Reduce, recycle, repurpose. I don't put the last one into practice nearly as much as I'd like to, so to turn out a small batch of daikon sprouts using an old mushroom kit just opened another door into kitchen counter gardening. Sprouting always seemed a big mystery that included a set-up with multiple trays and constant rinsing - too much trouble when I can purchase a half pound tray of soy sprouts for a little over 1 euro - yet the thought of throwing out more trash simply bothered me.
A packet of daikon seeds had been sitting in my stash for quite some time, and when I came across last year's plastic black bottom/clear top mushroom kit, the idea of sprouting popped into my head. After giving the kit a good sterilizing wash and rinse in hot water, I placed the rinsed daikon seeds (soaked overnight) onto a damp paper towel and plastic netting (cut from a mesh bag holding oranges). The reason for the mesh was that I figured that the sprouts would need something stable to adhere to as they grew taller but a second experiment proved that they only need a paper towel.
I followed the exact steps for sprouting by rinsing twice a day and using a fine wire sieve to drain them into before replacing the seeds back into the box. Once the seeds began sprouting it became more tricky to rinse them but again, a fine sieve makes an indispensable kitchen tool. When the sprouts put out leaves, I stopped rinsing and placed the box in a spot with indirect sunlight. When they grew to about 4 inches in height, I snipped them from the root bottoms and used them in temaki sushi. From kitchen counter to plate, what more can I say? This experiment had me wanting to discover what else I've been missing out on and I found these at the natural foods store NaturaSì. Mung beans, red cabbage, fenugreek and a mix that contains alfalfa, garden cress, fenugreek and mustard - it should be interesting to see how they taste.