02-28-2006, 10:26 AM
Where would I buy wheatberries to grow wheatgrass?
02-28-2006, 11:44 AM
A natural grocery store/food co-op will have them in bulk. :)
02-28-2006, 11:55 AM
I buy mine at Whole Foods in their bulk bin section.
03-02-2006, 10:27 AM
What you want is fresh red winter wheat, available in the bulk section of most natural health groceries. Soak overnight and rinse well before spreading in flats, to release the sprouting inhibiters in the hull of the wheatberries.
Contrary to common practice, word-of-mouth, and much well-meaning but wrong advice on the internet, you do not need soil to grow wheatgrass on. As a matter of fact, growing on soil or compost merely increases the chance of mold forming, and contributes nothing to the quality of the wheatgrass or its juice. I use a 50/50 mix of fine vermiculite and Canadian sphagnum peat moss (fine milled) mostly to hold water and give the sprout rootlests something to grab onto. I water several times a day with a weak solution of organic kelp fertilizer that provides nitrogen (the only nutient the sprout is actually able to take in before we harvest it) and also slightly acidifies the water to help inhibit mold growth.
After soaking the wheatberries overnight and rinsing well, spread them one layer thick over a well dampened inch of your growing mix. Cover with about 4 layers of newspaper cut to fit the flat and dampened well. Cover that with a piece of black garbage bag to keep the moisture in and the light out, or place inside a large black garbage bag, or cover with another empty growing flat. Place in a COOL dark place. Mist with kelp/water twice a day. After a couple of days the sprouts will start lifting the newspaper (and even a flat if you used it to cover). Once it reaches the top of the flat (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch) take off the covers and place in a sunny spot to green up. Now you may need to mist more often to keep damp. In winter, when the sun is low and days are short you will need to augment the natural light with a full spectrum growing bulb.
Also, keep the flat cool and make sure you have good air circulation, to help inhibit mold growth. The sprouting process generates a surprising amount of heat itself, as the internal enzymes convert starches to sugars for growth, so you may need a fan as well. Worst case, if mold growth seems to get out of hand (it's almost unavoidable, but shouldn't be a runaway) I add a little lemon juice to the water to keep it acid.
One last note... when you juice wheatgrass, trim it far enough above the rootline to avoid the white part and any mold which may have built up there. It's false economy to try and harvest the grass down to the roots, and a bitter taste or feeling of nausea when you drink the juice is a sure sign you've cut it too close. The juice should be sweet and alive tasting, strong but not nasty.
03-02-2006, 10:41 AM
Thank you for taking the time and explaining that so well to me. I really appreciate it!!
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