About a year ago I picked up the book Microgreens: A Guide to Growing Nutrient-Packed Greens by Eric Franks and Jasmine Richardson. For some reason I kept putting off trying to grow my own until yesterday. We used to get microgreens from Bryson Farms when we lived in the city and always enjoyed them. I recycled a couple of plastic containers that salad greens come in to try my first two batches.
Microgreens are seeds grown in soil (or another medium) to the second stage of development. This is the stage where roots are becoming established and the first leaves, called cotyledons are opened. This only takes a week or two after germination. They are more similar to baby greens than sprouts at this stage, but have an intense flavour and very high nutritional value. According to the book, broccoli at four days past germination has twenty to fifty times the sulfuraphane as full grown broccoli by weight. This is the stuff that is believed to be so healthy in cruciferous vegetables.
First, I put some drainage slits in the bottom of the containers, then I put an inch and a half of organic potting soil in the bottom of each container. I sprinkled a mix of brassica seeds in one...
and pea seeds (both are organic sprouting seeds from Mumm's) in the other.
I covered the small brassica seeds with an unbleached paper towel and used soil to cover the larger pea seeds, then I watered well. The paper towel provides a good visual indication of the soil moisture.
I put the lids back on the containers to retain moisture, then set them in the warmest spot in our house.
Twenty four hours later the brassicas are already showing some signs of life. Being able to peel back the paper towel is a big bonus for people like me who can't wait to see progress. There is nothing to see in the pea container because of the soil covering.
Once the seeds have germinated, I'll remove the paper towel covering and the lids and set them in a sunny window. I'm hoping there will be enough light for them in the week or so before they're harvested. If not, I'll set up my seed starting shop light for them, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.
I'll post more pictures as things progress...