Growing Sprouts by @_NancyRadke

Dear Gardener who can hardly wait for spring. Take this quiz:

  • What am I?
  • I am a fresh vegetable that needs no garden soil.
  • I can be eaten within four to seven days.
  • Minimal care is needed to grow me.
  • I must be grown in a closet or dark area.
  • My seeds keep for years.
  • I am not a mushroom.

If you guessed sprouts, give yourself an A. Growing spouts is fun and easy. I used to grow sprouts all the time, then stopped about eleven years ago. Hungry for them (especially mung bean sprouts in my egg omelets – Egg Foo Yung), I tried to buy some fresh sprouts at the grocery stores. No luck. Ditto at the smaller markets.

Opening my refrigerator, I found three different bags of seeds left over from my last sprouting years ago. I figured some seeds might still be viable, so I put about a tablespoon of each into separate glass jars, soaked them for six hours, then dumped off the water through a strainer, and put the jars into my cupboard. It was just that easy to start growing sprouts again.

Growing Sprouts

Here’s The Secret to Growing Sprouts

The trick is to keep the seeds from completely drying out but not sitting in water and rotting. Do this by rinsing them in cold water in the morning, at night, and two to three times a day and pouring off the water. Always return them to the cupboard and close the door. Sprouts like to grow in the dark. 

By day two little sprouts began to show, tiny ones on my alfalfa seeds and large ones on the mung beans. To prove the viability of seeds kept in closed bags in the refrigerator, I didn’t find any of them that didn’t sprout, even after all those years.

You can let them grow small leaves if you want to. I usually cap my jar and put it in the refrigerator to stop the sprouting process just as the leaves begin to develop. I had my first egg omelet with bean sprouts five days after starting to grow them. My salad mix of small seeds went into pocket bread. I mixed some of the alfalfa sprouts into my green salad.

Growing Sprouts

Growing sprouts really adds to your fresh food supply. All it takes is some seeds, a mesh strainer, and a glass jar. I use distilled water to avoid fluoride and the rest of the chemicals added to city water, so rinsed my sprouts in that.

WARNING: Only buy sprouting seeds that are meant for sprouting. You can get mung beans and alfalfa seeds at Amazon. Seed companies often treat garden planting seeds with a poison to prevent bugs from eating the seeds. So buy your seeds from a company that sells food-grade (safe) seeds for sprouting.

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Green Thumb Secrets by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Photo of young woman walking along a garden pathI’ve given in to the call of spring and decided to share some green thumb secrets with you.

I tried to resist spring’s siren call, but I couldn’t ignore neither the fragrant jasmine outside my kitchen window nor the soft evening breeze that brought with it the smell of roses.

So I had a meeting with my houseplants first—hey, haven’t you heard you should talk to your plants?—and we all agreed it was time to repot some of them.

How To Make Houseplants Happy

(1) Before you stick a plant into a new clay pot—which is mostly what I use—take time to condition the pot first. Immerse the clean clay pot in a bucket of water and leave it until the bubbling stops. (If you lean close to the bucket, you can hear hissing. That’s all the minute particles of trapped air in the clay filling with water.) The conditioned pot will have absorbed moisture so it won’t “rob” water from the potting soil. This makes newly-potted plants less likely to wilt.

Park Bench and Large Potplant

My front patio with large pot plant

(2) If you plan to use a larger pot that has been used before, make sure you wash the pot thoroughly. Just because it holds soil doesn’t mean any old dirty pot will suffice. Bacteria, mold, and/or plant disease cells may exist in a dirty pot. Give the plant you’re repotting a fighting chance by putting it in a clean pot.

(3) Know how much to water a plant. Always use a plant saucer below the pot. Then water until water is running from the drain hole in the bottom of the pot. Stop. Empty the water from the saucer and replace.

(4) Every other month, if possible, immerse your pot plants in a tub of water so all the roots get wet. When the bubbling stops, remove the pot and set it in a place to drain. I’ve got some huge pots on both patios so I can’t do this with them so I try to take the time to let a trickle of water from a garden hose cover the entire top surface.

(5) If you don’t have a lot of time to tend houseplants and your plants are pront to drying up, set the pot plant inside a second larger pot. Line the space between the pots with sphagnum moss. Soak the moss once a week, and the moisutre will seep through the inner clay pot to evenly moisten the plant.

Romance and Gardening

I’ve never had a heroine or a hero who gardens, but in The Trouble With Love, Susannah’s mother is a gardener extraordinaire. The description I give of her mother’s landscaping was the way my yard looked when I wrote the book. After all, write what you know, and I know marigolds and other summer flowers and shrubs.

Cover art for The Trouble With LoveHang on to your Stetson as the fun and games begin in a sexy romantic comedy hotter than a bowl of Texas chili! By-the-book Deputy Susannah Quinn has all she can do to resist rule-breaking FBI Special Agent D. E. Hogan.

To catch a thief, Susannah and Hogan pose as husband and wife and go undercover. Unfortunately, Susannah and Hogan have already been undercover—in a Houston hotel where they first met.

For her part, Susannah wishes her lapse in judgment would take a flying leap and land on Jupiter. Hogan, on the other hand, wants to get the contrary deputy into his bed, but the complications caused by family—his and hers—pretty much guarantee that’s never going to happen.

Throw in an over-the-hill Romeo and his lady love, a middle-aged mom determined to have her own love affair, and the charm of a small Texas town, and you get a story with heart, soul, and passion—lots of passion.

Can Susannah and Hogan, two mismatched lovers doing everything in their power to avoid falling in love, catch a thief and recover stolen jewels? The clock is ticking. They have only seven days—and nights—to complete their assignment and resist the sweet siren call of desire.

The Trouble With Love is a Kindle Unlimited free read if you’re a subscriber, or only $3.99 if you want to buy and keep forever. It makes for great holiday reading fun.Social Media Icons

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Wishing you the Joy of Spring as well as the Joy of Reading!

 

“Book” your free romantic summer getaway!

 

Ah, summer, the most glorious time of the year! (Or it is where I live in northern BC, anyway: lush and green–warm, finally–and sooo alive and lovely smelling. 🙂 )

I adore everything about this warmest season, but especially love:

~ Playing in the lake.

~ Road trips. By myself or with my hubby or with a girlfriend or my kids, nothing is more fun than hitting the road for a day or a week. I love that you can feel like you’ve had a real break for cheap, cheap, cheap.

~ Gardening. I do some of my best thinking and most fun daydreaming while I labor in the dirt. (A fact you can read more about here. 🙂 )

~ Meandering along forest trails and out of the way paths. (I’m definitely not a hiker; I am all meanderer. 😉 )

~ Reading on a blanket on the beach. Reading beneath a shady tree. Reading in a comfy chaise lounge in a sunny corner of the house. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Taking a break from reading to listen to an audio book and do some weeding or watering. Reading in a hot car, while my hubby runs a 2-minute errand and spends (inevitably) 45 minutes talking to everyone he knows in the store. (Seriously, I do love that . . . hot car and everything.)

If you’re a book worm, nature lover and romantic at heart like me, you might enjoy “booking” a romantic getaway or two (or five, LOL) to River’s Sigh B & B. Each book in the series makes a great standalone, so jump in with whichever one catches your fancy most . . . but then again, it’s always fun to start off with Book 1, isn’t it? (And lucky you, Book 1, WEDDING BANDS, is free right now. You can also sign up for my newsletter and get another book free–ONE TO KEEP. Enjoy!)

Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop - River's Sigh B & B Book 1 - FreeFall in love at River’s Sigh B & B FREE with Book 1, WEDDING BANDS: 

A terrible misunderstanding separates high school sweethearts, Jo and Callum. When they meet again years later, will they be able to get past their hurt pride and old wounds, or will they go their separate ways permanently?

Amazon.com ~ Amazon.ca ~ Amazon.co.uk ~ Amazon.com.au ~ KOBO ~ Barnes & Noble (NOOK) ~ Apple/iBooks

 

 

One to Keep by Ev Bishop Free River's Sigh B & B novella for Ev's Newsletter sign upSign up for Ev’s News and ONE TO KEEP can be yours to keep – FREE!  

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY! 

When chance throws Sophie and Jesse together at River’s Sigh B & B this New Year’s, they’ll each have to face their worst fears: their unacknowledged yearnings for love that lasts. Can love tempt them to commit? Maybe. If they’re brave enough . . .

 

You Are My Sunshine #LazyDaysOfSummer #amwriting #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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I don’t know about you, but when the warm winds and indigo blue skies of summer appear on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair forcing myself to fight past the sticky middle of my current WIP (work-in-progress).

It’s literally like pulling teeth.

I’d much sooner have my hands buried up to the elbow in fine black planting soil, or daydream on the end of a water hose watching the hummingbirds and butterflies play in the breeze.

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But, I also realize if I want to take this writing career seriously, and I do, I need to sometimes make sacrifices.

One thing I’ve learned is better time management. I’m a late riser, mornings are not my thing :), so I usually sit at the computer with my coffee and go through the social media platforms sharing and promoting.

Then I spend an hour or two visiting my mom next door before FINALLY waking up enough to begin my day!

I take the computer outside to our gazebo where I can work on my story while watering the flowers, and occasionally catching a glimpse of a friendly hummingbird or two.

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Sometimes, I don’t get much writing done, but that’s okay. It’s a WIP, just like me 🙂

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately, you can check out the new anthology written by members of my critique group to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary!

 

My Baby Wrote Me A LetterA family's brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.

Dreams and Promises

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.

It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.

Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/DreamsandPromises

http://a.co/fl5TEBI

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35387646-dreams-and-promises