What is the scientific name of alfalfa?
Can people eat alfalfa?
Yes humans can eat alfalfa, which is an excellent source of vitamins, proteins and minerals etc. If you have traveled in specific Asian countries, you have probably eaten alfalfa stems in salads, sandwiches, soups and other foods. However, contrary to other legumes (lentil etc.), it is not safe for humans to eat the boiled seeds of the plant, but rather the sprouts, at a rational quantity. The FDA has advised that children, the elderly and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid consuming raw alfalfa sprouts. Finally, many people consume alfalfa tablets and capsules as a dietary supplement.
Can I grow Alfalfa sprouts from seed in my house for human consumption and how long does it take?
Yes you can, but you have to select seeds that are not treated with any chemicals. You have to tell your supplier that you need organic seeds for sprout production. On average, it takes about 5 days after seeding to get mature well sized sprouts.
How long does it take to grow alfalfa in the field?
About 7-10 days after sowing, you will probably see the first sprouts. You can harvest your first cut about 40-45 days from sowing.
Can I cultivate barley or wheat as an alfalfa companion plant?
Yes you can, but it is very complicated to manage (seeding, irrigating, harvesting etc.) annual plants along with perennials in the same field. Of course, companion planting yields greater return on investment for experienced farmers.
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