1. Start with a clean jam jar. Go for one with a plastic lid if you can, because it's going to be in contact with water a lot so a metal one will rust.
2. Get a piece of wood that fits inside the jam jar lid, and make a hole in the lid with a hammer and nail. You're just trying to make lots of holes in the lid. The wood is there because if you knocked the nail into the unsupported lid, it would just smash.
3. Make lots of holes. If you can be bothered to mark out a symmetrical pattern in advance - you're nuts.
4. Really, make lots and lots of holes. Water will drain through these and it's tiresome if it drains slowly. Make plenty of good-sized holes.
5. That's it. You've made your sprouter. Now to sprout some beans in it. Put about two tablespoons of mixed dried beans or seeds in the sprouter. Beans I like to sprout include:
- mung beans
- alfalfa seeds
- mustard seeds
- fenugreek seeds
- aduki beans
- soya beans
- black-eyed peas
- sunflower seeds
- wheat grains
- green and black lentils (not red)
6. Cover the beans with plenty of water (fill the jar to the top with water) and replace the lid. Leave on the kitchen windowsill overnight. The beans will swell a lot.
7. In the morning, drain the water by upending the jar on your draining board. All the water will run out of the holes you made. You'll be grateful you made plenty of holes.
8. Two or three times a day, pour clean water into to jar, swill your beans and drain them.
9. In a few days time the beans will have sprouted. When the little sprout is about the same length as the bean, they're ready to eat. If you don't want to eat them straight away, put them in the fridge which will stop the sprouts sprouting and keep them fresh.
You can buy sprouters of course. They cost up to £20. Actually the £20 one is probably worth it. It's made of terracotta and it's beautiful. What I find pretty shocking is that for £5 plus P&P you can buy a sprouter that's exactly the same as the home made one in the project.