I bought this cool, little green lid many many years ago. It's intended purpose (and the reason I bought it) is to help with growing sprouts. It screws right onto a wide mouth mason jar and is supposed to provide ventilation as well as to help drain away the water when you're doing the twice daily rinsing that sprouts require.However, when Joey was little, she soon discovered that this made an excellent lid to a bug jar, providing plenty of breathing holes and zero chance of insect escape. Many a spider has spent a happy afternoon/evening contained in a mason jar topped with this lid. Before we'd relocate any indoor bugs to the great outdoors, it was first treated to a tour of our house a la Joey. She'd carry the passenger around, saying things like, "And this is my bedroom, where I play with my toys. And here is the TV. Those things are called Teletubbies. And this is where we eat dinner. You can just watch while I eat. Mommy, does the spider want any of my food?"
After awhile, I would explain that the spider needed to go outside and find her own food, so she'd give the jar to me to release. She had no squeamishness at all about setting the spider right next to her dinner plate when she knew it was safely contained, but the idea of opening the lid and letting the spider crawl out made her extremely nervous. She would usually watch me do it while standing safely behind the sliding glass door.
So, anyway, we've kept it for 6 or 7 years, used it to provide air to dozens of bugs and have finally put it to it's intended use. I would like to pass along how not to do it.
First of all, do not mix different types of seeds in one batch. They sprout at different rates, some still unsprouted while the others are slowly rotting.
Secondly, when doing big seeds, like garbanzo beans, stir, swirl or shake often after you add the first soaking water. Otherwise they wedge themselves tightly in there. My attempts to loosen them with a chopstick has only resulted in breaking off pieces of the garbanzo beans. Pieces that won't sprout, but, I suspect, will only rot.
I used these just sprouted garbanzos (those that survived long enough to actually sprout, that is) to make Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. It's a fantastic recipe. I've made it before, but used the canned garbanzo beans that she suggested as a substitute. And just so you can judge my opinion, I am not a vegetarian. But these were just so tasty, it really didn't matter.
Here's a quick How-To for seed/bean sprouting, in general.
-Add a small amount of seeds to your jar (they will expand, so leave them extra space).
-Mix up your soak/rinse water by adding 1 tsp citric acid to 1 qt of water. (This step is not completely necessary, but I'm going to do it. I already bought the citric acid for cheese making, so I thought I'd make use of it. It is supposed to reduce spoilage. It might have helped with my first batch of mixed seeds, had I used it.)
-Fill jar with this water.
-If the seeds are big, let them soak for an hour or two, swirling or stirring regularly.
-Attach lid and drain water.
-Twice a day, you'll need to add fresh new water, shake or swirl and then drain off.
-When they're sprouted, you can put them where they can get some sun and they'll turn green.
Oh, and those lids are only like four bucks, so you could buy one for sprouting as well as one for your bug jar.