Archive for the ‘Seeds’ Category

More GMO Problems: GE Alfalfa

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

We have recently started feeding our milk cows high quality alfalfa hay (apx. 26% protein) while we’re milking, in doing this we cut the grain mix that we were feeding a little more than half, hoping to eventually cut the grains out altogether.  One of the  reasons we did this was most feed has some kind of GMO grain in it and another reason is the quality of the milk is better without the grains.  So I purchased some high quality alfalfa hay and we made the  transition from grains to pasture and hay with a small amount grain at milking.  At first the cows did not like this, they really like their grain (like children with candy) but they have come around to my way of thinking for the most part. The reason I’m writing this is because Monsanto has genetically engineered alfalfa and they are wanting farmers to start raising their product.  I am trying to get away from genetically altered feed and then I find out about this GE alfalfa, it sure seems like Monsanto is trying to take over. When they genetically modify something this means you have to buy your seeds from them; see what I mean about taking over.

Talk to ya later,

Farmer Johnny


Thursday, January 6th, 2011

One of the things I studied on last year was Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Many people know nothing about GMOs, good or bad. The more I read about GMO, the scarier it gets.

So what does GMO mean basically? They take DNA, plant or animal and mix it with the DNA of other plants or animals. By doing this mix it creates a seed, that when it grows into a plant it will be resistant to certain pesticides and insecticides (such as Round Up). This allows you to plant your crop, then spray and kill the weeds with no ill effects to your crop. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well, I’m not so sure it is. How would you like to eat corn or anything that has corn in it that has been sprayed with Round Up? Sounds scary to me. Not only that, the corn you are now eating has DNA of something other than corn. Many of the grain products on the market are GMO.

All this sounds like science fiction or some kinda horror story but it’s not, it’s all true and this is just the tip of the iceberg, if you want to know more here’s an article about GMO with some good info. After reading this stuff you can probably see what all the fuss is about.  Do we eat food products with GMOs? Do we feed our animals GMO grains or grain products?  There are still a lot of unanswered questions about GMOs so educate yourself. That’s it for today.

Talk to ya later,

Farmer Johnny

The Lay of the Pan

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

(Re-posted from Jan-Feb 2011 issue of No Greater Joy Magazine)

child eating sproutsSeeds are not just for the garden, and can be grown beyond spring and summer. You can enjoy a kitchen garden all year long—even if you live in Alaska! There are three different ways you can garden indoors: Nub-sprouting, regular sprouting, and planting seeds to harvest as micro-greens.

Here are the differences between the three, as well as basic instructions to get your kitchen garden started:

nub sproutsNub-sprouting is just allowing the seed to barely make a tip. You can use nub-sprouts to make “Ezekiel bread,” thus named for the recipe found in Ezekiel 4:9. Nub-sprouting is very simple. Pre-soak the seeds for a few hours. Rinse well to remove the natural sprout inhibitor found on most seeds. Then place in a shallow pan with a small amount of water. Put the seeds just a few layers deep (so they can breathe). Cover with a cloth to keep the seeds from drying out. Usually within 24 hours the nubs will appear at the end of the seed.

sunflower sprouts

Sunflower sprouts

Regular sprouts are also grown without dirt, but they are allowed to grow a few days until the plants are between one and three inches tall. These sprouts can be used as salad sprouts. To grow seeds to be eaten as salad sprouts you first need to soak them in water for a few hours and rinse them well. The seeds should then be placed in a shallow pan with a small amount of water. They should not “drown” in water, but they should not dry out, either. Cover with a cloth and set the pan in a dark, warm spot. Rinse the seeds daily. Within a day or so they will start to grow. Harvest as you need them or when their size suits you. Sprouts are best eaten fresh, but they can be stored in your refrigerator for about a week.

kids eating sprouts

Kids eating sprouts

Types of sprouts

Leafy sprouts:

  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Radish
  • Fenugreek
  • Mustard

Bean sprouts:

  • Adzuki bean
  • Garbanzo
  • Mung
  • Green pea
  • Speckled pea
  • Soy bean
  • Various types of lentils

Brassica sprout family includes:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Rutabaga
  • Mustard
  • Turnip

Sprouts are counted as one of the substitutes to aid struggling areas through food shortages, especially in countries affected by droughts.

Micro-sprouting greens are seeds grown in a small amount of dirt until they are 5 or 6 inches tall. The tops are then harvested and allowed to re-grow to be harvested again and again until it is clear by the yellowish leaves that the nutrients of the soil are depleted. These greens can be used in salads, or they can be juiced. Generally, grass-type seeds are used for micro-planting. This includes seeds like barley or wheat. When they are grown, they look like grass. I use a large flat pan with about ½ inch of good quality potting soil, although I have used regular garden dirt with successful results. The idea is to allow your plants to grow a few inches tall, then harvest the top few inches and allow the plant to continue to grow. You can obtain many harvests from one planting. Your grass does not need full sunlight; many people just leave their tray sitting in their kitchen.

pea sprouts

Pea sprouts grown without soil

Sprouts—particularly green leafy sprouts—are great to eat for everyday living. With less expense, you can get vitamin A, B, C, fiber, protein, and enzymes that aid digestion. In addition, sprouting destroys the seed’s natural preservative enzymes that inhibit digestion. Sprouting kits are now available in malls and supermarkets everywhere.

Sprouting kits are now available in malls and supermarkets around the country and probably around the world. Once you get sprouting and gardening, try saving your own seeds!

Try some Ezekiel Bread!

ezekiel breadRecipe – Taken from the DVD, Homesteading for Beginners, volume 3. Place 1/2 cup each of these in a bowl: Millet, Beans, Lentils, Wheat, Spelt, Barley. Soak them 24-48 hours. Drain grains and seeds thoroughly. Use a food processor to grind the soaked beans/grain mix until it becomes like fine mash. Add one tablespoon baking powder, one tablespoon baking soda and one teaspoon salt (we used a bit more salt!). There are other recipes online to try. Experiment!

Sprouting Methods

buckwheat sprouts

Buckwheat sprouts grown in a rectangular sprouting tray without soil

sprouts in bowl

Sprouts grown in a greenhouse, in soil


  • Jar
  • Cloth
  • Sprout bag
  • Sprouting tray


  • Seedling tray
  • Greenhouse

Try out a variety of seeds and sprouting methods to discover the method that works best for your family.

bowl of seedlingsgirls eating sprouts

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