Yes You Can Grow Your Own Microgreens!
Even if you aren’t a successful “gardener” you can still grow a microgreen crop right in your kitchen. Those who try it, quickly become addicted to this fast growing, delicious and nutritious crop. This is a kitchen crop that rarely fails because Mother Nature is at the wheel! Your role? Add water and light. If you can handle that.. you can be a kitchen microgreen farmer with your very first crop!
We think that Pea shoots, shown on the right, are some of most fast, fun and substantial microgreens you can grow at home. My trays usually yield about a half a pound of pea shoots per crop! This is for a tray measuring 10x13 inches, not a giant 10x20 tray. Unless i have a function or a particular dish that i’m growing them for, i usually just harvest what i need, snipping them off with scissors and putting them straight on my sandwich or in my salad. I leave the rest to keep on growing. These sweet and succulent greens can also be stir fried or used as a garnish.
Healthy Delicious and Fast Growing Crop
The Nutritional value of microgreens is astounding. Microgreens contain 10 to 40 times the nutritional value as their adult counterpart and are packed with flavor. They are great as a healthy substitute for lettuce on sandwiches and wraps, fantastic salad add ins, great in green smoothies, plus create a pretty and tasty garnish! Growing them is clean, fast and fun. The pea shoot crop in the featured image above grew from a one night soak to ready to eat in only EIGHT DAYS! Most of the microgreen types you will grow are completely ready to eat in 8 to 10 days.
Growing this fast, you can imagine they quickly go through many fascinating changes. You get a front row seat to watch the miracle of life transform dried up pea seeds to a beautiful edible kitchen crop! It’s as simple as an overnight soak, like you’d be making soup with them the next day. Drain off the water and rinse them well. cover with a damp paper towel and put in a dark place for one more day. Sow them and watch them grow!
While they can be grown in soil, one of the best things about growing pea shoots as one of your first crops, is you do not need any soil, any germination pad, or coco coir pad, you can literally grow them right on top of the grated inner tray of our 2 part microgreen trays.
Four Days and Counting
These peashoots microgreens are only 4 days old and starting to green up. You can almost see them growing! They will look a little bigger and a little greener every time you look at them. just think..they are only four days from harvest!
Kids really love watching microgreens grow. Many folks get quite fascinated with microgreen farming as a living. It is an easy low cost business to start and many grow in basements, closets or pantries.
Growing family microgreens gets the whole family involved in eating this healthy homegrown crop. Even kids enjoy trying a crop they’ve helped grow and watched grow right in their kitchen!
Look at those ROOTS!
To get them this far, all I’ve done is rinse, drain, and fill the bottom tray with about a 1/2 inch of water. I do this every day and just use the sprayer head in my sink until they are greening up with a good root system. Then, I don’t top water them anymore. I only make sure i have water in the bottom tray and i change that water daily.
Check out the roots they put down! These are probably about day 5 or 6. They will drink that water so don’t let them get dry!
What kind of water you ask? Tap is fine. Well is fine, RO is fine. At this stage, Mother Nature is okay with just about any water you throw a these baby plants. If you want to get fancy? Use spring water from the grocery store, but it is probably not necessary unless you have real water issues.
What about light?
Many kitchens have strong florescent lights which are pretty good for microgreens. If your plants are getting leggy and reaching, then you may need to supplement light for them or put them by a sunny window or on a sunny porch. If you opt for sunshine, definitely monitor their time outdoors and don’t let them dry out. If you want to add supplemental lighting, there are various grow lights on the market that will do the job. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive or real high power. Microgreens are content with just enough. LED Grow lights and Florescent are both very effective at growing microgreens to harvest.
We use our MicroFarm base for our microgreens. They are perfectly sized to accommodate one of our trays directly under the light. I sometimes will place and rotate other microgreen crops around the main light source. It’s perfect for a home kitchen or tabletop microgreen grow. The LED lights in the base are totally tuned in spectrum of RED BLUE White for leafy greens. There are three intensity settings and operation is automatic and intuitive. Simply plug in the unit at 7am and it will come on every day at that time and stay on for 22 hours drawing only about 25 watts. Check it out here
Ready to Give Growing Microgreens a Try?
We’re happy to give you the inside info on growing heathy batches of delicious Microgreens. There are so many you can grow! Not only do we love growing pea shoots, we also love radish microgreens, spicy micro mix, wheat grass (another really easy crop) broccoli, baby lettuce blends, kale, mustard, and more. Many of the seed companies have advice for growing and many have supplies for growing as well. We like True Leaf Market for great advice and products for growing as well as quality Microgreen seeds. you can visit them here:
Lets get a discussion going! Feel free to share your growing methods and favorite crops. Ask questions, post pictures of your triumphs!
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