Dear Sproutman,
Do you have any tips for removing the shells from the sunflower and buckwheat shoots? Also, do you recommend a certain place to purchase seed?

Dear Linda,
The seed makes a big difference when it comes to hull drop-off. Bird seed for example, is a type of black sunflower but it holds on to its shells, not to mention that it also grows tons of mold due to the fact that this is the lowest and dirtiest sunflower seed available. I’m mentioning it as a bad example. An example of why you should spend money to get the best quality sprouting grade seed. Remember, sprouting is “seed intensive” gardening. Poor seed means poor results. It’s as simple as that. Sprouting seed is even more selective than garden seed, if you think about it. Bad seeds that go into your garden will rot in the ground and you’ll never notice it. But in your kitchen garden, you’ll notice it and you’ll smell it and you’ll give up on sprouting because of the bad results. So please, only buy high quality sprouting seed. Sprouting is not an expensive hobby like hydroponics where equipment alone can cost you $1,000 dollars. Invest in quality sprouting seed. That investment will pay off.

Freshlife Sprouter with Greenhouse Lid

Do I have anybody to recommend? Just go to my website and click on “All Organic Sprouting Seeds.” I work very hard to select the best seeds available at any given time. I look for factors such as HULL DROP-OFF in addition to height, color, taste, rate of growth, root health, cleanliness, etc., and I also test for salmonella and e-Coli. Read the seed page to learn more.

Wheatgrass Grower Shelf with
Greenhouse Lid

Other things you can do to keep growing big shell sprouts and micro-greens is keep them HUMID. Keep the Greenhouse covers on longer. Use either my Freshlife or my Wheatgrass Grower kit pictured. See the greenhouse covers? That traps the moisture which softens the shells. As the seeds grow taller and get more light, they throw the shells OFF! As long as the environment is humid. Then they SLIDE OFF. So keep the greenhouse on, add more light during the final days of growth.

Read more about the special conditions for sunflower and buckwheat in my book SPROUTS THE MIRACLE FOOD. Lots of tips in that book. Look under BOOKS and CDs on my webpage. Also check out my website under SPROUTERS and under WHEATGRASS. Growing Buckwheat and Sunflower is akin to growing Wheatgrass. Same procedure applies.
Best wishes,