Sunday, January 11, 2009

growing wheatgrass.


We have been enjoying our indoor herb and greens gardens. The boys have been interested in what happens under the dirt as everything grows. So, we started a project where the boys are growing wheatgrass in a canning jar!

It is very easy to do, and it is cool because each part of the growth process is visible through the glass - from the sprouting wheat berries to the burrowing roots to the shooting bright green blades.


All you need is a bit of sand, some potting soil, canning jars, wheat berries and a spray bottle with water. Start off soaking the whole wheat berries in room temp water for 8-12 hours - drain/change the water about half way through. You can find whole wheat berries usually in the bulk bin at your local grocery store or coop. Organic is best since it is not treated with anything and will sprout healthily! You can use any glass jar - I use canning jars because it is what I have at hand. We used pint jars.

(january 5 - started)

First spoon about an inch of sand in the bottom. Follow that by spooning about 1-2" of potting soil on top of the sand. The sand is to just help keep it from getting too waterlogged (my boys love to squirt the water). Top it off with a dense layer of soaked wheat berries. We used about 1-2 Tablespoons of wheat per jar. Don't put too thick of a layer of wheat or the bottom ones may get moldy.

(january 6 - sprouting)

Water lightly and then cover (loosely) with saran wrap and place on your kitchen counter in a dark or shady spot. Spritz well with a spray bottle of water morning and night. After the first day or so the berries should be sprouting - remove the plastic wrap. Keep in a (not too hot) light place once they start sprouting - not direct sun though. A bright windowsill or a table near a window is fine.

(january 9 - grassy! check out the roots)

Continue spritzing with water twice a day. Once the grass is growing, rinse out every day - just fill the jar with cool water, then use a finger to gently hold everything in as you pour it back out to drain. This just keeps the lower wheat berries from getting moldy and rehydrates the soil if it is a bit dry.

(january 11 - tall green wheat grass!)

It is fun to watch the roots and the grass grow - once it gets going it grows so fast it is literally an inch or more per day. Very fun to observe - my boys love not only the watering part, but also seeing how fast it grows and how the roots look through the glass!

You can feed the grass to your pet, juice it in a wheat grass juicer and add to smoothies, or, of course, keep it as a cool green burst of life on your table.

(january 11 - first trim! )

Giving the wheat grass a 'haircut' is also fun. You can trim it and it will continue to grow. Once the grass is at least 4" long, take scissors and snip (leave about 2" on the grass)! Then make sure to lean in and get a good strong whiff. The face above is A's reaction to the strong wheat grass smell after he gave it a trim. :)

It is really simple to do, happens quickly, and does look cool all lined up on the table - especially when the temps are going to be below zero all week. A nice living green centerpiece!

40 comments:

jodi said...

all your little projects are so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing.

ladybug-zen said...

Denise,
Fantastic! What a wonderful project. Have you juiced any yet?

Tara said...

love seeing the vibrant green! Our kitty would love to nibble on this and Owen would love growing it- thanks for sharing this.

Sarah said...

We always grow wheat grass in a big, shallow bowl at Easter. The girls also plant it in eggshells. I like the clear jar too! Maybe I'll do one jar for each place at the table this year and then have bunny leave a big colored egg....hmmm.

Stephanie said...

So pretty!
There are several things that I've wanted to grow in jars.
Maybe we'll try this one!
Just lovely.

Eryn Paige said...

Hi,

We love wheatgrass too! I grow it and even feed it to our chickens.

My husband is out of Wisconsin and we enjoy our summer vacations in Wisconsin. Madison is a great town!

To your continued health,

Eryn from Arizona

brianna said...

How fun! We've been sprouting seeds too but these look way more productive. I've never bought wheat berries, I'll have to look around for some. Ella would absolutely love to do the cutting!

Dawn said...

Thank you for posting the directions to this here. My cats love to eat wheat grass, and this looks like a fun project.

Dawn said...

Snazzy project! Looks tasty and I am excited to have a time in my life when my cat will not eat everything inside that's green (and alive). More space will do us good~

Happy Monday!

:)

Sherri said...

I am so grateful for you, Mom in Madison!
I love your blog and you inspire me to explore things we probably would not otherwise.
Thank you for taking the time to let us in on all your projects.
We are gonna do the wheatgrass!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh that is way cool! I'll have to start some for my March centerpiece!

Sara said...

Thanks for another great idea!! We are for sure going to do this.

mamaofsugarpies said...

You always have such wonderful idea and I LOVE that you always share them:) Will have to get after it and get this project started!

Joy said...

Your wheatgrass looks fantastic! I love the look on A's face. Classic!

Anet said...

Wow that's fast!
I love visiting here with all the green, growing, fun and sunshine.

Kat said...

I need another project like I need a hole in my head.
But alas, this looks like one of those 'have to' things.

I'll update you on our progress. :)

Sarah said...

great project. i love reading your blog to find out what you are all up to next! :)

Annie said...

Beautiful! I love wheatgrass juice. One day I may buy a grinder for it one day.

Christine said...

Thanks for the idea, clear instructions, and great photos!

Scribbit said...

What a cute idea--Bookmarking this one!

STEPHANIE said...

I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog today! I love it and am going today to buy stuff for growing my own wheatgrass. I need some fresh greens in my house this winter. It has been cold in Iowa as well. thanks so much.

STEPHANIE said...

oh yes, one more question...how did you get a photo you took at the top of your blog? I have blogger as well and can not figure it out past the templates given.

Miss Rachel said...

That is so neat. I love gardening! I have never tried it gardening in canning jars tho. I have started the plants indoors before planting them outside. But I will have to look into doing that for this years garden.

I would love to plant some barley. We have goats and chickens that eat it and so if we could grow our own from our own organic seeds that would be so money-saving!

Wonderful photos. :)

Love,
Rachel
http://dixonhomestead.com/rachel

Shannon and Alex said...

What a fabulous idea! We will have to get on it.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Some posted you on twitter..so fun to find another home school mom. I grew up in Brookfield, WI, but have transplanted to NC. Great project!

Anne said...

What a great project!
The green must look lovely in your house!....:)

mamak said...

That's so cool! I could use little green sproutlings about now. Especially on a windowsill. It would counteract the barrenness. -K

alis said...

Hey Denise,

I save six packs from the nursery and I sprout wheat grass in them for our annual egg hunt. When the grass is ready I cut each cell out below the poky part and wrap it in used wrapping paper. The kids love it, especially toddlers.

+ A

Renee said...

Where is the best place to purchase wheat berries? I'm a little ignorant I guess and have never had them before.

denise said...

Thanks everyone. :) It is indeed a fun project and I love how excited the boys got seeing the roots this time around.

We also love growing some in little ceramic pots and easter baskets (using an insert) in spring. Something about January and below zero temps that make me love it now too. :)

Renee - I have seen wheat berries in most bulk bin sections (next to flour, oats, etc.). Here in Madison it is at some grocery stores, but is also at Whole Foods and our local coop!

Sam said...

This is a great idea. I'll have to hunt for the wheatgrass, but it would be so nice to have some green inside. :-)

Gorgeous. said...

Wow! I'm going to try that with my two.... I happen to have some wheatberries sitting around doing nothing and I love how it grows so FAST!!!

Astrid said...

Ah ha. I was just going to ask where you got the wheat berries but I see you've already answered that question in the comments section. Rats. We were just at Whole Foods in Madison this past weekend....I'm going to have to see if there's a local source for wheat berries. (Madison is a little too far away to go to on a whim). Love this idea!

Teaching Handwork said...

I love watching pants grow in a jar....so fun!

Lori said...

oh, i want to grow delicious green grass now .. what a great thing to sit on the coffee table and cheer me up. :^)

wheat berries said...

all your little projects are so inspiring.

Mandy said...

This is such a great idea, I'm glad I stumbled across your blog, I'll start following you!:)

The Barnharts said...

cool! my friend just gave me some wheat berries- I can't wait to try this!

beccalouise said...

I have wheatberries. I actually grind them in the nutrimill for our wheat flour. It never clicked in my head that those things can turn into wheat grass. I have some soaking right now and am looking for something fun to plant them in. Thanks for the instructions and keeping it simple for people like me :0)

Anonymous said...

So can I use the wheat kernals that I buy at the bulk food store? The ones I'd grind to make whole wheat flour?