The Great Sprout Experiment

A few weeks ago I was at a local garden center, The Arbor Gate, and they had some seeds on clearance. I found a package of broccoli sprouts and jumped at the chance to try them out. I thought it would be fun to see how it worked but also to have sprouts on hand, and a specific amount of sprouts at that. Of course it takes a few days to have sprouts ready, but if you were planning a meal for a few days out that involved sprouts, it would be easy to start. I always feel bad when I waste sprouts bought at the store because it is inevitable that we won’t eat them all before they spoil.


I followed the directions on the packet which included soaking the seeds in a bleach solution, 1tbsp bleach to 1c water for 15 minutes and then rinsing thoroughly. This was to prevent E. coli contamination.

Then I soaked the seeds in water overnight. I’m using a pair of old hose that had runners in them. I didn’t feel like running all over town to find cheesecloth so I used that instead. It worked perfectly and I kept the section I cut off for future use.

After the first night of soaking you can already see the sprouts starting.

Twice a day I would rinse the sprouts out and drain them and put them back in their corner, covered with a towel. This is the second day.

Four days in I had sprouts that I could eat but I wasn’t quite ready for them. This is where I made my fatal mistake.

Looking good!

I had forgotten to use them in a smoothie on Friday morning so I was going to take them to my parent’s house for the weekend and eat them the following morning. Well, when I went to get them out of the jar that morning I found the sprouts covered in mold (which you can see barely in the photo)! I should have refrigerated them as soon as they were big enough to eat. My mistake and I will learn from it in the future! I don’t think they were molded when I left on Friday evening, but I can’t be sure.

I’m happy that the experiment worked—I didn’t realize it was so easy to sprout. But, refrigeration is key to preventing spoilage after they are ready to eat. I should have known better!

Oh well, next time!


  • chel

    *so* cool. I used to love eating sprouts but I fell out of the habit. I think I am going to try this! the funny thing is that my birds eat sprouts all the time- unintentionally. They know enough to put some of their food (which includes seed( into their water bowl, and within a few hours or so- fresh sprouts!

    I also find it kind of cool when I’m swimming and I see that a seed has fallen into the pool and sprouted at the bottom. It’s like a little plant under the water 🙂 There’s a masturtium seed in the pool right now, I’m leaving it to see what happens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.