Growing Dr. Bird Sprout Mix Instructions
Yields approximately 1 Cup (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts.
Seed Prep Measure out 2/3 Cup of seed* Pick out anything you don't think should be there (shell or plant pieces, imperfect seeds, etc.) if you wish (we don't). Rinse your seeds to remove dust or debris.
Soak Transfer your seeds into your Sprouter, or a bowl. Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all. Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.
Note: There are some seeds in these bird mixes whose sprouting instructions call for less soaking. Fear not. In the interest of convenience we have mixed all the seeds together - and we can tell you from vast experience, they will sprout quite well if you follow the directions here.
Sprouting Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary). Drain off the soak water. You can use it - it has nutrients in it. We use it to water potted plants.
Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water. Drain thoroughly.
Always be sure to Drain very thoroughly. The most common cause of inferior sprouts is inadequate Draining. Even the best designed Sprouting Device holds water, so pay special attention to this step.
Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses. This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won't get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us. We don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves, and unless you are growing these sprouts into plants, they definitely are not going to have leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts.
Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours. Then... Rinse and Drain again, in 8-12 hours. And, perhaps one more...8 - 12 hours later... Rinse and Drain.
We usually stop here. Most of your seeds will now have little roots. Not all of the seeds are intended to germinate in this amount of time but, as soon as a seed soaks up water its nutritional value skyrockets, its enzymes are no longer inhibited! So know that what you are feeding your friends is beyond compare - Root or no Root!
We think you should consider your crop done when most of the seeds have roots. They are ready to feed! You may grow them longer if you like - experiment to see what your bird likes best.
Depending on your climate and the time of year you are sprouting, and most importantly your personal preference - You may Rinse and Drain again - at 8-12 hour intervals for several days. However - we prefer to sprout only to the point where most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/16 - 1/4 inch) roots, which is typically after just 2 or 3 Rinse and Drain cycles.
Harvest Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse. Be sure to Drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final Rinse. The goal during the final 8-12 hours is to minimize the surface moisture of your sprouts. They will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch.
Refrigerate Transfer your sprout crop to a plastic bag, our shelf life extending Produce Storage Bags, or the sealed container of your choice (glass is good too). Whatever you choose - put them in your refrigerator - if you can keep your flock from eating them all first.
*Seed to Use If using Sproutpeople's Single Harvest Pack - use the whole bag - to get an approximately 8 ounce crop.
These seeds will yield approximately 2:1 (you get 2 pounds for every pound of dry seed), so in theory you can start with as much as 1/2 the dry seed, your Sprouter has capacity. We generally advise maxing out at 1/3 capacity, until you get used to growing this crop. You can also grow as little at a time as you wish, and grow a tiny crop.