Monday, November 18, 2019

Sprouts: Grow the Freshest, Most Nutrient Dense Food Indoors!

Sprouts are packed full of enzymes, protein, fiber and vitamins, they are an extremely healthy addition to your diet. Growing your own sprouts is a great way to get your gardening fix throughout the cold days of winter. Easy to grow in mason jars or in one of our handy sprouting kits. Best of all, all of our sprouting seeds are Certified Organic!

Common Uses for Sprouts
Alfalfa Organic Sprouts
Use fresh and uncooked for a sprout salad
Add to any salad
Use in coleslaw
Use in potato salad
Use in wraps and roll-ups
Replace celery in sandwich spreads
Use in sandwiches instead of lettuce
Top grilled cheese sandwiches after grilling
Grind up and use with sandwich spreads
Stir-fry with other vegetables
Mix with soft cheeses for a dip
Stir into soups or stews when serving
Top omelet or scrambled eggs
Add to rice dishes
Saute with onions
Add to baked beans
Steam and serve with butter
Blend into fruit shakes, fruit or vegetable juices 

How to Grow Sprouts:
Distribute evenly a very thin layer of seed. The seeds will swell and require a lot of space. Approximately one tablespoon of small seed and two tablespoons of larger seed is enough for the Victorio Sprouter. For proper germination, seeds should remain wet, but not submerged in water. The Victorio Sprouting Kit is designed to retain a small amount of water, just the right amount. Rinse the seeds once or twice each day for best results.
Sprouting in the dark will force the sprouts to elongate, but sprouting with some exposure to light will have an added benefit of allowing the tiny plants to produce chlorophyll and turn green for more nutritional value.
Victorio 4 tray Sprouter
Victorio 4 tray Sprouter

Using the Victorio Sprouter:
Place seeds in the top 3 trays. The bottom tray is to collect the water. Once the seeds are in each tray, fill the top tray, not quite to the top, with tepid water. Cold water may impede germination. The water will drain through each tray and finally into the collection tray. Remember to dump out the bottom tray before you fill the top the next time.
Sprouts are ready to eat in 2-7 days. Always use clean water and clean practices. It is a good idea to disinfect your sprouter between crops by soaking in a solution of 1 Tbsp of bleach to 1 Pint of water.

Sprouts Recipes

Sprout Salad
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup diced celery
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together & serve.

Sprout Salad II
1 cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
½ cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup cottage cheese
¼ cup sesame seeds
salad herbs of your choice
Mix all ingredients together. Toss with oil and apple cider vinegar. Serves two.

Sprout Salad III
½ cup yogurt
½ cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 oz. Blue cheese
Blend yogurt and sour cream until smooth. Add garlic and blue cheese and mash with a fork until smooth. Pour dressing over bed of equal parts lettuce, watercress and salad sprouts.

Sprout Gelatin Salad
½ cup sprouts
1 cup mixed greens
1 pkg gelatin, slightly thickened
Add cut-up or chopped vegetables and sprouts and add to slightly thickened Gelatin. Chill until firm and cut into squares for individual servings. Serve on a bed of lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. Serves 4.

Organic Sprout Kit Collection - Everything you Need in 1 Collection

Monday, November 4, 2019

Late Fall Gardening Chores

Throw back to our greenhouse in spring

By now you may have lost your gardening momentum as the days become shorter and not to mention colder. As your yard begins to lose colour and your trees go into dormancy, winter is showing signs of setting in and it may be time to retire your garden tools for a bit… even if it is only a few weeks. Come on now… you surely do deserve at least a two-week break!

Many gardeners tend to get tired at the end of the season and just put the tools and pots away as quickly as possible, I’m speaking from my own experience, I’m guilty!  Even if you do only retire your tools for a short time, there does come a time when they need some maintenance and now is the best time to do this. When gardening especially during the height of the season, we can be hard on our tools. We especially want to preserve our favourites so they will be in good condition to use from year to year.  Maintaining your garden tools properly will extend the life of them as well as save you money down the road.  Once the busy spring comes, there will be nothing more satisfying then to grab a clean, sharp tool as you enthusiastically enter the garden for yet another enjoyable season. Tools that are in good working order are not only beneficial for the plants, but they are good for you as well and makes your job more enjoyable.
Cleaning in a Gorilla Tub

This process really doesn’t have to take long or even get complicated. Grab yourself a coffee, tea or a hot chocolate, put on some good music and clean, clean, clean. If preferred, you can lay down a tarp in an open, well lit area to allow your tools to dry on. Start by removing any caked-on soil with a firm scrub brush and then wash with warm soapy water. This will get the tools clean and ready for assessing for any damages as well as any sharpening that may need to be done. Once the tools have completely dried you can give them the “once over” for damages.  For example: cracks in handles or nicks in the metal of blades.  After you have doctored up your tools and they appear to be in good working order you are ready to sharpen them.

Tool Sharpener
Mower Blade & Tool Sharpener

Some tools like shovels, axes, hoes and trowels are best sharpened with a hand file.  If an edging is dull, a grinding stone may be more beneficial. Sharpening tools can be purchased from most hardware stores or you can take your tools to a sharpening professional. Veseys offers a few different sharpeners online here.

The most useful and basic tool for sharpening is an 8" mill file. When sharpening this way, work by drawing the teeth in ONE direction over the dull edge. Sharpening edges can range from 10-45 degrees.  Tools that need finer edges like handheld pruners, should be sharpened to between 10-25 degrees. It is also recommended at this time to apply oil to the blades to prevent rust as well as lubricate hinges.  When using oil, use a petroleum-oil-free alternative organic vegetable oil.  This type of oil is natural and safe to apply to tools especially when digging in soil and around your plants. When your tools are properly serviced, one last garden task that I’m sure you will be happy with is organizing your tool shed or storage area.  Hang your tools safely by the handles.  This will prevent damage to any newly sharpened edges as well as being able to reach your tools with ease and safety.

Now that you have your tools and equipment tucked away in order you may as well keep going...

The containers/pots that your plants were kept in during the growing season is should be also cleaned before storing. I know it seems like a very tedious job, but your plants will be much healthier as a result and it only takes minutes to do it. During the growing season soil builds up salts and it gets deposited on the insides and bottoms of any type of planters that may cause damage to the plants and their roots. Cleaning your pots will also ensure the durability of them as well as any remnants of diseases that may have occurred during the growing season. Simply remove any dirt that is caked on, you can use a stiff scrub brush that you use for cleaning tools. Once you get them clean use a sterile mix to kill off any remaining diseased organisms that may still be on the surface.  Mix up a solution that is 10% bleach. One-part bleach to 9 parts water.  Fill a container large enough so you can dip your pots in it to soak for up to 10 minutes.  Rinse off to remove any bleach and allow them to air dry.  Once the pots are clean and dry, they can be neatly stored on a shelf waiting to get planted next season.

If you are anything like me, you will feel such a sense of accomplishment.  When the busy and exciting gardening season rolls around again, you’ll be so glad you took the time to do this as it becomes part of your late fall rituals.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The perfect comfort food to warm you up on a cool fall evening!

Medium-Hot Chili Recipe

Lots of spices and slow simmering gives this chili an extra ZING!


1 tbsp oil
1 lb beef, lean ground
1 c onions, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup stock
3 cup kidney beans, cooked (about 1 cup dried)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp marjoram, fresh minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp oregano, fresh minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp thyme, fresh minced (or 1 tsp dried)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ginger, powdered
1 bay leaf
2 small jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove seeds if desired)


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, crumble in the beef and cook until browned.  Add the onions, celery and garlic.  Cook over low heat until onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes, stock, beans, chili powder, marjoram, oregano, thyme, cayenne, ginger, bay leaf and jalapeno peppers.  Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hour or until the chili have thickened.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Serves 4 to 6