Well, things are still looking good besides the mess the rats leave behind! The sprouts are now starting to push up on their covering trays so by Monday we should really be able to see where things are at. I can see with some of the higher density plantings that some of the seeds are not able to root into the soil, thought this seems to be more of a problem with the bigger seeded confection variety. You’ll kind of be able to see this in the following video. Tomorrow is Saturday so I am not sure I will make it to campus to check on the sprouts, but I think I will be in the area so I can stop in to check on them. I will not see them on Sunday, so Monday will be a nice surprise. I think I will also uncover them on Monday and then ‘harvest’ on Thursday or Friday. Thursday would probably be better, but I will have more time on Friday. This would make the cycle 12 days, including the soaking day, so that should be OK. This would be the exact schedule I would use for harvesting for a Saturday market. There is some more writing after the videos:
So the sprout project actually became even more official today if such a think can be said to occur. I touched base with my advising professor to let him know where I was at and to get a bit of feedback. We talked today about my bench design, developing a site specific HACCP plan, bacterial testing, and actually expanding the project so as to allow me to get more credit for it.
For the original bench design I was going to make the whole thing out of synthetic limber, but since the design has changed a bit I can now do some of it with regular wood, which will really keep my costs down as the synthetic lumber is close to 10 times as expensive as fir! Since much of the structure will not be exposed to the sprouts or seeds, I can build the bench base with wood, and use the synthetic lumber for the legs and covering part. Here is the new design:
So the upright posts and those supporting the plastic roof will be synthetic and those that form the frame of the ‘bench top’ will be wood. The actual design will be slightly modified from this image, but this is a good general idea of what it will look like (actually there will be two of these).
As for the HACCP plan this is about identifying hazards and places where contamination of other potential issues regarding food safety could occur. Such a plan can be generic and then modified for each site. There is already a template that I can draw from which will be useful.
I will be able to test for E.coli at UBC, but not for salmonella. So this will be some more good experience. I may see about doing a test befere production to get and idea of the facilities and equipment.
And last but not least we also discussed adding a business plan component to the project which could earn me an additional three credits making this a nine credit project. This may mean taking a summer course, but I think this might be doable if I am working out the business plan for the sprouts as I go! I will talk to the course instructor next week to touch base with her about this idea. SO that is it for today – quite the entry! Things are rolling along now!