Saturday, April 4, 2009

Living Easter Grass

Bring a little springtime into your kitchen.

With Easter quickly approaching we have just about the perfect amount of time (7-10 days) to grow a living basket of Easter grass. Wheat berries (or rye berries) from the pantry are used for this project. Plant them and in about a week you’ll have a lovely and living basket. It makes a beautiful center piece with a few colored eggs inside. Don’t forget the health benefits of wheatgrass – which could be juiced or blended into a smoothie after the celebration. Wheatgrass berries are famous for their medicinal and nutritional benefits. They are an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt and zinc.

If you don’t normally keep wheat berries on hand, you can purchase them at most health food stores. To prepare your basket(s), first, rinse the seeds. Then soak them in water for 6-12 hours (until slightly sprouted – just opening). Choose a container (basket, tray, flower pot). If you choose a basket cut a piece of cellophane or plastic wrap large enough to line the plus stick out over the top edge by about one inch (this will keep it from getting soil or water all over). After the wheat grass seeds have sprouted, line the bottom of your growing container/basket with approx. 2 inches of potting soil (or vermiculite mixed with soil). Drain and rinse seeds and spread them over the soil in a single layer, with seeds close but not overlapping. Cover with a very light layer of soil. Lightly water the seeds with a spray bottle.

Place basket or container in a warm area but not in direct sunlight. Cover it with newspaper or paper towel. Each day mist the seeds with water. Do not use too much water – just keep moist. Remove the newspaper once the leaves start to sprout (usually a couple of days). Watch them grow. In about a week you’ll have several inches of lovely green Easter grass.

In researching I found several cutlures where setting out seeds to sprout before Easter was a common tradition. Italy, Greece, Finland are mentioned. The symbol of a seed bringing forth new life and the image it calls to mind of the death and resurrection make this a timely project for the Easter season.

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. ~John 12:24

Update: Day 4

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  1. Thanks for these directions and reminder, Mary. I can't do the wheat, but I was wondering if it was too late to do the planting for this year. I had read similar directions in one of the Mudpies books and was itching to do this.

  2. Cool , thanks. I was in Riga and saw the wheat grass in a lot of cafes and restaurants, in trays by the window. Wanted to try it at home in Ireland.