Microgreens are power-packed mini-versions of edible veggie plants. They range in size from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm), including the stem and leaves. Hence microgreens can be grown indoors or in limited spaces. The simplest explanation would be, sprouts grow into a microgreen. They can be harvested in 2- 3 weeks. A variety of edible plants can be grown as microgreens.
Microgreens can be grown in a variety of mediums. Growing them does not require extensive preparations or the usual gardening effort, gear or supplies. Make use of the containers that you have lying around at home. Jars, pots or even Plastic boxes/trays from takeaways and parcels will work just fine. Microgreens need only a sprinkling of water, maybe twice a day.
As I said earlier, the most interesting part about growing microgreens is that there are hardly any preparations to be done. You can grow them even if you don’t have access to soil. Also, most probably there are at least 5-6 items in your kitchen right now that you can use to start your microgreen garden.
These are the most common items that are readily available in almost all Indian kitchens. Once harvested, add them to your salads, stir-fries, dal or your omelet. A variety of other vegetable seeds like broccoli, kale, beetroot, radish, etc can be used to grow microgreens. Check out a variety veggie seeds here
You can use layers of cloth instead of tissue. Just make sure to use porous ones so that the roots can pass through.
Keep looking for the first set of ‘true leaves’. That is the indication that the microgreens are ready for harvest. This happens in 2-3 weeks. Grab a scissors and cut them off just above the surface level. Wait before tossing off the roots, some seeds that didn’t sprout the first time, might be waiting for their turn. 🙂
These items that are available in your kitchen can be easily grown using the methods mentioned above. However, for anything else, please do your share of research on the variety of the crop that you intend to grow.
Microgreens are powerhouses of nutrients. The best method of consuming them is to include them raw in your dishes like salad and smoothies. Garnish dishes with microgreens. If eating them raw doesn’t suit your palette, steam them for a while and then use. These tiny greens can also be added to your stir-fries, omelets, dal, etc, just like any other greens that you use.
The first and foremost reason would be the joy of growing your food. You know where your food comes from and you are sure that there are no pesticides or chemicals added to it.
Although the nutrition levels may vary from plant to plant, in general microgreens have a higher concentration of nutrients than their fully grown greens. They have high antioxidant content.
They look really good. Sounds silly, isn’t it? But who doesn’t like tiny bunches of greens in the house? Try growing them in some fancy pots, coffee mugs, etc and place them on your work desk or kitchen table. They sure would be a treat to your eyes.
With kids staying home all day, this would be a great activity to introduce kids to growing food. Also, an emotional technique to get them to eat their greens. 😀
Gardening itself is a wonderful experience. The cherry on the cake is that you get to grow your food and even better when you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Give it a try!! Let us know the updates in comments.