So, I got all excited about the benefits of wheatgrass juice and have established a full blown production process in the corner of our dining room...check out what it takes to make it happen:
Day 1, soak grain overnight (8-10 hours)
Day 2, transfer to cheesecloth bag, hang, rinse several times a day
(Sew your bags out of tight-weave cheesecloth. The stuff at Joann Fabric is too loose and the grains escape. The tighter weave we found at Pacific Fabric was more expensive ($2.50 a yard) but MUCH better for the job.)
Day 3, keep rinsing and hanging
Day 4, plant your lovely little sprouts in about 1 inch of soil (half peat moss, half compost)
I sprinkle Azomite (purchased here: http://www.wheatgrasskits.com) on the soil...supposed to provide great nutrients and also prevent mold.
Cover and place in dark cool place until sprouts are about 1 inch tall. I plant my wheatgrass in sprout trays (11x21 inches), then nest another tray over the top of the sprouts to keep them dark.
Day 5, wait patiently
Day 6, transfer to sunny location (remove the top tray), keep watered, watch your grass grow
Day 7-14, wait patiently, talk to your grass, sing it growing songs, water it occasionally, wait, watch, and sing some more...when grass is about 7 inches tall it is ready to harvest.
Trim an inch or so above the root. Rinse, juice and drink! (Drink quickly with your nose plugged...kind of gross tasting!...BUT don't let that stop you...short term pain=long term gain!)
Now, I am by no means an expert. These are my very first trays of grass and I only harvested my very first shot of it yesterday.
I have three major problems I need to figure out a solution for:
1. MOLD, MOLD, MOLD!!! The mold is alive and well on my wheatgrass. A few of the things that might help include super cautious watering, airflow (little fan), and the azomite, although it didn't seem to do much so far. We'll keep trying.
2. Fruit Flies! Fruit Flies! Fruit Flies! I guess they eat mold, so I'm providing a banquet. My husband suggested to attack them with our little shopvac, which I tried this morning. Do you think they survive the trip and escape? There seems to be just as many flying around this evening. So, my great wheatgrass mentor, Rachel, told me about putting out a bowl of apple cider vinegar with a little dish soap and that definitely works. There are about 50 flies trapped in the stuff, but another 100 still buzzing around the kitchen.
3. Low yield. My first tray only juiced about 3 ounces. Definitely not enough to make this do-able. It's tricky, because you want to water enough that the grass is rich and juicy, but not so much that the mold moves in.
Let me know if you have any advise, and I'll definitely let you know if I figure anything out.
A HUGE thank you to my wheatgrass mentor, Rachel!!!!