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COVID-19 journal: Sprouting a new attitude

When the White House warns against going out to buy groceries, it is only natural to avoid heading out during the projected apex. Yet, after three weeks of onions, potatoes and carrots, we do crave something, new.

“Let’s grow bean sprouts out of mung beans!”

“How? We’ve ran out of soil. And it is going to rain for the next few days.”

“It’s alright, all we need is water! Also, they don’t need sunlight!”

I remember growing bean sprouts with my brother when we were children, except we got distracted by Sea-Monkeys very quickly. I don’t remember what we did after they sprouted, but this time, I am determined to find out.

THE GROWTH: The easiest part

Day 0: Soak 100g of mung beans in a jar (yields about 300g of bean sprouts). Fill the jar with water and attach a mesh/muslin cloth to the mouth of the jar. Store the jar in the food cabinet or any dark corner of the house.

Day 1 to Day 3: Rinse and drain excess water out of the jar (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). Tilt the mason jar sideways so there’s more room for growth.

Sprouts start to show as early as the morning of Day 2! Aerate the bean sprouts gently with a chopstick during the daily rinse.

THE HARVEST: In three or four days’ time?

Harvesting bean sprouts could start on Day 3, but I did mine the following day – I like to have the tails a little longer but not to a point they turn brown.

Day 4: Do one last rinse before pouring bean sprouts onto a mesh strainer to drain off excess water. Spread bean sprouts onto paper towels before pinching the green peels away – get ready a little bowl to contain them.

THE FINAL TOUCH: The life-changing part

Between the previous picture and the one below, at least thirty minutes went by. I expected the monotonous peeling motion to be the hardest. I was wrong. Touching something that grew from nothing in my palm gave me this great sense of meaning. I feel purposeful.

I packed my precious three hundred over grams of bean sprouts into three little bags – two in the fridge and one in the freezer. Can’t wait to cook them!


Strangely in this time of COVID-19, I have found security in growing positivity. A way out from getting weighed down by uncertainties.

We don’t have to get paranoid about the microdroplets lurking out there or feel bad about someone shopping for us at Safeway (and worse, be shocked that Safeway has run out of spring onions).

We can start to be more self-sufficient.

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