Back to basics: Planting Microgreens

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The current dilemma of most people living in the city is the availability of garden beds or garden spaces in their homes. But with what is happening currently amidst the current pandemic, substantial accessibility to healthy food became very scarce. I am lucky to be working at Sundaze Farm since I harvest small crops that I can enjoy eating despite the scarcity of produce in our markets and grocery stores.

What I personally love is harvesting my Microgreens, these are seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs that are packed with nutritional contents. It is widely popular in cafe, hotels and restaurants because most chef uses them as garnish because of their vibrancy which makes it visual appealing in every dish.

Studies have shown that microgreens are packed with more nutrients such as Vitamins C, E, K and Beta-Carotene compared to mature leaves of the same plants.

Since we call them micro, it is a certain fact that you can grow it in your own home and produce as many different types as you want, however, most people get scared of growing their own plant because they always believe they were not born with a “green thumb”

Having a green thumb is not a problem at all. I don’t have a green thumb as well, but as I tried growing plants and crops in the farm, I’ve learned so many lessons in cultivating plants. It is always a trial and error basis and growing your own baby plant until you harvest them is such a fulfilling thing to do. It is like rearing your own little babies.

I was afraid with my first microgreens since it has a different way of growing them and microgreen seeds are far more expensive than regular seeds found in stores.

In this post I will be sharing my personal experience on how I grew my own microgreens at the farm.

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Where to find microgreen seeds?
There are so many online outlets you can buy your microgreens seed from. I’ve searched Shopee and Lazada and checked each stores personal reviews. I was afraid to splurge first because most microgreens starts from Php 30.00 to Php 400.00 but here’s a list of stores where I brought my microgreens from.

There are microgreens seeds available in hardware stores. I was able to buy from Ace Hardware, Wilcon Depot and Metro Gaisano Hardware.

What to grow?

Common plants used for growing microgreens are:
Chia
Beet
Aragula
Lettuce
Kale
Spinach
Radish
Watercress
Herbs
Greens
Cabbage
Mustard
Peas
Sunflower
Wheatgrass
Barley
Chickpea
Cilantro
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts

What are the supplies you need?

  • A used tray, old mugs, bowl or anything that you can fill with soil or coir.
  • Organic soil or coconut coir (if you decide to choose the coco coir make sure to soak and wash the coir a few times before using it as a potting compound)
  • Light or any sunny spot.
  • Microgreen Seeds
  • Warming Mat to speed germination (optional)

How to grow your microgreens?

  • Soak the seeds overnight to help you speed up the sprouting time.
  • Clear any area where you prefer to grow your microgreens. Make sure it has ample sunlight and protect it from misting.
  • Place an inch of potting material in the bottom of your tray, bowl, cup or your planter and smooth out the surface.
  • Scatter a handful of seeds over the surface evenly, spread more seeds so that you can harvest as many as possible from each tray.
  • Cover the seeds with thick layer and mist it by spraying clean, filtered water.
  • Place the tray under natural light or near the window. You can also make use of a warming mat if available.
  • Mist the seeds and make sure it is moist a couple of times a day.
  • The greens usually start to sprout and ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks depending on what type of seed used.
  • After harvesting, you can grow another batch by removing the roots and dump the soil into your compost. You can use the mixture of the compost and new soil to grown another batch.

When cutting the microgreens make sure to cut right above the soil level with kitchen shears, rinse with filtered water and you can add into your salad, garnish or put in almost any dish possible.

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I have grown my wheat and barley grass as fast as two weeks and used them into my smoothie, nothing beats the freshness of fresh barley for your morning drink.

My peas grew the same time with my barley and I added them into my stir fry veggie and green salad, always healthy and yummy!

So never be afraid to go back to basics and start growing your own food. You might be surprise you already have a stash of fresh produce in a month or two.

TIP:

Let us use this spare time to experiment and grow our own food. If you are cooking please do not throw the seeds of any vegetable or fruits you have. Keep them on a tissue paper and let them dry before planting them into your backyard. Just experiment, there is nothing harm in experimenting with different kinds of seed rather than throwing them away into the trash.

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