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Starting Seeds

This is time to for me to start seeds inside for seedlings. ( 3/18/23 )

I planted 3 types of Tomato seeds.

Tess Land Race Currant Tiny Tomato, delicious, red fruits are popular with home gardeners. This variety can vary in color; most are deep red but some are also rose, gold and yellow. They have a lot of fruit that you can grab a hand full of to snack on when working in the garden. I give some of these plants to friends as one plant can provide a lot of this tasty treat.

Brandywine Tomato. The Brandywine varieties are some of the most popular heirloom tomatoes grown in North America. They are known for their large fruits, great taste, and pumpkin-like ridges. The distinctive potato-leaved foliage sets them apart from most other varieties of tomato. They do not have a long shelf life, canning, pickling, saucing, and drying are recommended.

Borghese Tomato. This tomato produces short determinate plants that prolifically yield big clusters of 1-2 oz. red, plum shaped, crack-resistant paste tomatoes that are a great substitute for Roma tomatoes. Tomatoes are prized for drying because they retain more flavor than most other drying varieties. This will be the first year to grow this type. A good friend gave me these seeds that she saved from last years tomatoes.

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I also planted Broccoli, eggplant, and crisp mint lettuce.

Waltham 29 Broccoli A delightful standard variety known for its excellent flavor Standard type, produces 4 to 8" green heads that are nicely flavored. Compact plants also produce some side shoots that produce some florets

Little Finger Eggplant I have never eaten or planted any eggplant but thought I would give them a try. I ordered these seeds not knowing anything about eggplant. You can start harvesting when they are only as big as your finger or let them get bigger. Either way they will taste mild and sweet. Very productive. Great in stir fry or grilled. I will see how they do.

Crisp Mint Lettuce, a large romaine type, succulent, mint-green outer leaves surround crystal-white hearts, mild, sweet and crunchy in flavor. Succulent heads to 10 inches in height are a standout in the salad garden.

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Strawberry Seeds

This year when I was ordering my seeds to plant. I came across Berries Basket White Hybrid Strawberry seeds and decided to give them a try.

They are an ever-bearing, compact and bushy plants produce large, deep red, full-flavored berries until first frost. White flowers and shiny, deep green leaves on strong vigorous plants. This Strawberry is Well-suited growing in baskets. They may not produce strawberries the first year. I wanted to get an early start so I got the seeds out to plant them. The package said that before planting the seeds they should be cold stratified for a month to help them germinate. I did not want to wait a month so I put them in the freezer for a 2 days. I was hoping that would be better than not doing anything. I after a 2 days in the freezer I planted the seeds and hoped they would germinate. After 2 weeks I thought I could see a couple tiny spots of green. Here is what they look like 1 month after I planted the seeds.

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I only had 10 seeds so I think this is a good start. Most people will buy Strawberry plants to put out, but I just wanted to see if I could do it from seeds. I will let you know how they are doing at a later date.

If you have not ordered your seeds for this years planting, you better hurry.

I have noticed several seeds are sold out already.

Adding Composting Worms

Why I am adding more red wigglers to my compost bin.

Composting worms, or Red Wigglers, are not picky what they eat. They will happily digest a wide variety of organic plant material into nutrient rich worm castings. You can put coffee grounds, old lettuce, rotten vegetables, potato peels, fruit, grass clipping, and leaves almost anything that is plant material. You can add some ground up fine egg shells to give them some grit. They need a bit of grit to help break down the food scraps. The eggshells provide calcium, which reduces acidity in the bin. You should NOT give them any meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, oily, or spicy stuff. After about 4 weeks of not feeding them they will start to die.

I was not able to feed the worms in my worm bin for a few months because of health issues. Most of the worms must have died and what few were left could not keep up with the coco coir and food scraps I am giving them.  I decided that I need to add a few worms to boost the worm bin up. I have had good luck in the past with Uncle Jim's red worms so I order a small bunch from him. I ordered the batch of 250 Red Wigglers some Organic Fertilizer and Houseplant Sticky Stakes Insect Traps Here is the box they were shipped in.

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Here is what I got in my order along with instructions on how to handle the worms.

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The worms come in a nice Uncle Jim's Worm Farm pull string bag. The instructions said to add a � cup of water to the worms to help rehydrate the worms from shipping. I did that and let them get hydrated for an hour then dumped them in my worm bed.

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They were quite lively and with the light on it didn't take them long to bury them self in to the compost bin. I left the light on overnight. The next morning I added some coffee grounds and old lettuce them covered them with paper shreds.

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Then I covered it up with news paper.

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To figure out how much food waste your household makes a day. You will need about 1000 worms for every � pound of waste you produce. However, that amount of food waste might be too much, depending on air temperature and excess moisture. A foolproof method is to feed them every 2 to 3 days. Be conservative in the quantity. Soon, you will get to know how much food they can handle. They should start eating one feeding before you add another. An entire feeding should be completely gone in 1 to 2 weeks. You can get all the information you need to start your own compost bin at Uncle Jim's Worm Farm. They have a lot more information on how to have success with your own compost bin.

If you live near a good fishing place, you could start a business selling fish bait. Uncle Jim's Worm Farm also sells Meal Worms, fish, Birds and Reptiles all enjoy the benefits of the high protein and nutritional value of meal worms.


How I cook dry navy beans

How I cook dry navy beans. If you have been buying navy beans to prep. for SHTF. You need to cook some so you can do it if you need to. You may not be able to go online to find out how to cook things if the SHTF.
The first few times I cooked them, they didn’t turn out very good. I didn’t cook them enough and they were still somewhat hard. The next time I burned them.
Now I have cooked the beans several times using this method and they came out the way I like them. I cook up a batch of navy beans using 4 cups of dried beans. I start a day before I plan on cooking the beans.
The first thing I do is take a cup of beans at a time and spread them on a plate. Look them over to make sure there is no small stones or any beans that I don’t like the looks of.

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With modern farm equipment, the beans have been very good and a long time science I found any stones in the mix. I rinse the beans of and put them in a 4 quart pan. Added water until there is at least 1 inch above the beans.

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I stir in a table spoon of backing soda and let them set over night. The next day when I am ready to cook the beans. I drain the water off the beans and rinse them. Add water until there is at least 1 inch above the beans. Turn the heat on high and bring them to a boil. Just as they are starting to boil there is a foam that starts to form on top of the water.

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I scoop the foam off and turn the heat down to a slow boil and cook them for about 45 minutes stirring them often. Once the foam starts to show up it can boial over quite quick.

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Then I add 4 slices of bacon cut up in � and put them in. Cook for another 30 minutes keeping an eye on the amount of water that is left.

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At that point you could use the beans to make bean soup or put them in a pan to bake them in the oven. I add a � cup of brown sugar then turn the heat to low and cook them for about 15 minutes to they thicken up.

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You need to keep an eye on them and stir often to make sure they don’t burn. I have had them burn by not stirring and keeping an eye on them at this point. I turn off the heat and let them cool off. I then scoop them in to freezer containers and freeze.

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All I have to do is take them out of the freezer and heat them up. You may want to add more or less brown sugar or add your favorite spice to suit your taste. Cook up some dried beans this week. Learn what works for you. I still have to try cooking the beans over a fire.

Hope this helps you to giving it a try soon.


Starting seeds

The weather has been like spring weather making me want to get started at planting some seeds.
I know I might be a bit early ( 2/18/23 ) so I planted some kale seeds and a few marigold seeds in the blocks I made with the soil-blocker.
Kale will take a light freeze and keep growing. I am hoping to get an early start on some greens from my garden.
I wright down when I start seeds inside and try to remember if the timing was right.
It’s about 2 weeks later than I planted pepper seeds last year. Last year’s came out ok. I spreed out the seeds and covered with about 1/4 inch coco coir.

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I bought a Seedling Heat Mat, so it might be a bit early for starting peppers. Put a clear cover over the container and put on the heat mat.

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The seeds I had were leftover from last year so I am not sure what the germination rate is going to be.
These are the type seeds I planted. King of the north, Revolution F1 peppers, some seeds I saved from a pepper I got at a vegetable stand, and Craig’s Grande Jalapeno.
I will let you know how the timing was some time in June.


Time to order your seeds before your favorites are sold out.

Best tool for start your seedlings indoors

Never run out of starter pots again! Use a soil blocker tool.

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This clever device presses moistened soil into compact blocks that hold their shape — no pot needed. Roots grow freely, get oxygenated, and grow more robustly as a result. Plus, since you just transplant the entire thing into the garden, there's no waste or transplant shock. A Soil-blocker is an ingenious tool for seed-starting. It creates soil blocks for starting seeds and transplanting them. I use equal parts of coco coir, worm casting and potting soil for the soil mixture to make my soil blocks.

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The soil blocker I use is a 2 inch Ladbrooke blocker. I save the trays that are in good shape that come from meat packages I get from the store. They are about the right size for my soil blocks.

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These blocks can then be seeded and transplanted into the garden.

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This offers many benefits to the grower:

Eliminates the need for plastic trays
Decreases likelihood of transplants becoming rootbound, as increased air flow between blocks "air prunes" roots
Creates healthier, more vigorous transplants due to oxygenated roots
Reduces transplant shock
Never run out of starter pots again!


Worm Casting


Grease Candle

If you cook bacon or fry hamburger what do you do with all that grease?
It’s not good to pour down the drain. Not only can it clog up the drain, if you have a septic system it is not good for it.
Sure, you can use it to cook up other food items. But then you have to keep the different greases separate and use it relatively quickly to keep it safe and edible before use.
I always just put my grease in a jar and sent it to the dump.
One day when looking at the jar, I remembered seeing something about using lard to make a 1000 hr candle. This got me thinking, I wonder why I couldn’t make my grease into a survival candle.
If the power go out it is good to have a backup. If the batteries in your flashlight go dead and you don’t have replacements. That’s when candles are useful to have around.

I took an empty 18 oz jar that I had and some wick. I keep bees and made some bees wax candles so I had candle wick material. I got it out and cut some wick about an inch longer than the height of the jar. I glued a thumb tack to the bottom so the wick would sink to the bottom of the jar. If you don’t have wick material you can use 100% cotton string for a wick.

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Then I melted some grease that I had saved and filled the jar. Put the wick in the center of the jar of melted grease. I used a meat thermometer that I had handy to tie up the wick. You can use a pencil or anything to hold up the wick.
Then I let it cool till the grease became solid. I cut the wick off so there was about 3/4 of an inch above the grease.

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I lit the wick and let it burn for 8 hours. I found it burned well and didn’t have much of an odor. I was happy with the results.

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When I lit it                         After burning for 8 hr.


A couple days later I lit my grease candle. After a few hours I found that the wick tipped over in the melted grease. Then it didn't burn as well as it did in my first test. The next time I make a grease candle I am going to try a reinforced candle wick.

Like all candles they can be a fire hazard. Never leave it where children could reach it or unattended.

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Easy Squash Soup

This is a easy to make butternut squash soup. I made it using 1/2 the recipe. I used the butternut squash that I froze earlier this fall and one contaner was 2 cups. I found it to be tasty butternut squash soup.

I put the squash,vegetable broth and apple juice in a saucepan. Let them cook up till they mixed up good. Then I added the rest of the Ingredients and mix them in. Let it cook for about 5 minutes to let ingredients blend together.


4 cups cooked butternut squash
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups apple cider or apple juice (do NOT use apple cider vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar, more to taste
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste

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Coco Coir why I use it.

Coco coir is a highly absorbent medium, and one of the few growing mediums that is renewable.

Coco Coir Origin, Coco coir is a byproduct of the coconut .

Between the outer husk and the actual coconut is a layer of fibrous threads. While the outer husk and coconut may be used for textiles and other coconut products, the coco coir is usually set aside. This leftover byproduct is then compacted into bricks or sold loosely for use in agriculture. Compared to its counterpart peat, coco coir is completely renewable, and is viewed as the more sustainable medium. Most coco coir is dehydrated and pressed in to a brick to prevent any contamination or mold.

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Them you add water and it expands so you can use it.  

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First I use coco coir as the medium for microgreens. (see my blog on microgreens)

Then I give it to my red wigler compost worms.

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When the worms are done with it. I use the casting a fertilizer for my garden. I got my worms from Uncle Jim's worm farm. Uncle Jim's worm farm has everything you need from worms to castings.

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Expert Gardener's Expanding Soil is a convenient, compressed 100% Coco Coir soil and CocoPeat soil amendment that expands to roughly 7 times its packaged size simply by adding water. The Expanding Soil holds water and nutrients, making moisture available for the roots to use as they begin to dry out, which also reduces how often you need water. The soil block is easy to handle unlike a traditional bag and does not dirty your hands. This block expands up to 2.25 Cubic Feet and lasts up to 2 years before breaking down and feeding your soil. The Expanding Soil is pH neutral and totally safe to grow in, which makes it the perfect option for vegetables and herbs, especially when combined with soil or fertilizers. In addition it is a premium grade washed coir that is sterile and works as a hydroponic growing medium for all kinds of plants and vegetables. I get my coco coir from Walmart just search for "Expert Gardener expanding soil" at the WalMart web site.


The high price of lettuce

Because of the high price of lettuce and even none to be found at  the store, I decided to grow some inside. I put some potting soil in a couple 10 X 20 trays and planted lettuce and spinach in a couple trays. I placed them in my front window to grow.


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As you can see this can be done. I have enough for a few salads. This is a way you can have some fresh lettuce and spinach if you have the room and large window.

You’ve probably noticed lately that lettuce prices have been sky high! It’s even possible, you’ve been asked to pay extra for lettuce on burgers or sandwiches at your favorite restaurant. Lettuce is normally a staple produce item so plentiful they use it just to line the salad bar. Why the heck is lettuce all of a sudden so expensive?
Like many things these days, farming is becoming increasingly expensive as costs for labor, fuel, fertilizer and just about every input needed to grow food are at record highs. But when it comes to lettuce, the situation is a bit worse. In recent years, a virus spread from plant-to-plant by a pest known as the Western Flower Thrips has become increasingly problematic. The insect itself is known to cause damage to several fruit and vegetable crops including onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. But its role in spreading the Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus is causing significant economic losses to lettuce and spinach crops. Add to that, the drought has taken its toll on lettuce and spinach.

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The best way to grow fresh greens in just over a week is microgreens.

Broccoli Microgreens

Broccoli Microgreens are easy to grow. I grow my microgreens in a shallow 10" by 20" tray.

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I put down paper towel in the bottom of the tray. I use the brown paper towel used in a paper towels dispenser.

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I use coco coir for my growing medium for microgreens. Put moist coco coir in the tray and leval it off so it is about 1/2 inch deep.

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Then spread Waltham 29 Broccoli Microgreens Seeds with a spice shaker until you have a good cover of seeds on the coco coir. Then use a board or something flat to press the seeds in the coco coir. Give it a light spray of water over the seeds and add a weighted tray over the seeds.

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I use a board in the bottom of the tray and add a crockpot on top for added weight. You can use anything to add the extra weight.

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After 3 days remove the weighted tray to expose the microgreens. Place the tray in a lighted area or under a grow light. In about 4 days the microgreens will be ready to harvist.

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I use kitchen scissors to harvest the microgreens. Here is what I got from half of the tray.

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Give it a try.

Microgreens make pretty garnishes. They also provide a lot of health benefits. Among these benefits are up to 40 times more nutritional content than their adult counterparts. Like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and unique medicinal compounds.
Sulforaphane is the most beneficial compound in broccoli microgreens. Several studies have shown that broccoli microgreens high in glucoraphanin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation in kidneys and reduced blood pressure in the cardiovascular system

Several people grow Microgreens as a business.



Organic Fertilizer


Green Peppers

Green peppers like hot weather to germinate 80f or higher. 

How I started peppers in my home. Because I live in  western New York the tempter in my home is (about 60 f ) and peppers do better in hotter weather. I started planting the seeds on January 16th I planted seeds that I saved from last year’s peppers and some I bought last year. I just spread a lot of seed out and spread a little dirt over the seeds. Then give it some water. You need to put down a lot of seeds because a lot will not germinate.

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A few weeks later on 2/9/16 I started to see some seeds have started to germinate.Because it is cool inside the germinating is slow.

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The peppers were too big for the trays so I had to split them out and put them in a larger container.

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May 30 the temperature is warmer so grow much faster and ready to plant outside.I add a little organic fertilizer.

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By June 27th the plants were getting much bigger and time to sprinkle some water with Epson salt.

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By July 21st I could start picking fresh green peppers.

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Hope you enjoyed how I grow green peppers from seed here in western New York State.

Plants Grow Abundantly with AQUA-PONICS


Growing Zucchini Squash for seeds.

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable and is easy to grow.

I save seeds to plant next year.

You need to take seeds from Heirloom plants ( non-gmo ) where Heirloom seeds come from open pollinated plants that pass on similar traits to each successive generation.

When growing zucchini squash for seeds, it best to grow them far away from other varieties of squash, pumpkins, and gourds so they don't  cross pollinate.

You need to plan on growing a zucchini squash for seed early. Find a good looking zucchini and let it stay on the vine. You may lose any new smaller squash on that plant when it gets big. That is because the main purpose of the plant is to produce seeds. That is why a Zucchini will produce a lot of squash if you keep picking the small ones.

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As you can see from my photo they will grow very big. This one was over 20 inches long. The large one at the top is the one I grew for seeds.

Split the Zucchini down the length to expose the seeds.

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Scoop the seeds out and separate the seeds.

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Then spread the seeds on Parchment paper and let them dry.

Place the seeds in a cool dark place. It's a good idea to plant a few early to make sure they germinate. If they don't you will have time to order some.

Seed saving business


Butternut Squash

I grew some butternut squash in my garden. Now I need to cook them up and freeze it. First I wash the squash before I peel the skin off. I use a Vegetable peeler to peel off the skin.

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Then cut off the ends and split it down the middle. I scoop out the seeds.

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I slice them up and cube the squash.

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Put it in a 3 quart saucepan. I add about 1� cups of water so it will not burn on the bottom of the pan. Put a cover on the pan. I cook it on a low heat and stir often so it does not burn. Then I use a potato masher to get the lumps out of it.

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Scoop it up and place in pint freezer containers. What is left in the pan, I add some butter and honey for a tasty treat. Don't forget to save a few seeds and dry them so you will have them to plant next year. You need to take seeds from Heirloom plants
( non-gmo ) where Heirloom seeds come from open pollinated plants that pass on similar traits to each successive generation.

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Take some butternut squash out of the freezer and use it to make your favorite squash dish.


Butternut Squash Contains vitamin A ,vitamin C, manganese, potassium, magnesium , vitamin E, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, folate, calcium, iron, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorus .

We have farmers that plant a field of butternut squash and sell them at a yard side stand to earn extra money.

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Radish sprots

The time of year when I can't get some radishes for my salad I grow some sprouts.
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Radish sprouts are easy to grow. All you need is radish sprouting seeds, a jar with a lid that you can drain off the water.

I put in about 1 table spoon of seeds and let them soak in water for a couple hours.
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Then drain them and let sit in a dark place. Rinse the seeds off 2 or 3 times a day and drain well. They will start germinating in about a day.

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After 3 or 4 days they will grow big enough to eat.

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I spread them on the top of my salad to give it a taste of Radishes. Sprouting is fun and easy.

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Radish sprouts contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, they also have calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Radish sprouts are also rich in essential amino acids and chlorophyll that can help digestion .

Give it a try.

 Some people have turned sprouts as as business

Blog Introduction

I am 68 years old and have been doing websites for over 25 years. My first website is . I had a website business for about 22 years. I had to stop that business because of my health. I have to use a walker to get around so I am limited to what I can do. I am doing a blog on this site I am going to use this because I already own and going to use it as a blog. I use to do gardening, keep bees, building things and other things. This will give me something to do to keep my mind active. I hope this will give you insight to what older people like to do. 12/12/2022
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