Take Back the Farm

Take Back The Farm

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The Magic of Microgreens

In a busy city, one of the things people often miss is the tranquil green of a beautiful plant. Especially in the wintertime, when everything is cold and barren, a fresh salad or a patch of bright flowers can really boost your mood. Microgreens can do that and so much more – not only are they eye-catching, but they are rich in the nutrients and minerals your body needs to work at optimal levels.

Microgreens, for many urban farmers, are the next step after sprouting. While microgreens are just as rewarding as sprouting, they do take a little bit more time to flower and grow. They are the sprouts we allow to get their first “true leaf”, and then we harvest them for our sandwiches, salads, or snacks!

What is the difference between a sprout and a microgreen?

Microgreens are essentially a sprout allowed to go to the first “true leaf”. As well, sprouts are usually not grown in soil, whereas microgreens can be grown in soil or your favourite soil-less medium!

Are microgreens hard to grow?

Not at all! While they are not as three-step simple as sprouts are, they can be just as easy and rewarding as sprouts are. You don’t need any gardening experience to be able to grow and enjoy microgreens.

Can I take any kind of seed and turn it into a microgreen?

While there are a wide variety of seeds that can be grown as a microgreen, some are more suitable than others for different reasons. Some become too bitter, some too soft, and so on. We've gone ahead and done up a chart to help you decide which seeds do better as a microgreen, sprout, or both.

Why should I put more effort into a microgreen as opposed to just a sprout?

Microgreens offer a very different taste and texture to your salads and sandwiches that many people find unique and enjoyable. Microgreens have a more vivid colour reminiscent of a “true plant” that, for many visual cooks, they simply couldn't do without!

But I’m really, really busy! Won’t microgreens take too much time?

Microgreens are just as simple as sprouts in terms of maintenance and managing them! The only difference is in the kind of maintenance. Instead of rinsing sprouts, you’ll be watering microgreens!

Alright, I’m ready to try microgreens! How do I do it?

First thing’s first: here’s a few things you’ll need to get started on your way to growing delicious and nutritious microgreens! We’re going to list a “traditional” way to get started with microgreens, but there are lots of different ways to grow, so feel free to experiment!

1 Growing Medium (this can be something like a shallow container, a cloth or hemp bag, coir, Baby Blanket… the possibilities are endless!)
High Quality Soil
1 Package of Seeds (come chat with us and we can help you choose the seed that’s right for you!)
1 Cloth (alternatively, a cupboard or somewhere else that doesn’t receive light will do!)
Optional: Dilute Feed (like liquid kelp; if you are unsure if your soil will need this, feel free to come in and talk to us!)

We would be happy to get you set up with a beginners’ kit for microgreens that will include everything to get you started.

Got everything you need? Good! Let’s start growing greens!

Step 1: Place your seeds in a jar of water to soak for 6-8 hours*. HOWEVER, if you chose a seed like broccoli, arugula, broccoli brassica blend, black chia, or curly cress, skip this step! The reason for this is that these seeds are mucilaginous, which means that when they are soaked the seeds form a gooey layer over themselves and usually fail to germinate.

* Landan's Tip: Smaller seeds may be more difficult to seed if they have been left to soak. For these seeds, go ahead and sow them using a hand seeder right into your growing medium.

Step 2: Next, get your growing medium. Spread 2” to 3” of your high quality soil evenly and give it a light pat down.

Step 3: Now get the seeds you’d left to soak earlier (or, if you skipped that step, just get the seeds!) and spread them over the soil. Unlike typical “transplants”, microgreens don’t need to be spaced out, since you’re only letting them get their first leaves. Pack them in there like a dance party!

Step 4: Take a spray bottle and “mist” the seeds generously with water. Microgreens like to be kept moist and enjoy being gently misted with water.

Step 5: Take the cloth and spread it over your growing medium to keep the seeds completely covered. At this stage, they don’t need the light yet! Like sprouts, they need to be covered up to keep them from burning and to encourage them to grow. If you don’t have a cloth, just keeping them nice and dark in a cupboard or covering with another tray will also be fine.
Step 6: After two or three days, your seeds will have taken root, and they will be ready to move to a sunny spot. This is the time when the plants will need sunshine to continue growing! A sunny windowsill or a fluorescent plant/aquarium light will do perfectly. At this time, you can also feel free to add a little diluted feed, if you choose. Be sure to keep the soil moist!
Step 7: That’s it! Wait a few more days until those green “true leaves” appear and harvest! The time until the leaves appear is different depending on what seed you chose. If you aren’t sure, feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to let you know!

Using this guide, you can bring to bloom any microgreen of your choosing. Microgreens are a wonderful addition to every home and cooking style, from the family on-the-go needing a complete diet to a visual cook looking for the perfect garnish. Packed with nutrients and minerals, microgreens are the ideal bite-sized snack for even the pickiest eater!

Welcome to the magic of microgreens!

Need more information? Want to talk about microgreens? Have a question? Feel free to drop by our shop or give us a call. We’d be happy to help!

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