Getting ready for winter vegetables!

Sorry! It’s been way too long to go without a post! Travel had gotten me away from farming for a while. It is time to do some catch up.

Just got some winter vegetable seedlings from VFPCK (Vegetables and Fruits Promotion Council Kerala). For the non-Keralite readers, winter isn’t quite winter for us other than dropping a few degrees (22-24C or 70-75F). But this is the only season we can grow Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, etc.

I am a bit late to get these plants going, but I hope they will fruit before the weather gets warmer.

Winter vegetable seedlings

Some of these seedlings will go into our Aquaponic growbeds and the others we will plabt in soil. Aquaponic growbeds need some serious maintenance before I can plant. But I have a few days before the seedlings will be ready to be moved over to the growbed.

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Sprouts – Chickpeas

We have been experimenting with different pulses for tray farming sprouts. This time it is  chickpeas.

I had never seen a chickpea plant before, so didn’t know what to expect.  It’s been over a week since we planted chickpeas and they are growing up fine although a bit slow. Leaves are very different from any pulses we have tried. I am not exactly sure of the right time to harvest, but going to wait for a couple more days.

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Sprouted chickpeas

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Chickpeas in tray

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Chickpeas sprouts (7 days)

Another batch of sprouts (red cow peas / vanpayar)

Time to get a batch of sprouts going. This time we are trying red cow peas (vanpayar). My wife kept it in water for over a day. This is slower to develop sprouts than Mung beans  (Green gram / cherupayar).

Hopefully sprouts will be ready to harvest in a few days. Will post pictures before we eat’em. 🙂

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Tray with coco-pete

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Red cow peas (soaked 24 hrs)

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Sprouts – A must try!

I always knew that sprouts are great to have in our diet. My mother makes dishes out of sprouts all the time. She keeps mung beans (ചെറുപയർ / cherupayar) or chickpeas  (കടല / kadala) in water over night, and then covers it in a damp cloth for another day or so for sprouts to develop. Any dish she cooks out of these sprouts are delicious!

The other day my good friend and farming partner, Rasheedka, called up and said he experimented with keeping sprouts in a growing medium like coco peat (ചകിരിച്ചോർ) for a few more days after soaking it overnight. He harvested it in five days and had really good results.

So I thought I should try it too. I bought a small tray (18″ x 12″ x 1″), drilled a few holes underneath it and filled half of it with coco peat (neo peat brand ചകിരിച്ചോർ). Soaked a cup of mung beans (ചെറുപയർ / cherupayar) overnight and spread it on coco peat in the tray and covered it with a thin layer of coco peat. In about three to four days we had an excellent harvest of fairly well grown sprouts that was sufficient for our family as a side dish for lunch. We removed the roots and cooked it just like how we cook cheera (ചീര), and we all (especially kids) loved it!

I really think this is a ‘must try’ at every home. Very easy to grow without the trouble of growing vegetables. If you start the process over the weekend, you can harvest fully grown sprouts during the week days! Sprouts are rich in protein and are an excellent source of nutrients and minerals. Other than mung beans, you can try pretty much any other pulse, like horse gram (മുതിര / muthira), chickpeas  (കടല / kadala), etc.

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Mung beans (ചെറുപയർ) sprouts

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Mung beans (ചെറുപയർ) sprouts