By day 3, you should have 2 trays with sprouting seeds and another soaking. Little roots are starting to sprout out of the seeds and a network of roots will begin to grow and intertwine together over the next few days.
This morning we put out tray #3 with seeds. We are growing ours in our feed storage barn. I am not certain how well it will do as we used to have the shelf by our door in our kitchen. We just installed a new wood stove in the same area, so the fodder had to be moved.
Here is a download of a presentation that I gave several years ago to the local Oathkeeper’s Preparedness group.
Fodder (2 downloads)
Last year, after my foot surgery, we put growing wheat fodder on the back burner along with many other things. (When Mom is down….) It was a bit too hard to keep up with it.
However, with a yard full of KuneKune pasture pigs, we needed to start growing something for them again during the winter time. Fodder is PERFECT! It is 100% greens and soil free that is perfect for animal feed.
Fodder is a GREAT way to feed animals in the winter time, especially when there are no greens growing in your yard. I soak my seeds for 24 hours in water to help jump-start their growing.
To start, we soak 4 cups of recleaned wheat seed in water for 24+ hours. That’s my Day 1 for every tray. If you notice mold forming in day 3+ you can add a capful of apple cider vinegar to the soaking water.
You do not have to stick with just Wheat. You can use barley, oats(although I haven’t had a great outcome in the past with oats), winter peas, black oil sunflower seeds. Whole corn takes too many days to sprout, so I avoid this seed.
In the past, we have used solid trays and drilled holes into the ends for the water to drain. I am trying this new mesh bottom trays this time to see how they work.
Fodder can feed my kunes and also my chickens, ducks, goats and rabbits. It is a win/win feed and the output is up to 6x the feed grown in 9 days as the weight of the seeds.
You need 1 soaking bucket (I used an old plastic bin that was missing its lid and you need 8 trays/buckets/bins. Heck, you can use old rain gutters if you have enough angle that the water doesn’t sit and mold the seeds.
You will also need a shelf or some way to stack these. I have a PVC pipe shelf that Griffen made for me years ago.
Finding simple ways, to make your products go further is something very important to our family. We have hundreds of animals on our homestead and needed to find a better way of feeding them.
With fodder, we can quadruple our feed output for our animals just by sprouting trays of wheat seed for 8 days and quadrupling the amount of feed we get out of each bag for our animals. A 50 pound bag of seed can yield 200+ pounds of sprouted fodder.
Growing our own wheat fodder (wheatgrass) was an easy way to add additional feed to our animals while saving a bit in our budget.
We have been extremely successful growing wheat, barley and oats (although oats tend to be a bit harder to grow.) You can pick up recleaned wheat, recleaned barley and recleaned oats at your local feed store. We purchase our recleaned wheat from Warren’s in Chino Valley. I have found that their wheat seems to grow best for what I am needing.
Here are the things that you need to get started:
8 trays ($1 plastic shoeboxes work for starting. We use both those and heavy duty black planting trays)
Shelf to hold trays (we have a metal shelf for one set and a PVC homemade shelf or the other set)
Drill with drill bit to drill holes in bottom of trays
Water collection bucket
Pitcher or large jar. (or optional water pump and fixtures)
Bag of wheat, barley or oats (recleaned are best) optional: additional types of seeds, black oil sunflower seeds or Austrian winter peas.
In order to make a successful system, you need to make sure that the water can flow through each tray and fall to the next tray down in a waterfall effect. The collection tray is at the bottom to collect all of the left over water that you can then recycle into your garden or other plants.