|Chickens can't get enough of the stuff.|
This summer the kids and I have had fun growing batches of wheatgrass for the chickens and ducks to snack on. This is the same wheatgrass you can also run through the juicer and drink yourself. You can also sprout it, dry it, and grind it into sprouted wheat flour. I'm not here to tote the benefits of wheatgrass or sprouted wheat (although there are many) but I am going to show how to grow the stuff. It is super easy and best of all the kids can really actually do this (as opposed to some projects where the parent is stuck doing 99% of the work).
Step 1: Go to the store and get some wheat berries. Now you can spend a lot of money actually buying wheat berries in little packets at the plant nursery. They often sell them next to all the other seeds. But what I do is go to the health store and buy from their bulk bins of wheat berries. There are two types: hard red and soft white. Honestly, I can't remember which one I get. Usually the cheapest one. They both seem to work just as fine.
Step 2: Toss the wheat berries into a quart jar. Only fill half way to leave room for expansion.
Step 3: Fill with water and let them sit overnight. I like using these little green mesh tops. It helps drain them the next day without all the berries washing down the sink.
Step 4: Drain and let sit on the counter until they start popping out these little "tails" of a sprout. This step goes pretty rapidly. Like a day. Don't wait too long to move onto the next step or else the roots will grow and you will have to chisel the seeds out of the jar because they will be so intertwined. (Ask me how I know this). If you were growing these for sprouted wheat bread at this point you'd stick the berries in the dehydrator, get them good and dry and then blend. But since we're wanting to grow wheatgrass we're moving on to....
Step 5: Fill a container with soil. Sprinkle the berries on top. You will want to get them pretty thick so you will have a nice crop of wheatgrass. See how we've piled them into the container?
Step 6: Cover with a little more soil and water. Make sure to water gently so you don't wash out the berries.
Step 7: Place the container in a sunny spot, water every day. Pretty soon you will see the wheatgrass grow. Once it gets started it really comes in thick and quick.
Step 8: Let the chickens have at it. Or the ducks. Good thing it is so easy to grow. These hens will have it pecked to bits in no time. If you're growing it for the juicer, just trim off a few inches and run it through your machine. The grass will keep growing if you keep watering. In our case wheatgrass never hangs around long though so we are making new batches every few weeks. Growing wheatgrass also works well when you're studying about plants in Science class. It is cheap, easy to grow, and each student could have their own little patch to study. If you want to save even more money, go and get your wheat from a feed store. I was paying a premium for the natural food store's wheat and then I went to the feed store and paid less than 40 cents a pound. Hmmm, sounds like we could make a little math class out of that as well. Wheatgrass...it is a winner!
|I'm saying "Bock, bock" but it means "Yummo."|
Violet, the chicken.