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microgreens?

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microgreens?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/16/2011, 11:51 am

I successfully snipped out all the excess lettuce seedlings in the two squares. I didn't realize how emotionally attached I had become. So instead of throwing them out, I decided to wash them and serve them up as a small bowl of microgreens!!!


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Re: microgreens?

Post  Old Hippie on 5/16/2011, 11:57 am

Good for you! You pay big bucks for those in the grocery store or in gourmet restaurants.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  duhh on 5/16/2011, 12:10 pm

yum! I grew microgreens this winter. I had no idea they were just normal stuff that you didn't allow to grow very big! Yup you guessed it I bought the expensive mix at the store when I could have bought each type of seed by itself for about the same price but 10x the seeds!

Just like I learned wheat grass isn't a grass, but small wheat that you don't let grow up! I paid 2.50 for seeds and when I opened the package was so stunned to find wheat kernals. I had just paid 13.00 for a 45lb bucket of wheat I could have used!

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Re: microgreens?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/16/2011, 12:29 pm

...um...well....I didn't do it on purpose Embarassed ....but I have since learned that everything in the garden has the potential to serve as microgreens. The seeds used to grow microgreens are the same seeds that are used for full sized herbs, vegetables and greens. Microgreens are simply seedlings that are harvested before they develop into larger plants. Commonly grown varieties of microgreens include: Amaranth, Arugula, Beets, Basil, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Chervil, Cilantro, Cress, Fennel, Kale, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, and Sorrel. Several varieties can be mixed together after harvest to create a mixture of tastes, textures and colors. Microgreens have also been called micro vegetables, however this term more accurately describes very small bite-sized root vegetables such as carrots, onions and radishes. Microgreens range in size from one to two inches long, including the stem and leaves. They can have surprisingly intense flavors considering their small size, though not as strong as mature greens and herbs.

http://www.freshorigins.com/microgreens.html

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Re: microgreens?

Post  martha on 5/16/2011, 1:00 pm

I'm trying to coordinate the timing of them so I can grow them for our restaurant. The only difficulty is to get a number of varieties ready to harvest at the same time for a range of colors and taste. They are gorgeous and ymmy!

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Kelejan on 5/16/2011, 1:07 pm

This is the beauty of SFGing. One doesn't have to have HUGE of anything as the taste is concentrated in the small stuff, and more tender as well.

Small is beautiful (and tasty).

Compare the small Scarlet runner beans I love, to the long and stringy stuff that is sometimes in the stores. In addition, I think there is as much nutrition and taste in a small sized veggie as one that is allowed to get larger.

Instead of allowing the lettuces to get large and then have to give or trowaway, eat them before they get to that stage.

butterflie, your microgreens look yummy.


Last edited by Kelejan on 5/16/2011, 1:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: microgreens?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/16/2011, 1:08 pm

I know. I just had mine for lunch. Yummo!!!! They were quite a tasty treat.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/16/2011, 5:28 pm

@duhh wrote:Just like I learned wheat grass isn't a grass, but small wheat that you don't let grow up! I paid 2.50 for seeds and when I opened the package was so stunned to find wheat kernals. I had just paid 13.00 for a 45lb bucket of wheat I could have used!

I suppose wheat is grass that has bolted? Well, all grass bolts when you don't mow it. I was trying to be sort of cute and philosophical here.....it didn't work....lol.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Barkie on 5/16/2011, 6:51 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
@duhh wrote:Just like I learned wheat grass isn't a grass, but small wheat that you don't let grow up! I paid 2.50 for seeds and when I opened the package was so stunned to find wheat kernals. I had just paid 13.00 for a 45lb bucket of wheat I could have used!

I suppose wheat is grass that has bolted? Well, all grass bolts when you don't mow it. I was trying to be sort of cute and philosophical here.....it didn't work....lol.

Yeah, just got to wheat a minute BBG and it bolts like a racehorse on Derby Day.

Go Buttaflie with those microgreens and think how much you saved by not buying them in a posh restaurant.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/16/2011, 7:42 pm

Just goes to show how one man's "mistake" is another's little gold mine. I wonder how the concept of microgreens came to be...hmmm. Someone planted too much, too close together, had to thin, gave em a taste and decided to put them on a plate with a price tag...

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Tril on 5/16/2011, 8:13 pm

"I suppose wheat is grass that has bolted? "

Wheat is a member of the grass family. We grind the seeds for flour. Bamboo is also a member of the grass family. As is corn.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Suzy on 5/16/2011, 11:07 pm

I've been eating microgreens since Christmas - my kids got me the sprouting kit I asked for. Only instead of just sprouting the seeds like they recommend, i grow them into microgreens - broccoli, radishes, arugula, spicy greens... they're all fabulous! And the time of year doesn't matter - they take very little tending and with a little practice, you can have an ample supply at the ready. (I know, not SFG, technically, but it's STILL too cold here to get my garden going! Razz)

PS - tomorrow I finish mixing and filling the boxes... Next week, I PLANT!!! WOOT! Very Happy

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Re: microgreens?

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/16/2011, 11:10 pm

Woo Hoo!!! Make sure you post us some pics!






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Re: microgreens?

Post  Luke on 10/20/2012, 12:34 pm

Just wanted to say that if anyone has questions about growing microgreens, I am happy to help! Things that I have found especially tricky have been, germinating herbs, densities of seeds to plant, and days to maturity (days to immaturity?)


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Re: microgreens?

Post  quiltbea on 10/20/2012, 3:42 pm

Luke.....microsgreens sound like a good thing. I think I'll try some this winter. I have a grow light near my back door which I can use for the purpose if you think that will work.
I have a few questions for you Luke.
What kind of soil medium do you use?
How far apart do you sow the seeds?

I have some seed flats with drainage holes and also the waterproof flats that go beneath them, which are about 14" by 20" long. Would those work well for micros? The flat is about 3" deep.

I have such seeds as arugula, basil, chard, cress, claytonia, mizuna, kale, radish and lots of lettuce seeds already on hand.
Can I use broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and radicchio seeds?

It sounds like a win-win situation and a way to keep my hand in with gardening thru the long, cold, snowy, winter.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  quiltbea on 10/20/2012, 4:01 pm

Sorry, another question.
When you cut off the greens above soil level, will the plant regrow more greens to replace the cuttings?

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Luke on 10/20/2012, 4:06 pm

Very cool,

Microgreens are certainly delicious. I eat salad of them every day. However, that are seed intensive. so, just keep that in mind.

I use fox farms ocean forest organic potting soil. It's the most expensive soil, i don't think you need it per say, but I use it and everyone remarks how good they taste.

I sow the seeds very close together. It's more of a weight per tray figure, which is different for each type of microgreen. So, as a general rule of thumb, try sowing them so that there is about 4 seeds distance between its neighbors.

The seed trays you have will work perfectly. You certainly don't need to fill them all the way up with soil though. In fact, I'd fill them about 1.5", spread it evenly, spray a bit of water on the soil to moisten it, then take another tray and flatten the soil down.

It's really important to have flat soil for planting micros, it makes harvesting much cleaner and you won't even have to wash them.

about your bulb, it doesn't have to be much. I just use a t5 fluorescent for mine. The trick is to keep the light close! within 18" is good. 12" is even better.


A friend of mine did an article on how I do it, just google "microgreens hub pages" and it's the one by tara mcnerney.

Let me know if you have any other questions,



Cheers,
Luke

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Re: microgreens?

Post  Luke on 10/20/2012, 4:08 pm

Yes, the plant will, but because of the mess you make while cutting, it's easy to get dead cuttings causing rot on others. I've had the best luck doing that with bigger microgreens like pea shoots and sunflower.


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Re: microgreens?

Post  ericam on 10/20/2012, 4:53 pm

Here's the link to save searching for it until Luke can post it himself!
http://taramcnerney.hubpages.com/hub/Growing-and-selling-Microgreens-An-example-of-a-commercial-urban-agriculture-operation

I have been growing a microgreen seed mix in my SFG this year, I tend to be a bit random about harvesting though so they end up being bigger than they are supposed to be but they work great as a mixed salad leaf.

I only plant one or two squares and I harvest leaves individually with scissors and that way the square lasts ages as they just keep producing. I'm sure that's not the way your supposed to do it but it works for me! Laughing



This is what my square looks like this morning, I only harvested a few days ago but we've had some really hot weather so they are going crazy!

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Re: microgreens?

Post  quiltbea on 10/20/2012, 5:44 pm

I read the article, thanks. Very interesting.
I've even looked up different sources of microgreens so I could compile myself a list of seeds I can use for this endeavor.
Its another crop to add to my gardening journal.
Thanks again everyone for your ideas and help.

I found out a few more things that might help newbies.
Tips like: If you try broccoli, its the tastiest and easiest of the brassicas, so you needn't bother with cabbage and cauliflower if space is limited.

And here's a Top Ten Starter List:
Some Chinese cabbage are too spicy hot so limit to Napa cabbage, Beka Santoh or Kogane variety only. Quick, easy, beautiful and flavorful.
Radish (red or daikon): quick, easy, and tastes just like the root.
Sunflower (black oil, not grey striped): fast and abundant growth and unique taste.
Sweet Basil: beautiful and delicious, but needs warmer temperataures than others on this list.
Lettuce: at true leaf stage, many of its countless varieties are beautiful and delectable.
Beet: provides contrasting deep red color.
Pac Choi (Bok Choy): its many varieities are all quick and easy to grow.
Peas: quick, easy and offers multiple cuttings for high yields.
Fennel (leaf fennel): herbal microgreens are all delicious, but hard to grow EXCEPT for fennel.
Mustard: quick and easy, its intense flavor is as spicy hot as you might expect.

Thanks again everyone for you help. I'll keep you posted on how this works for me when I get started.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  quiltbea on 10/20/2012, 5:47 pm

ericam.....I love the picture of your greens block. With your spring just around the corner, you're happily on your way to a new growing season. Good luck.

I always cut back my spring greens and leaf lettuces to get more production down the line. They may not be microgreens, but they are greens and very tasty.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  quiltbea on 10/20/2012, 5:48 pm

butterflie.....Thanks for bringing up the subject and your picture of your greens is terrific. Its started a whole new supply of food for me.
Thanks again.

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Re: microgreens?

Post  llama momma on 5/13/2013, 9:06 am

I heard a speaker last week that trains and employs developmentally disabled adults to grow micro greens for local restaurants. A single cutting off a standard 10 by 20 inch black tray was commanding 20 dollars per tray. The harvest amount was just 2-3 ounces per tray. I was flabbergasted. The restaurants get bragging rights for local organically grown produce that is sprinkled on their salads and supports disabled folks in the area. Warehouses donated the shelves and lights being used, the dev. disabled organization pays workers minimum wage, and several well known seed companies were donating seeds. I thought the whole operation was pretty neat.

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