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Sprouts and Microgreens Please — The Grow Network Community
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Sprouts and Microgreens Please

greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

My life has finally settled back down into its routine.

The house is all put back together after that disastrous 3-room flooring project which just went on forever and ever.

Then the difficulties with my two brothers health (at the same time). Unfortunately I lost my older brother thru his illness but all is good since he is in a much better place with much of his family and loved ones. So although we grieve we also rejoice for him!

But NOW it's past time actually to get into my winter gardening program. The sprouts and microgreens which I grow indoors each year are set up, planted and on their way under their gro-lights. Just a few days to weeks that I have all kinds of fresh harvest again.

This year I put in Sprouts: early peas/red rambo radishes/broccoli and chard

Microgreens I planted chia seeds/beets/red and green cabbage/micro carrots and rainbow chard

So I'm excited to get to watch and tend the small plants as they grow into food for the family, friends and neighbors. Meantime I always spend the winter planning next years outdoor gardens also. So amidst the winter work and fun being outdoors I generally keep myself very busy.

Comments

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    Sprouts and microgreens are such a multi dynamic source of food. Since we don't buy greens from any source more than 100 kms, winter is hard on us for fresh greens if we don't grow something ourselves. So, sprouts and microgreens are it!! I also had a small business in a city where we lived before selling to restaurants.

    Have you tried buckwheat microgreens? They are so prolific and easy. Also a real favourite are sunflower microgreens. This year I saved a lot of dandelion seeds from huge flowers and am going to try those.

    On our homestead now I have another need: fodder for rabbits and chickens. I have trays and trays of wheat grass for them.

    I agree that it is exciting to have all the greens growing inside in the winter. When we lived in the city and I was growing for restaurants, it keep me sane all winter having them growing nearby.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 775 admin

    I've found chia to be the most reliable

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @solarnoon.aspen and @judsoncarroll4

    This is the first year I have tried the chia sprout and I'm amazed at how prolific they are. They completely fill in a tray nice and tight and look so wonderful. I can truly understand now why the chia pets were so terribly popular now back in the 80's and 90's a few decades back.

    As for buckwheat, I have a garden full of buckwheat since I use a lot of it as one of my cover crop varieties. So I generally do not grow it indoors also. But I do know it is a fast grower and a good fill crop to prevent erosion of my soil for overwintering so I can truly understand how it would be so prolific indoors also.

    My biggest surprise out of the varieties I've grown this year though has been the mini carrots. I like carrots to begin with so using the greens in some salads and "lettuce" toppers has been nice. They have a sweet subtle carrot flavor which adds just a touch of carrot sweetness to what you put them on.

  • AmyAmy Teacher at Gardens That Matter Western North CarolinaPosts: 35 ✭✭✭

    I am going to grow a variety for not only myself but to share with my chickens. I think they would appreciate some greens during this cold, snowy winter here. What do you think?

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 150 ✭✭✭

    Have you tried popcorn shoots? I grow them in soil and keep them covered to blanch them. They are really sweet.

    In the winter I make "composed salads". it sounds so much nicer than "random things piled on a plate". Everyone gets a small plate with a variety of sprouts topped with shredded carrot or beet. Doing each separately insures that everyone gets some of everything.

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    JoAnn

    My chickens follow me around when they see the microgreens in the winter. YES, they will love them. And, those dark yellow-orange yolks sure are nice.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @JoAnn yes you will make some instant best friends when you and the salad greens show up each time for feedings and treats.

    Isn't it truly amazing how God's creatures are smart enough to instinctively know what is a true treat and us humans have evolved into relying on junk food for our daily diets. Kind of makes you wonder who has more brains or maybe it's just who knows how to use what they've got more doesn't it?

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 150 ✭✭✭

    I find I like to grow shoots in soil more than sprouts. For those few things that I still sprout in jars (such as mung beans), I have started using the amber glass canning jars. I am very much an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of person and jars of sprouts tucked in a cabinet often go straight to compost due to neglect. The amber jars block most of the light so things can stay front and center on the counter and I actually remember to rinse them! I also invert my jars in an old Tupperware container meant for marinating meat. It has protrusions on the surface that elevate the jar a bit so there is never any standing water. I have no idea if the containers are still being made. Mine was a wedding present many (many!) years ago.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 355 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for this thread, I feel inspired. I have the chia seed, just need to figure out what to use for a tray.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @VickiP think outside the box... don't go buying things to use.

    Do you ever buy anything from the grocery store in those clear plastic deli containers? Usually the bakery dept puts muffins, donuts or pies in them? In the deli they pack broasted/rotisserie chicken in them. Lots of times you can even get those containers with an attached lid so they work great as a little greenhouse when you are waiting for your seeds to sprout.

    Or you can just use the 1/2 or 1 lb deli containers. Or if you have an extra cake pan, pie pans etc. they work. Just remember if you use them though and they are metal you won't be able to use it in the kitchen anymore. It will usually start to get small rust spots on it. After use it can be scrubbed off but I still won't use it anymore in the kitchen.

    So just look around and see what you've got that can be turned into a mini greenhouse.

  • toreytorey Posts: 784 admin

    I have used an old 1 lb coffee can to support my overturned mason jars of sprouts. Works well for keeping them drained. When the can becomes too rusty to use, off it goes to recycling and a new, empty one is put into use.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 82 ✭✭✭

    I would love to know how you eat your microgreens? I have been just grabbing a handful with my raw vegetables and eating them with my homemade salad dressing but, being very new to this, I would love more ideas.

  • burekcrew86burekcrew86 Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    I love my sprouts! I have not tried microgreens yet but it’s on my list to do!

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 150 ✭✭✭

    I put broccoli sprouts on avocado toast.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 82 ✭✭✭

    I put some in my turkey salad and it was wonderful!

  • maryannfrickomaryannfricko Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    I love sunflower microgreens. I would love to try the chia though. What a great idea.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 82 ✭✭✭

    I use a broccoli, radish mix that’s lovely. It’s sort of spicy from the radish.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 355 ✭✭✭

    Just thought I would comment that I was at the Dollar General store in my little town and they had packets of Micro Greens for a dollar a packet. There isn't a lot in them, but if you want to just try some to see if it works for you this is a cheap way to go.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    It's getting close to gardening season here and I'm still the perpetual experimenter in the garden. So I decided to try something different.

    Now I assume since we plant our microgreens on top of the soil line indoors, why can't we do it outdoors?

    So I still had about a half dozen packs left so I put a bunch of leftover pea greens seeds on top of my garden bed (which will eventually become summer crops since I already have way more Spring crops than I will need so there's plenty to share). After I put the seeds on top of the soil line I covered it with a 2 mil thickness of clear plastic and now all I need to do is get my daily prayer circle being a little more responsive to my requests for sunshine. It's been grey and dreary, raining and drizzly for over a week now and more coming they say till the end of next week.

    But it still is worth the experiment since I wish to see if I end up with some pea greens outside in my garden.

    I'll let you know later if this works.

  • maryannfrickomaryannfricko Posts: 102 ✭✭✭

    Are the chia seeds from the grocery store fertile enough to grow?

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @maryannfricko you will never know unless you try.

    My thoughts on it would you will probably get a low germination rate since in a grocery store you never know how long they have sat there. Then warehoused before that. Then came from some DC (distribution center) before that.

    You get the idea... it's probably been a long time since they were harvested.

    What might help, let them soak in water for about a half hour before sowing them. That might help to soften the shell a little so you could get better germination.

    Good luck!

  • JensJens Posts: 329 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball quite interesting experiment you are doing. I only do microgreens inside but I have seen some good content from Curtis stone on field microgreens.

    @Maryanne I do not know about chia but peas and popcorn from the store work great as microgreen seeds. I let those bigger seeds soak for 8 hours.

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