Micro Greens Information
MICROGREEN GROWING INSTRUCTIONS
The word microgreen is used to describe seeds that are grown in soil and harvested before they reach full maturity. The energy needed for the plant to grow to full maturity is then stored in the microgreen. Because of this preserved energy the nutritional value of these microgreens is substantial, even when compared to a full grown vegetable, the nutritional value of microgreens is far greater. For example, 1 ounce of broccoli microgreens has more phytonutrients than 1 ½ cups of broccoli. The tiny leaves of the small plants are packed with nutrients and flavour. These small greens shoot up and are packed with a plethora of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. One of the joys of these amazing live foods is that you can grow them year round.
There are a wide range of choices of microgreens to grow. From beets to basil, these beautiful little plants are a great addition to salads, sandwiches, marinades, green smoothies, pizza toppings or can be eaten on their own.
They are easy to grow and can be grown in small or large quantities. The kids love them and it is a great project for kids to engage their “green thumbs”. All you need to grow microgreens are; a container to grow in, some potting soil or germinating mix, seeds, brown paper towel and water. On average it will take approximately 2 weeks to grow from start to finish in your home.
For available organic microgreen seeds please refer to our website at seedtogreen.com
During the winter months it can be difficult to maintain a healthy well balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables are transported over long distances and the nutritional value of such foods quickly diminishes once harvested. Microgreens offers us the ability to grow nutrient dense foods year round, with minimal supplies.
How to Grow Microgreens:
Fill a tray or container of your choice with 1 inch of soil. The tray you use depends on how many microgreens you want to grow. Spread seeds evenly over soil but not enough that they are convering each other. Use your hand to make sure the soil is level. You can also use a soil press or a piece of wood to smooth and flatten the earth. Do not compact the seed bed too much, as this can result in poor and slow growth.
Now that your soil is prepared it is time to sow your seeds! Evenly spread the seeds of your choice over the soil. It is important that there are not too many or too few seeds in your tray(s) as you will have a low yield if you plant too sparsely and on the other hand if you have the seeds sown too densely it is possible to encounter poor growth and rot in the trays.
Now you can cover your seeds so that they can germinate. You can do this by cutting a piece of paper towel (preferably unbleached brown paper towel) to the size of your tray. Cover with the fitted paper towel.
The next step is to water your trays. A germinating seed must remain moist. If the seed bed and therefore the seed, is allowed to dry out, the process will halt and your seeds will no longer be viable, so water away! You can water over top of the paper towel, making sure you have something beneath the tray to catch the excess water. The paper towel should be soaked through.
Now that your trays are watered and covered with the paper towel you can cover them with a plastic lid. The reason for this is to speed up the germination process by holding in the heat and retaining moisture.
As the seeds are germinating it is important to keep a close eye on them to make sure they are getting enough moisture, so make sure to water daily. After a few days you will start to notice the seeds lifting the paper towel up. This provides us with a good indicator that the seeds are getting ready to need the light.
Now the microgreens will be requiring light to thrive. Remove paper towel and plastic lid and set into the light, a window sill is ideal, as long as the microgreens are getting some form of indirect light they will grow. Continue to water daily and keep the soil moist. Now the microgreens will need to remain in the light for an average of 7-14 days.
Now it is time to harvest! Your greens may range from 1-4 inches. Cut after their cotyledons (first leaves) open. Use scissors to harvest greens. After cutting place each handful into a sealed container, refrigerate and use as needed. Here at Seed to Greens Farm we like to harvest what we need and use the greens right away letting the remaining microgreens continue to grow and harvest as we use them.
Compost your soil and enjoy your microgreens! You can also re-grow your microgreens a second time, using the same soil and the same seeds in the tray, you can simply water to begin the process again, as the seeds have already been germinated.
While inexpensive and simple to grow, sprouts are one of the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids known. All raw unsprouted seeds, beans, grains and nuts are biogenic. When they are sprouted and eaten, they provide the body with a form of living energy.
How to Sprout:
Choose the seeds you wish to sprout. You can sprout just about anything. Smaller seeds should just cover the bottom of a glass jar whereas larger seeds should not fill the jar more than 1/8 to 1/4 inch full. Sprouts expand, for example one pound of alfalfa seeds produce 8 pounds of sprouts.
Place seeds in a jar or our hemp sprout bag , fill it halfway full with water and then cover the jar with cheesecloth and securing it with an elastic band or with a stainless steel screen and a screw band. Allow seeds to soak for the required length of time, approx. 4-6 hours for small seeds and 12 hours for larger seeds and beans. After this time drain off water and place the jar at a 45 degree angle, mouth down, in a place where it can drain freely, like a clean sink. The opening of the cloth or screen will allow excess water to drain and circulate air.
For best results, rinse the sprouts twice a day by placing the jar under the tap, filling it with water and allowing it to overflow. After rinsing replace the jar of sprouts at a 45 degree angle so that the excess water continues to drain away. It is also very important to keep sprouts out of heat or direct sunlight, they do not need light to sprout. It is best to have them in a dark place.
When sprouts have matured, depending on size and seed they will take 5-14 days to be ready to harvest. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate, eat as needed. Make sure to consume within one week.