How to Sprout Wheat Berries at Home in a Mason Jar

You've all heard of whole wheat flour, but have you heard of wheat berries?   Wheat berries are the "whole grain" form of ground "whole wheat".   You can cook the berries until they are soft and use in your favorite soups, salads and side dishes but sprouting wheat berries provides you with a delicious and nutrient dense sprout for eating.   
Wheat berries contain brain, and germ which basically means it's loaded with fiber and protein.  They also are very high in all of your B vitamins.  
The flavor can be described as nutty and slightly sweet, which make them a wonderful choice for sprouting.  You'll love them on sandwiches and salads.  
Sprouting wheat berries is easy, and fun!

This is what you'll need:
 1/2 cup of wheat berries
a quart sized mason jar
small piece of cheesecloth

Day 1:
Measure out a 1/2 cup of wheat berries and let them soak in water overnight. This will help to re-charge the berries and prepare them for sprouting.  

Day 2:
Come back to your wheat berries that have been soaking overnight.  Drain and rinse well. 
Transfer wheat berries into a mason jar and cover with cheesecloth. Secure with a rubber-band.
Place your mason jar full of wheat berries in a dark cupboard.  Rinse and drain one more time at the end of the day, returning it to its dark location afterwards. 

Day 3:
Rinse and drain 2x's today. Each time return to dark cupboard.

Day 4:
By day 4 your sprouts should be looking similar to this, which means they are ready to eat.  Rinse well, drain, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Sprouts are best when eaten right away but may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a few days. 

Now go eat some sprouts! ...don't forget to save some for your chickens. They'll love you for sharing!

The Day After Christmas

The day after Christmas, we took ourselves outside to hang out with the animals for a bit, pajamas and all.  We figured the goats and chickens wouldn't mind if we all had "bed head" and were still in our Christmas pj's.  They didn't seem to even notice, probably because we came bearing "treats". 

I love seeing these two gals of mine interact with our animals. Especially the chickens. They both just love chasing the chickens through the yard and snagging them up for loves and to pet. 

Lucy ran for a while, but Becca eventually caught up with her.  Maybe it was the silly pj's that frightened Ms. Lucy... 

Noahh and Becca lured all of the chickens close with tossing them some scratch. 

Bieber hid out most of the day in this garden box, munching on what was left of the broccoli, cabbage and leeks.  I'm glad we left that box for our "critters" to munch on and enjoy.  

Noahh chased the bunny around but never did have any luck in actually catching him.  Bieber is way to fast for her.

...but not for dad! He scooped Mr. Bieber up quick so Noahh could pet him and give him some lovin'. 

These two have a pure "love-hate" relationship.  Erick's always getting after him for digging up the yard, but Bieber is always there ready to snuggle up and pour on the affection, regardless of what trouble he's been up to. 

Seriously, this picture cracks me up! We had to run to the feed store, and when I saw these two coming out of the store like this I busted up laughing so hard that there were tears running down my cheeks.  All that's missing is dad's jammy pants and Santa hat, but still, what an ensemble! Well done kids. Well done.

Christmas at the Homestead

Apparently our "little's" have been very good this year because Santa made an appearance and spoiled both of the girls just rotten.  We have had such a busy week, and by the time we got our little family back home to celebrate our family Christmas, we had already traveled all over to different family members homes to celebrate the holiday.  

We spent Christmas Eve in Kelso, Washington, with Erick's Grandfather and Grandmother. The whole family was there, and we were able to meet lots of new people, which was wonderful.  Noahh had other small children to play with and they kept each other busy through the evening.   The food was wonderful, and the gifts were generous.  It was a wonderful evening.  

Christmas day, we spent the evening with Erick's Aunt, Uncle and family.   Noahh was exhausted, so her and I didn't stay the whole time. However, the three bites of my dinner that I got to enjoy before her epic temper-tantrum, was superb. I wish I had been able to eat the whole meal, but a nap was in order so her and I came home early so "peace on earth" could be restored. ;) 

Our family was then able to celebrate our little Christmas at home the next day, and we were blessed to have Erick's other grandparents come and spend the day with us. They came bearing gifts, WAY TO MANY OF THEM, and spoiled us all with love and laughter through the day.  The girls were busy opening so many fun new things, and we all just had a great time watching them and seeing the joy in their eyes. 

We started the day off with holiday french toast and egg casserole and many glasses of hot wassail.  Boy is that wassail good. Still haven't tried it? You can find the recipe here

We used Aunt Jodie's Christmas dishes for breakfast and another set for dinner that day and Becca and I cried a little and reminisced while drinking "gold cokes" that we found in the stockings from her house.  I'm pretty sure she's been here, all along, making sure these girls of mine aren't getting their hands into anything but good old caffeine free, diet "gold cokes".  (Something she used to spoil Becca and I with whenever we were at her house.)

Becca was up to her eyeballs in gifts this year.  Can't help but make sure our smart, talented and beautiful girl knows how much we appreciate and love her. 

Would you believe it if I told you that she actually got tired of opening presents because there were so many of them?! Santa, next time don't go so overboard...okay?

There were so many presents you couldn't tell where one began and another ended. The floor couldn't be found and it took many trips of hauling wrapping paper and boxes outside.  

Noahh loved having big sister there to play with her and show her how all of the new toys worked.  
These two are the greatest gift of all. How blessed we are to have such amazing daughters. God has been so good to Erick and I.  I hope they are always close and love each other the way they do now. 

Becca loves Noahh so much, that she didn't even mind when Noahh was playing with all of her new mini-dolls.  That's love, between sisters.

The good thing about having all girls, and having two that are 10 years apart, is that when the oldest outgrows something, the youngest is right there in line for it next.  We're all about dolls, and girly things around here and it will be so fun to see Becca hand down her toys to Noahh once she outgrows them.  

As for Noahh right now, she doesn't mind playing with her older sisters toys and I'm thankful that Becca doesn't mind sharing.  When you live in a small, tiny house, you learn to share really quick. None of us really have anything that's "ours" or "off limits" to other family members.  Everything we have, everything we do, it's shared and all together. 

It really was a magical Christmas, and I'm thankful that Noahh was able to enjoy a little bit of it.  Last year she slept through Christmas, and didn't really understand what was going on. This year it's been so much fun watching her engulf herself with holiday lights, treats, stories, and toys.  She is most certainly a "Christmas baby" and I can tell already she will have a passion for tradition and the holidays.

What an overall beautiful Christmas for our family.  We spent the holidays with the people that mean the most to us and focused much of our time on our Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. The girls were enveloped with traditions and love and we all just had the merriest of times together.

Christmas Eve, Eve Garden Walk-Through

Christmas Eve is tomorrow and since we knew we would be very busy with our festive activities over the next few days, we took some time to spend it with our animals out back.   We let everyone out into the garden to dig for worms and explore a little bit.

 Noahh took down some kitchen scraps, something that most of the time the chickens aren't too interested in but the goats sure do love it.  If anything the chickens always seem to express a slight amount of curiosity and then resume hunting for worms. 

 Mr. Bieber is always a fan of kitchen scraps.  There's hardly a thing he'll turn his nose up at.

 Because of how wet it's been here in the Pacific Northwest recently, we're having to change the bedding in the coop and the goat house more frequently.  Sometimes I'm honestly convinced that the goats enjoy eating their bedding more than they like to lay on it. 

 Noahh fed the chickens some "scratch" by hand, which they all loved of course. She sprinkled it in trails through the garden beds and enjoyed watching the whole flock line up and follow behind her.

 We peeked in on our garlic and it's looking and smelling quite wonderful! Can't wait to harvest up this bed in the springtime. So many garlic bulbs! 

 Bieber and his girlfriend Lucy, sharing some leftover melon rinds...

 We like to give all of the chickens a little "inspection" every once in a while, and Noahh loves to help.  She adores handling these chickens of ours.  I have a feeling she'll be the "farm girl" who tries sneaking chickens into the house when she's older.

 All of the chickens are healthy and doing just fine.  Our egg production is down, but we're letting nature take it's course.  In a few months we'll be back up to our eyeballs in eggs so I'm being patient. 

 The goats are healthy and doing well.  Despite their ragged appearance from all of the rain, once we give them a good brush and trim up their hooves, they'll be "beautified" and ready for spring. 

 We have a "seasonal creek" that runs along the property line of our backyard and the goats and baby Noahh love watching the water rush by. 

 Our oregano is holding up quite nice. I'm looking forward to planting plenty more of this as a ground cover.  It smells so good when you walk on it, and I love that it's as cold-hardy as it is. The flowers are pretty too when it goes to seed. 

Well, now that we've checked in on all of the animals and given them some good quality time with us, we're ready to start the line-up of Christmases we've got in store! So many fun things planned and people to visit and spend time with.  Merry Christmas everyone!

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