Spring Creek Senior Partners’ (SCSP) Gardening Club always focuses on learning about healthy eating by planting fresh herbs, vegetables, and other plants. During their last session, the seniors learned about growing wheatgrass with hydroponics. Wheatgrass is considered an excellent source of vitamins (A, C, E, iron, magnesium, calcium and amino acids) and minerals. This famous juice ingredient is simply the freshly sprouted leaves of a wheat plant, which is then usually crushed in a juicer to consume.
Wheatgrass shots are quite expensive antioxidant drinks, prices can range from $3.95 for 1 ounce or$5.95 for two ounces at City Fresh’s Juice Bar. The seniors are well aware of the healthy benefits of juicing (the process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables). At the SCSP Garden Club, the seniors are learning how to grow the vegetation on their own, and then cook or drink them.
Growing wheatgrass was simple. Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman showed the seniors by using a kit that included: a micro-mat (which replaces the soil with bio-degradable harvested wood fibers), Azomite (an organic trace mineral fertilizer), and wheatgrass seeds.
First Roytman soaked the wheat-grass seeds for 12 hours (over-night). She then brought them into the SCSP Garden Club, so that the seniors would prepare the micro-mat by sprinkling a handful of Azomite and then the seeds into a durable black growing tray. They placed two sheets of newspaper over the seeds and then made sure that they tray remained damp for a few days. So far, one tray has yielded about 18 ounces of juice just after two weeks.
In addition to growing wheat-grass by hydroponics, Roytman is also growing garlic, parsley, spinach, snow peas, pineapple, and spider plants. For the indoor gar-den club, the seniors are spending their time experimenting and ob-serving plant growth. “We are trying to see what would grow best from seeds in a hydroponic unit and what succeeds as a starter plant,” said Roytman.
Photos by Amanda Moses