As a kid, Mum showed us how to grow bean sprouts in a canning jar with a mesh lid. I've been doing some research, and the word on the net is that growing mung beans (my favourite) in mason jars can be a bit of an issue. So I started looking at sprouters on the intrawebs, but found they ran in price from $12-$30, depending on the style. And of course I wanted the more expensive one - the tray sprouting system. As I was looking at them, however, it hit me - if I could make a screen insert, I have 2 plastic containers that would work perfectly. They have straight sides, and were made for storing vegetables, I think, each having a plastic grate that rests at the bottom of the container, allowing the stored food to rest above any moisture that accumulates in the bottom.
So after finishing work today, I picked up a $5 roll of aluminium screen cloth, and headed home to spend my Saturday evening with a glass of wine, and a playlist of Moby, Arctic Monkeys, The Heavy, Viva Voce, Starlight Mints, The Strokes, (and others), while attempting to construct my own bean sprouter.
The idea was simple - trace the bottom of the container and create a template, then create another template with the first template plus the measure of the sides added in, then cut the screen and bend it into shape, securing it with staples.
I used my trauma shears to cut the screen - it was easy to cut, though the tiny wires were sharp, and kept catching on my fingers. I probably should have worn gloves, but I dislike the loss of feeling and dexterity.
After cutting out the rectangle, I placed the template of the bottom of the container in the middle of the screen, and traced it with a Sharpie. It would have been much easier to see if I had bought the bright aluminium, but I didn't think of that when I bought the screen, and got the black finish. I was still able to see the tracing, but next time I'm definitely getting the bright finish.
Mal, my Bengal, was irritated I was doing arts and crafts instead of paying attention to him, and kept climbing in the chair next to me and head butting my leg, the table, and anything else convenient. Merlyn, on the other hand, was content to survey the action from the security of her tower.
After tracing the interior template, I folded the screen along the lines, then carefully folded the corners in, securing them with staples. It was very easy to shape, and actually pretty forgiving when I had to make minor adjustments to the folds.
And there it is - my own home made bean sprouter, for mere pennies worth of material. I cut a cloth cover out of some medical gauze, and tied it on top with some bias tape, for easy rinsing and draining of the seeds, as well as ventilation during the growth process. And when they're the right size, I'll just pop on the lid, and put it in the refrigerator.