Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Sowing: Part 3

The Pot Farm has only grown by three this week: 

Red Leaf Lettuce

Bull's Blood Beets

Cleome - the seeds were generously donated to the cause by a friend who has gorgeous cleome growing in her purple-themed garden.

And in a totally different kind of winter sowing, these are fenugreek sprouts! I was rumbling through the spice drawer one night this week, looking for the ground cumin, and came across a little bag full of fenugreek. Fenugreek is a bit of a mystery to me, but I bought them to make this Georgian Pork Stew (as in the Republic of Georgia, not the State of Georgia). It was yummy, in case you were wondering.

Fenugreek seeds are hard and sort of triangular-shaped. And they have the faint odor of maple syrup. Or carmel. Or something sweet. Seriously. Fenugreek is used to make fragrances and a processing plant in New Jersey had everyone smelling maple syrup. 

Back to the little bag of fenugreek in my spice drawer ... 

Seeing the seeds made me wonder what kind of plant they came from. I dug around on the web and learned that not only are the seeds used for cooking, but the greens are also an important part of Indian cuisine (called Methi). It's a pretty plant. And a member of the legume family, so it's a nitrogen-fixer and an excellent soil conditioner.

I started wondering how I could get my hands on some seeds to try to grow in the garden. And then I realized I might already have them in my hands. Many spices are irradiated before being sold at retail, so I wasn't sure the ones in my spice drawer were viable. So before placing an online order for new seeds, I did a little sprouting experiment. I just put a couple dozen seeds in a wet paper towel in a plastic bag and let it sit on the counter. Two days later, I could tell they were starting to sprout! The picture above is after 4-5 days. Very exciting. I haven't tasted them yet, but I've read that they are often sprouted right along with mung bean and other sprouts for fresh eating.

1 comment:

lkellen said...

That opening sentence could get you into trouble...