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Grow your own backcountry sprouts

Grow your own backcountry sprouts

Unless you enjoy fireweed shoots (which are really not that bad), it is very difficult to eat your greens on an extended adventure.  Whether canoe/kayak tripping or backcountry hiking, here is a great way to grow your own little microgreens.

What you need:

  • wide mouth Nalgene bottle (or similar)
  • small square of J-cloth
  • elastic band (bring spares)
  • sprouting seeds 

what you need to grow sprouts in a bottle

The 14oz bottle size works well.  If on a longer trip, take two of these along.  Start your first bottle, then two days later start your second.  The sprouts will be ready to eat in about four days, depending on how warm you are able to keep them.  If you use the multiple bottles method, you'll have sprouts available almost everyday.

Start your seeds

Use small seeds such as alfalfa as they sprout more quickly than large seeds.  Make sure you buy sprouting seeds as they have been cleaned of contaminants.  Sprinkle enough seeds in the bottle to completely cover the bottom - but you don't want a thick layer down there.  They expand a lot.

It is not necessary, but it speeds up sprouting time if you soak the seeds for a couple of hours when you first put them in.  Place the square of J-cloth over the mouth of the bottle and secure with the elastic band.  Drain the water out through the cloth so that the seeds stay moist but are not sitting in water.

growing sprouts in a bottle

Nurture your seeds

Rinse your seeds about three times a day - usually at each meal.  Keep the lid off so the seeds can breathe.  You don't have to keep them in the sun until they start little green leaves, but try to keep them as warm as possible.  This may mean you need to put the lid on and sleep with them in your sleeping bag at night, but at least they don't squirm around so you'll hardly notice them in there.

growing sprouts on canoe trip

Eat your sprouts

By day four they should be ready to eat!  They are fabulous jammed into a pita bread sandwich, or piled on top of your supper.  Or go rabbit and eat them plain.  However you eat them, it is a great feeling to get some healthy green crunch into your meal after multiple days in the bush.


backcountry sprouts ready to eat day 5


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