Monday, January 20, 2014

Wheatgrass: from seedlings to harvest

Not sure if you've heard of the benefits of drinking wheat grass. Apparently, it's good for the health, but of course there'll be naysayers who say that it's over-rated. Whatever the case, drinking it certainly won't cause harm, but might or might not have a good effect. Good risk-reward LOL!

Anyway, I went to Katong flower shop near my place to look around for some Chinese new year flowers. Having no intention to get anything, I was surprised when I came back with 40 dollars plus of stuff. I bought a start up kit for growing wheatgrass for $16 and felt cheated. Inside came with two plastic trays, similar to the ones that you can get from eating salad takeaway. There's also a packet of soil, but filled with tiny flakes of some shiny metal, presumably to add some minerals into the soil for better plant growth. Inside is a small packet of seeds. The seeds are rather large, something like soya beans size.

After germinating the seeds by placing them in water overnight, I transferred them to a soil medium. They germinate really really fast. Just overnight, you can see the roots coming out. This is what it looks like after 1 day in the soil:

These baby shoots are very reactive to the sunlight. I read them I should place them in direct sunlight; just near a light source will do. They can see them moving towards the window (on the left), pointing towards the sun. I was visibly excited of course, having last grown something in primary school. What did I grow? Bean sprouts obviously!

On the 2nd day, they grew up to about 1 inch already. That's very very fast. By this time, the soil are no longer loosely packed because all the roots interweave to form a very tight netting of roots and soil. I water them about twice a day, but I did spray them with some water occasionally when I walked past them.

This is another shot of them. There's always this tiny drop of water just right at the tip of each blade of grass. I'm not sure what those are.

On the 4-5th day, the grass are about as tall as the ones you can buy off the shelves. But I read that I must wait until the blades of grass starts to divide at the base near the roots. That's when they have reached their peak nutritional value. No signs of these yet.

Actually having a living plant in the home has a very nice feeling to it. The green gives a very vibrant energy to my home. It makes me happy just looking at them basking under the sun. This is also a very satisfying plant for a beginner like me to grow because not a lot of things can go wrong. Besides, they have a very short payoff period - in about 7 to 10 days, you can harvest the wheatgrass already.

A tray of the wheatgrass, plus a small amount of water, when blended will give about two shots of wheatgrass juice. When I want to juice it then I'll harvest it, instead of harvesting them first and putting them in the fridge. The whole process is really very satisfying - from the seeds germinating to the first planting, to seeing how they grow rapidly and basking in the sun to harvesting them. I guesstimate that I will have about 3 days worth of wheatgrass juice from all my harvest.

This is what is looks like after juicing them. I decide to blend them and just add some water to make it blendable. The fibrous husk will be left inside the blender, together with the juice, and all I have to do is to run them through a sieve. Pressing the husk hard onto the sieve with a spoon will squeeze the remaining water out of it, to give this beautiful dark green essence of awesomeness! You can add some lemon or honey to it, but I prefer to have it raw.

Take note of some known side-effects:

1. You can feel nauseous after drinking. I did feel a little, but I thought nothing of it until I read some articles online about the side effects. Nothing serious, it all dissipated after some time. I need to do some more testing to see if I'm nauseous because of the side-effects or it's just that the taste is not very appealing to my untrained tongue.

(Note: After 3 days of drinking raw wheatgrass juice, I think the nauseous felt in the 1st day is just an odd occurrence. Maybe I'm already used to it already)

2. You can have diarrhea. I didn't have any, but I read that drinking lots of it can cause a laxative effect.

3. Do not drink it if you've allergic reactions! This can cause your throat and face to swell, and it's no joking matter. Check it out first before you consume. If you're allergic to grass, or wheat, or gluten, you might want to dab a bit on your lips without drinking. If nothing happens to your lips after 30 mins, then consider drinking a sip. Wait another 30 mins and drink in progressively bigger portions. It's a method to test whether something is poisonous to your body or not.

On a side note, my chilli seeds are sprouting! That's after one week of waiting! Imagine this, the wheatgrass take 7 days from seeds to harvest while the chilli seeds take 7 days to just germinate, haha! Different plants, different timing :)

Oh, and I've also ordered a huge pack of seeds locally for $10 in a 1 kg packet. Going to try mass cultivating soon ;)


Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Somebody has become city farmer ;)

I think growing spices can be fun.
Chilli, spring onion, etc.

Wheatgrass? Blah!

I tasted wheatgrass juice some 10 years ago at some fresh produce farm somewhere in Upper Bukit Timah or there about.

I'll stick with coke. If it can remove rust, it can detox and clean my intestines.

And if drink it fast, it can create the most foul and loudest burp to attract the most interesting stares ;)


la papillion said...


Haha, as we age, we need to take care of our health :) I think the best thing we can do besides exercising is to take charge of the things we put inside our body :)\

I can never drink coke all the time...very bloated feeling lol!

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