like smoking or drinking. Sprouts help you to think more clearly so you can get organized and enjoy life more with family and friends. Want to help others?
Tell them about sprouts!
(If you tell them about us you'll also be helping a small family business and family farmers).
Learning something new! Learn sprouting - it's easy.
Growing your own food is truly awesome and liberating.
In short, if you want to resolve anything, here is a great way to start:
Eat More Sprouts!
Happy New Day!
Popular Stuff and Pages
Your eyes must be very tired if you read this entire page.
We virtually never take anything off this page - we just move it down - so the page just keeps growing and growing and growing.
We hope you enjoyed it.
Rest assured that the other pages on this site are not as rambling as this one.
They are in general pretty specific to their sprouty subjects.
Have fun looking around!