Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wheat Grass (for your cat or for your juice, whatever the purpose you're getting ripped off by not growing your own)!


This is Mr. Whipple. 

         One time I thought he ate a metal wire, so off to the vet we went.  Turns out the cat was vomiting alot because he was impacted (i.e. constipated).  The vet told me to get him more fiber and moisture in his diet, either through feeding him greens, canned pumpkin, or wet cat food.  (Yes, believe if or not, cats LOVE canned pumpkin, and it smells much nicer than wet food)!  But this post is about grass.  Pumpkin puree will have to wait for next fall.


            One day I was grocery shopping and in the organic produce area, near the herbs, they had grass on clearance.  (The only reason I even noticed it was the bright orange clearance tag, the ones they put on things that are about to expire. You can get good deals that way, just have to use whatever up soon after you buy it, no big deal)!  The GRASS that was on clearance for 99 cents (regular price as something outrageous like $3.19) was sprouted wheat grass.  It was in a plastic carton about 2" by 2", and about 6" tall. The label suggested that it be used for juicing.   GRASS at the grocery store? This is a new concept to me!  I knew that they sell wheat grass at rip off prices in little round tubs that are about 6" in diameter and 1" deep, with a little bit of wheat grass seed or catnip inside for you to sprout for your cat. I've seen these priced as high as $5 at the pet store.

         Guess what, I have great news for everyone!! You can grow your own cat grass about 10 cents a crop! Got to your local feed store and ask for about 1/4 of a pound of winter wheat.  You'll have to get it in the fall because that is the only time I believe they carry it. Winter wheat is a cover crop most farmers sow and then till under in the spring time.  (If you don't know what a cover crop it, ask, I'll fill you in, trying to keep this short here).  It is hardy and does not require alot of care.  Its a winter crop, which is why you'll have to buy your seed in the fall.  You probably cannot buy it online in such a small quantity for a reasonable price, so trust me on this and head on down to the local feed store.  I"m sure you'll see some interesting people while you're at it.  The feed store also smells amazing.  Its a combination of the sweet smell of molasses from the sweet feed, the dusty smell of corn being ground, the earthy smell of mulch in the piles in the parking lot, and the machine smell of the feed grinder all mixed together.  Oh, and 1/4 pound of seed will last you a long, long time and will cost you less than $5.

     Once you have your seeds, get a small pot and put some dirt in it.  I used potting soil because I had some around.  You could go dig up some dirt from your yard, but you'd probably get some insects which would then get into your house and some weeds.  To be on the safe side, I'd stick with potting soil.  Fill it up to about 1" from the top, sprinkle on some seeds (about 1/2 TBS).  Barely cover the seeds with the dirt.  I usually just sprinkle mine around and then kind of rake them around with my fingers so they are sort of combined in with the dirt.  Its OK if you can still see them.  Water them well, and in about a week you'll start to see grass.  Once it gets kind of high, feel free to harvest.  I let Whipple graze on it, and sometimes I pick it for him.  You can extend the life of the grass by trimming it to about 2" high with scissors.  You'll have to replant it after about three weeks, it doesn't have a long life in the pot.  Pull out the grass (try not to get too much dirt) and repeat the steps above!

As for Whipple, he is fine. The girl who had to hold him down for his x-ray, not so much, but I think she survived.

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