Yep, a wonder of Nature, up close. Three days or so after folding up the pinhead-sized seed in a damp paper towel, we have Brussels sprouts! Of course, this is only step one of many before we get to the deliciousness of actual Brussel sprouts. (Halved, tossed in corn meal and sautéed in butter is one way to go!)
Bare root germination like this is good for at least two things. It’s a useful germination test to see if old seed is still good. It’s also a way to start seedlings: transfer the sprouted seeds to a plug tray or pot, wait a few more days, and up they’ll pop. Let the greening begin.
The bare root approach adds an extra step compared to putting the seed directly in the plug or pot. It’s a little more work. It can be good with hard-to-germinate crops. Or if the seed is old, with a low germination rate, and you want to be sure that every plug has a plant. That it’s fun to see what’s going on is also a fine reason!