07 April 2023

Grow Your Own Sprouts and Always Have Fresh Greens

Sprouts are easy to grow on your kitchen countertop and can be ready in less than a week. Here’s how I do it.

Do you live in a climate where it is hard to grow lettuce? For me, in zone 9b in Florida, I can grow lettuce in the late fall and through winter, but the rest of the year, it is too hot.

Yet I want fresh greens to put on sandwiches and add to salads. I also want to produce more of my food and rely less on grocery stores.

I have found growing sprouts on my kitchen counter to be a great alternative. They are quick to produce, require little space, and are cost. 

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I may receive a small amount of compensation at no additional cost to you.

Watch Video

Here's the video of my process for sprouting seeds. Supplies and instructions are below.


  1. Sprouting Seeds (I've purchased from Sprout People and from Mountain Rose Herbs with great results)
  2. Glass jar - I use a pint size
  3. Cover for the jar that lets you drain water – you can use cheesecloth and rubber band it around the top, which is what I did initially. However, it is messy, and the cheesecloth quickly wears out. I purchased a set of three from Sprout People and have found them to be a great help. You can easily change the screen from the smallest to larger holes to let the water drain effectively as the sprouts grow

To Sprout:

Put 1 tablespoon of sprouting seeds in the jar. If you have a larger jar, you can use more seeds and make more sprouts; however, be sure you will use them all before they go bad – mine last about 10 to 12 days in the refrigerator.

Cover seeds with plenty of water. You want to be sure they get completely wet.

Stir to be sure all seeds are wet.

Cover with a lid that will let you drain and let sit in a darker place on a counter for 8-12 hours. Different seeds have different soak times, so check the package or do an internet search for optimal soak times. I like to start mine in the evening and let them soak overnight.

Drain off the water. You may want to turn it upside down on a dish drainer to let the most of the water drain out.

Set the sprouts on the counter out of direct light.

About every 12 hours, add water to the jar and swirl it around to be sure all seeds are wet. Drain.

Continue with this until most of the seeds have sprouted and filled the jar. This will vary depending on the type of seed and the temperature of your home. Mine are ready a day or so earlier in summer than winter.

Remove from the jar and put in a container in the refrigerator.

How to Use Sprouts

  1. Put them on sandwiches. When it is too hot to grow lettuce, these are a great replacement. 
  2. Add them to salads.
  3. Mixed them into egg salad for a bit of crunch and flavor.
  4. Eat them out of hand as a snack.

10 January 2023

Setting Up My First GreenStalk Garden

Interested in a GreenStalk Garden? Here is how I set up and what I planted in my first GreenStalk.

A GreenStalk Garden can be a great way to increase your growing area even in a small space. My garden is on my patio, and while I've expanded to include a couple of raised beds, a GreenStalk lets me add more.

You can watch the video of the entire set-up, or read below for how I set mine up.

Setting up your GreenStalk is easy, but there are a few tips I learned while setting mine up.

This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no additional cost to you.

Included with your GreenStalk are instructions. They are not complicated, but be sure and read through them carefully.

How to Set Up Your GreenStalk Garden

After unboxing your GreenStalk, be sure you place it on a firm and level area. This was a mistake I made. The area I put it in is filled with lava rock. I leveled the rock as much as I could, then placed a concrete paver on it. It seemed sturdy and level, but when I put the base on it, I found it wasn't. First, the paver wasn't large enough for the entire base to sit on, and second, it wasn't level.

My husband realized the problem and took out the lava rocks, put down two pavers, and firmly tamped it in place. (Thanks, honey!!) When I set the base on it, I realized how much better it was.

The GreenStalk doesn't come with a base, and you do not need one. There are three bases to choose from: a spinner, a roller, and a spinner with rollers. I knew I needed to be able to spin my around making it easier to tend to in limited space, and so all sides can get some sun during the winter. I wasn't going to be able to roll mine, so didn't need that type of base. Think about where you are going to put yours and decide what you need.

If you have a base, a drainage tube will be included in your box. Go ahead and put that in, then set the base in place. 

Assemble the GreenStalk Garden Tiers

To assemble the GreenStalk, take one tier and put it on the base if you have one. Fill with potting soil. As the instructions say, fill it completely. When you think it is full, add some more. 

Then take one of the grey disks and place it on top of the tier. The disks are the water reservoir for each level, and small holes are near the edge to drip the water into the soil below. Line the holes up with each pocket of the tier. 

Get another tier and put it on top of the first one. NOTE: Be sure the tier locks into place with the one below. It may not completely lock into place until you fill it with soil, so be sure and check after you fill it.

Fill with soil and place the grey disk. Be sure everything is lined up properly, then add the next tier.

Repeat until all tiers are in place, then place the reservoir on top, again locking it in place with the tier below.

Pour water into the top reservoir. Continue adding until it runs out of the drainage tube.

Your Greenstalk Garden is now ready to plant.

Two reminders: 

  1. Be sure your GreenStalk is set on a firm and level area 
  2. Make sure each tier locks in place.

Get Your Own GreenStalk Garden

Interested in your own GreenStalk? If you go to GreenStalk Gardens through this link, you will get $10 off your order of at least $75. 

Happy growing!

02 January 2023

Cut Up Old Clothes for Rags

Don't throw out old clothes that can no longer be worn. Repurpose them into rags that can be used a variety of ways.

I try to wear things as long as I can. I mend tears and remove or cover stains. I make alterations or turn them into something else. But the day will come when they are just too far gone to be wearable, even for dirty chores.

You may be tempted to throw them out, but don't! There is one more thing you can do with them - cut them up and use them as rags. Use them to wipe up messy spills, to wipe dirty hands, and to clean with.

Here is how I cut up an old sleeveless t-shirt and an old pair of shorts.

*Bonus - be sure and save any trim and fastenings you can. If there are buttons or metal zippers, cut them out and save with your sewing supplies.

Cut Up an Old T Shirt

Before cutting, decide how large you want your pieces to be. Maybe you want a really large piece and cut down one side to open it up. Maybe, like me, you like smaller pieces, so you cut more. 

Watch the video to see how I cut up one shirt (and see how I can repurpose the banding around the neckline and sleeves).

Cup Up Old Shorts

This also works for jeans or trousers, as well as shorts. Decide how large you want your rags to be before you begin cutting.

Remove any fastenings or trim you want to keep. Buttons and metal zippers can be reused on another sewing project.

This video shows you how I did mine.

Using The Rags

Anytime you think of reaching for a paper towel, consider if one of your rags would work. I keep a large stack in the kitchen for wiping up spills, and I find them a great way to clean grease and oil from cast iron pans. When the rags get dirty, they are easy to wash and reuse until they completely fall apart.

03 December 2022

Orange Peel Tea - Cooking With Scraps

Don't throw out orange peels. Chop them up and make a tea that is filled with Vitamin C and is thought to be good for your digestion.

When you peel an orange, what happens to the peel? Maybe you make orange marmalade or candied orange peel, but how much of those do you use?

Perhaps you put the in your compost pile. That is great, but I have something you can do with them before composting.

Make orange peel tea.

Easy to do and requires little hands-on time.

There is more vitamin C in orange peel than the fruit. The tea is also thought to benefit your digestive system.

You can also use tangerine/mandarin orange peel.

Here's how I do it.

To make orange peel tea:

  1. Chop orange peel into 1/4 inch pieces. You can use fresh peel or dried.
  2. Put peel in a pan. For each 2 tablespoons of fresh / 1 tablespoon of dried peel, add 1 cup water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat.
  4. Let steep one hour.
  5. Strain out peel.
  6. Drink warm or at room temperature.
  7. You can refrigerate the leftovers for a few days, or freeze for later use.