Microgreens

Microgreens

Microgreens

Microgreens are becoming more popular, used for delicate garnishes on dishes that pack a powerful flavour, but the best part is the dense high nutrition these baby plants hold.

Microgreens is a vegetable or herb plant that has edible leaves and is harvested after the seed germination and sprouting stages, before the plant fully matures.  Sprouts are usually ready in the first week, microgreens are ready for harvesting in the second or third week.

Vitamins and Minerals:

They contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than the full-sized mature plant.  All the vitamins and minerals packed into a mature plant is crammed into the small baby plants. If you ate 50 little broccoli microgreen plants in your salad, it would be like consuming all the nutrients from 50 mature broccoli heads!  They are loaded with potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, beta-carotene, vitamin K, A, and C, the list goes on. Microgreens can boost your vitamin and mineral intake quickly and so easily.

Types of seeds:

Here are just some of the types of seeds that can be grown and eaten in the microgreen stage:  Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, watercress, radish, sunflower, chard, cilantro, kale, carrots, celery, beets, basil, chia, and more… so many to choose from!

Growing microgreen plants is quick and easy and super convenient, regardless of your amount of experience in garden-growing.  It can be done year-round and indoors.

How to Grow Microgreens:

Microgreens-growing-seedlings-Tonya-Hache-LSWC-Ottawa

  1. You’ll need two shallow trays.  Using a pushpin, you can poke holes in one of the two trays for drainage. The tray with the holes is the top tray, put this tray inside a second one to catch any water drainage.
  2. Spread a layer of organic potting soil in the tray.  I then mist the soil to start the hydration of the mini garden, with a spray bottle.  You can also get your kids involved, my daughter loves to help plant
  3. Next, distribute organic sprouting seeds evenly over the soil.  (We like to use Mumm’s seeds  found in our natural organic food shops.)  You can let the seeds fall closely together since these plants will be harvested before reaching full size.  Once they are in the soil, I usually mist the seeds with some water as well.
  4. Cover the seeds with another layer of soil and mist the soil again with some more water.
  5.  I then cover my trays with the plastic tray lid, with the vent circles open. (These trays can be found at your local gardening or home hardwMicrogreens-trays-lids-growing-indoors-Tonya-Hache-LSWC-Ottawaare stores or anything you have around the house that would work. I heard of a man that uses his kids’ plastic toboggan sleds in his workshop to plant seeds!)  I then cover my trays with dark towels to keep it dark during the germination period.
  6. Once a day, I remove the towels and spray the soil to keep it slightly moist.
  7. Once I see the seeds sprouting and the little plants pushing through the soil, I open the lids and take off the towels and let the trays sit on a table right by a window that gets a lot of sun.  You can see your yellow seedlings turn bright green in one day when they use the sun’s light energy to make their chlorophyll!
  8. Microgreens-mist-grow-indoors-Tonya-Hache-LSWC-OttawaContinue to spray some water on the baby plants once a day to keep them hydrated, as they grow.
  9. While the microgreens grow at least one to three inches tall and have their new first leaves on, they can be harvested by cutting the greens just above the soil line.  This will usually be in week two of growing.
  10. Add your microgreens to your salad, your sandwiches, or blend in your smoothies!
  11. When you are ready to plant another batch, dump the trays in the compost and start again with fresh soil!Microgreens-ready-to-enjoy-Tonya-Hache-lswc-Ottawa

It’s super easy to have your own indoor garden, especially through the winter.  It’s a great way to intake fresh high amounts of nutrients during the cold season when growing and eating microgreens.

Keep in mind that harvested microgreen plants tend to have a short shelf life.  Try to freshly cut them at the time you will be consuming them. You can refrigerate harvested microgreens for a day or two.

Enjoy your highly nutritious microgreen meal!

Author-Tonya Haché