Thursday, December 4, 2014

Microgreens - tiny and tasty!

Are the cold temperatures getting to you already?  Do you wish you could still be playing in the dirt?  We have good news – you can!  This week’s pantry demonstrations are focused around growing micro-greens.  Micro-greens are exactly what they sound like – tiny vegetables or grains used to add extra flavor to dishes or snacks.  Most commonly used on salads and sandwiches, micro-greens are jam-packed with nutrients and flavor.  What’s more, they are also very easy to grow at home!

First, you will need the following supplies:
  • Seed flat* or disposable baking pan
  • Potting soil* -- about 1-2” of depth per flat
  • Watering  can (or a plastic container with holes in the lid)
  • Full spectrum fluorescent shop light* or a sunny warm location
  • Duct tape and a sharpie for marking start dates and seed type
  • Seeds – suggestions; 1 cup of peas or sunflowers or ¾ cup of radish, arugula, spinach per flat
* These supplies are available to borrow from MHC’s Tool Share program.  Come in and sign up for free!

Simple Steps for Growing Micro-greens:

  1. Fill seed flats with 2” of potting soil.
  2. Plants seeds by spreading them evenly on top of the soil.
  3. Water micro-greens after they are planted.  Keep them most but not soaked at all times (soil should feel like a rung out sponge).  Micro-greens must remain moist until sprouted, so water them 1 to 2 times daily.
  4. Label the outside of your container with the date you started and the seed type used.
  5. Place seed flat under the shop light or in a sunny warm location.  Most seeds require 60-70 degrees to germinate.  Sprouts will need 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness.  Place lights 2” higher than the height of the sprouts.
  6. Harvest your micro-greens when you see their first “true leaves.”  This usually occurs 7-14 days after planting.  Simply give the greens a “haircut” with scissors at the plant’s base.
  7. Enjoy as a snack, on a sandwich or salad, or added to dips and pesto!

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