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Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Date: March 15, 2010 01:49PM

I've been sprouting hemp seeds and have a few questions...

1) Someone told me it's illegal (I'm in the UK), which doesn't seem right. Sprouted hemp just looks and tastes like shelled hemp seeds- which you can buy in many shops- with tails on the end. No strange effects smiling smiley

2) How long should the tails be?

3) What's the easiest way to separate the seed from the shell? This also goes for sunflower seed sprouts etc. Is it okay to eat the shell?

Thanks ya'll smiling smiley

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: frances ()
Date: March 15, 2010 02:33PM

1. It's illegal to grow hemp in the US. The official reason (as I understand it) is that hemp plants look too much like marijuana plants and might confuse drug enforcement. I've also heard that the decision was made with significant input from the cotton industry, which feared the competition. Hemp seed that is legally sold in the US will be damaged in some way to keep it from sprouting. I buy hemp which has been lightly crushed to make each seed unviable, but I've also seen whole toasted seeds for sale.

2. As an American, I've never sprouted hemp, but for most sprouts the best option is to taste your sprouts regularly after the first day and see which stages of growth you find the yummiest. Many sprouts are difficult to keep healthy past a particular stage, maybe a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks. Experimentation is key.

3. Most sprouts will shed their own seed husks at a certain stage of development. Tearing them off of the seedling prematurely can damage your young plant. For many seed types, the husks are perfectly edible if some remain. For seed types where the seed husk is hard and unpalatable, as with sunflowers, you many need to remove some of the husks if you're trying to harvest before they fall off naturally, but it's best not to do more of that than you need to.

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: lisa m ()
Date: March 15, 2010 08:39PM

I usually sprout them for no longer than a day or two, (so, hardly any tail) cos the little sprouts seem to struggle to get outta the shell, if you leave them longer they can go bad. However I have had no problem potting the sprouts and growing hemp leaves, lovely in salads smiling smiley

I usually just eat them in their shell, it's fine. Gets in your teeth a bit though, if you're out you might want to take some floss winking smiley

Easiest way to remove the shell... ahh that's a toughie, I would say just make hemp mylk with them - add water, blend and strain. Otherwise I think you'd have quite a de-shelling job on your hands!

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: faeterri ()
Date: March 15, 2010 08:54PM

First of all, sunflower: for sprouts with just a little tail, sprout hulled sunflower seeds. If the hulls are still on, I grow sunflower greens on soil and then remove the hulls when ready (they kind of pop off).

Next, hemp is cannibas, so is marijuana. They are just different varieties. Hemp has a stronger fiber component, and I am sure you know the other.

Lastly, removing hulls (shells): I have never sprouted hemp, but the way I remove hulls from other sprouts is by putting them into a bowl of water and the hulls will either sink or float and I remove the clean sprouts from the middle, drain and store or eat.

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: Horsea ()
Date: March 15, 2010 08:58PM

Where on earth would you obtain sproutable hemp seed?????

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: March 16, 2010 03:17AM

hemp has been attacked from the cotton industry, the paper/pulp industry, the oil industry, the fuel industry

its just one of those all around good ol' plants that make everyone with any intrest in anything else really freaked out.

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: lisa m ()
Date: March 16, 2010 12:31PM

Horsea - we're in the UK so we're fortunate to be able to get sproutable hemp. It's such a shame (and so stupid) that it's illegal in the US sad smiley

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: Horsea ()
Date: March 16, 2010 01:50PM

Hi, Lisa. I am in Canada. The only whole hemp we can get here is roasted and salted! If you want to be a hemp farmer in Canada, you have to jump thru a whole set of hoops and put up with inspection, etc. to make sure you aren't sneaking a few marijuana plants in your fields. SIGH...

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: frances ()
Date: March 16, 2010 02:38PM

That's interesting, Horsea. I know that hemp products are heavily imported to the US from Canada, but I didn't know what the regulatory structure is in Canada.

Can you get the hemp seed and tell the government that they can stop by and inspect your sprouting sill to make sure you aren't growing marijuana sprouts? It might even make sense for them to allow it. If the concern is that you will hide a marijuana crop in the midst of a large field of hemp (which is implied by a system of field inspections), then there's no concern if you don't have any hemp field. I have no idea whether there's any amount of THC in marijuana sprouts, but sprouting is a very easy activity to hide indoors and couldn't possibly be controlled through regulating hemp seed.

Of course, the US ban on hemp growing only serves to demonstrate that logic is not the only guiding principle behind laws and regulations.

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: lisa m ()
Date: March 16, 2010 04:06PM

the one funny thing I've noticed with hemp leaves is the effect they have on flies... I remember having a pot on my windowsill, and one night I noticed a fly sitting on one of the leaves... well, it just sat and sat there and didn't move... normally flies are always buzzing about.. no kidding, I could literally flick the leaf and it still wouldn't move lol...it wasn't dead, it was just highly relaxed grinning smiley 1st time I ever saw a fly chillin out... I half expected to hear strains of Jimmy Hendrix coming from somewhere in the plant lol

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Date: March 17, 2010 06:22PM

Thanks for the replies everyone smiling smiley In the end, I screwed up and accidently let them sprout too long. They smelt a bit funky too, so on my next go, I'm going to just do it long enough for the slight tail and take more care to make sure there isn't excess water in the germinator.

I took the shell off one a few days in, and it tasted okay, but I can't imagine sitting there and shelling them! So I guess the only real use for them would be hemp mylk (which is okay, as I love it!).

Lisa M - love the story of the chilled out fly grinning smiley

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: ela ()
Date: March 17, 2010 08:52PM

I love the chilled-out fly too!

It always amazes me when I go back to the UK and Israel to visit family and find in-shell hemp seeds as the best value food in the natural food stores! It helps me get over the shock of everything being so expensive...

The shells are pretty tough, but those sprouts are great in salads.

But I remember when I was traveling in Thailand I met an English rawfoodist who said that she let her hempseeds sprout kind of like wheatgrass! She even said the cops came round but saw that her kids were eating it for food and had to drop any concern. This is pure anecdote, but suggests that you might be able to get the sprouts going a little further in potting soil...



seeing is freeing
hearing is clearing
feeling is healing

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: rawmelody ()
Date: November 23, 2012 05:44AM

I have recently moved to Germany from the US, so this is totally new for me, and I am excited.

Are the sprouts with-shell pleasant to eat? (would it be like eating the seed in a pomegranate kernel? or like a blackberry?)

btw, I am totally going to grow some on my windowsill for salads and smoothie backup (or pesto too!!). I am in Germany right now, I trust this is okay.

Does your friend make juice out of the wheat-grass grown hemp or just snip it for salads?

What about using the sprouts in raw breads/crackers? Anyone tried?

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: November 24, 2012 11:25AM

If you purchase bird seed that contains hemp seed it is sproutable. You'd have to pick it out of the rest but if that's the only way to get raw hemp at least it's an option. Available in the states and Canada. Weird, I know...

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Re: Sprouting Hemp Seeds!
Posted by: lisa m ()
Date: November 25, 2012 12:03PM

ha, I love it when I see posts of mine from a few years ago, it's like finding an old diary or something!

rawmelody, hemp sprouts with shell taste really nice (I think, anyway), they're crunchy and a bit nutty tasting. The bits of shell get in your teeth though!

Yes they grow great on windowsills, you might want to choose a window that's not so visible to the general public, to avoid misunderstandings winking smiley

They're good in juice - I often add them to a milder-tasting juice such as cucumber or celery, as they're quite a strong taste - a little like rocket, I guess.

I've used the sprouts in crackers etc and they add a nice nutty flavour - I would advise just soaking them though in this instance (ie soak overnight, then rinse and process with your cracker mix), as I've found they can sometimes spoil a little once sprouted.

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