What to do when your crop is done...
What do we have?
Your Seeds have become Sprouts
Your Greens are Fully Grown
Your Grass is ready for mowing
Eat More Sprouts + Grow More Often!
Before moving your sprouts to that big cool box in your kitchen, they should be dry to the touch. In most cases we let our sprouts sit for 8-12 hours after their final rinse, and extremely thorough drain before we refrigerate them, but if our salad spinner can contain them, we use it. Another option for centrifugal drying is the Hemp Bag because it is fun to swing around - though you should do it outside unless your trying to show your kids a good time by making a mess in the house.
There is no quicker way to kill produce than to refrigerate it wet, so make sure that your sprouts are reasonably dry before you refrigerate them.
You can transfer them to a plastic bag, use a special produce bag or you can use a glass or plastic container. The Easy Sprout is an excellent storage vessel for any sprout - and any vegetable as well.
We almost always seal our sprouts - we do not let them "breathe" (except as allowed by our special produce bags) - that just dries them out. But If your sprouts are wetter than you think they should be, or they are warm when you refrigerate them, go ahead and punch a few holes in the bag - it won't hurt in that case and it may help a lot. Once they are cool and dry you can seal them in a new bag or another container.
Your home grown sprouts should easily keep for weeks (depending on the type of sprout) in the refrigerator.
Harvest your Greens
Cut your Greens off at "soil" level with a nice sharp scissors or knife. Put them in a plastic bag - or something else if you like - and refrigerate them. Do not refrigerate them wet - they will perish in less time than sprouts!
As a rule you water your Greens at least 12 hours before cutting and likely more like 24 hours, so they won't be wet. If you've grown a sparse crop you won't have to wait as long.
The Greens to be cautious about as regards dampness are, Micro-Greens, Nalo Greens and Buckwheat Lettuce. These are all fine, tender plants that are more water than plant matter. You will rarely have a problem with Greens like Sunflower or Pea Shoots.
So - you cut your dry but internally moist Greens off and refrigerate them. The Pea Shoots will last for many weeks. The Sunflower and Buckwheat Lettuce and all the rest will go limp after 7-10 days and though they'll still taste good you'll miss their terrific texture. These are really a gourmet item - so treat them as such.
Eat More Greens + Grow More Often!
Cut Your Grass
Grass will never be wet unless you water it right before harvest. Just cut it off close to the soil and either refrigerate it or even better: Juice it Fresh.
Drink Your Grass + Grow More Often!
If you are traveling you need to either eat your sprouts and skip storage or you can use some ice. Be careful not to freeze the sprouts - the little ones are especially easy to freeze. Since cool air falls you can put your sprouts - in a bag - on the bottom of a container (like an ice bucket), cover the bag with a few layers of newspaper or the like and put ice on top of that.
We do not have any information to speak of on freezing sprouts. We have been growing fresh sprouts since 1993, so we never have a shortage of fresh sprouts - so why bother freezing them? Obviously small, thin sprouts will be pretty pathetic if frozen, so if you must - freeze bean sprouts - but plan on cooking them - their texture will be less than crunchy.
We do not dehydrate our sprouts very often either, but we do offer a Dehydrator nowadays, as there are good reasons to dehydrate some now and then.
As is always the case - we want you to see each seed/mix detail page for thorough information on that which you are growing. You simply MUST see those pages!
We sell a special produce storage bags. They can extend the shelf-life of all produce - sometimes to a remarkable extent. You don't need them (especially if you eat your crops as quickly as we do our's), but they are a great product whose usefulness extends even beyond the scope of the sprout world. They are definitely worth checking out.
The Basics of Sprouting:
- Seed Storage: Keeping your dormant seeds happy.
- Soaking: Turning a dormant seed into a nutritional powerhouse.
- Rinsing: Water is the key ingredient in sprouts. Use it liberally.
- Draining: It is essential that sprouts be drained thoroughly after rinsing. Sitting in a puddle is the most common cause of crop failure.
- Air Circulation: If your sprouts can’t breathe while growing - they can die. Don’t put them in a closed cabinet.
- Greening: Photosynthesis is cool, and so is Chlorophyll, but not all sprouts are into it, nor is it necessary. Sprouts of all colors are packed with flavor and nutrition!
- Cleanliness: Your seed should be clean and your sprouting device should be sterile. Wash your sprouter well between crops. Sterilize when necessary.
- Storage: Properly stored, fresh sprouts will keep for up to 6 weeks in your refrigerator but fresher is better. Never refrigerate wet sprouts.
- Eat More Sprouts! Grow More Often!