January in the garden is a sleepy time, but not everything is dormant. The chickens, for one, are busy doing the work of unearthing last year’s roots. They till the soil with such gusto it cheers a soul’s heart just to watch them.
Squash and carrots still anchor every meal, while the sauerkraut and pickles are still going strong. But the thing we miss the most in January, it seems, are fresh greens. If we had organized our greenhouse more carefully, we could probably be eating kale and chard salads right now. (Yes, we could.) But with still a month to planting and no greens in sight, we’ve tried our hand at sprouting some inside.
Every year around this time I haul out our sprouters (a lot of quart-sized kitchen jars, along with one inherited Biosta set-up) to satisfy those palettes yearing for something just a little bit green. Last year we discovered puy lentils as a favourite (also known as French blue lentils). What a delicious addition they make to those winter salads! They add substantial crunch and just a little zing.
This year, thanks to advice and inspiration from friends, we’re trying our hands at microgreens (sprouts grown longer on soil or another growing medium). These little wonders are doing all that sprouts do and teaching us little bit about germination along the way.
You can almost taste the thanks.