Microgreens – An edible micro Garden at home

by Shobha Hegde
mustard-miscrogreens

Gardening, plus food for your family especially organic above all simple and easy!

The world came to a standstill due to the covid-19 lockdown. Amidst the pandemic, all spent their time at home. Focusing on their hobbies like gardening, arts and craft, brewing, baking, and even more. Social mediamicrogreens-harvest was full of these beautiful pics. Gardening is a vast area to learn. Those who do not have hands-on experience in gardening also can try. Some have been discouraged with previous gardening and failure. Here is a New Opportunity to grow tiny shoots in a little time and particularly edible! Yes. Gardening plus food for your family, which is organic. Above all, simple and easy! Welcome to the micro Garden at home. Flexible and available around the kitchen or dining table. It does not need much investments and stress; it’s called Microgreens.

What are Microgreens

Microgreens are little seedlings or leafy greens, elder than sprouts, and younger than grown plants. They are plants grown from seeds of vegetables, herbs, or other edible plants. Microgreens are harvested when the embryonic first leaves(or first true leaves) start popping up. Yes, that means, it’s not more than seven to 12 days from sowing seed. Microgreens a nutrition supplement. It adds taste and aromatic flavour to salad dressing and garnishing. Microgreens is a baby plant between sprout and baby green.

Health Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens give more amount of nutrients than the mature plant. They have a high amount of minerals, vitamins like iron, zinc, magnesium, copper. It reduces the following disease due to its nutritional values.

  • Heart disease: Lowers triglyceride and bad LDL cholesterol levels which reduce your vulnerability to cardiovascular diseases.
  • Alzheimer’s disease rich in natural antioxidants so lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

    Microgreen tray

  • Diabetes reduces stress, anxiety due to natural antioxidants. It enhances cellular sugar uptake by 25- 44%.
  • Cancers (Few) rich in polyphenols reduce the risk of certain cancer.

List of microgreen

e.x. There are 100 varieties of microgreens. It varies from country to country.

  • Vegetable seeds – Radish,Carrot,Amaranthus,Mustard,Fenugreek,Broccoli, Alfa Alfa,kale,spinach,beetroot,cilantro
  • Herbs – Lavender, basil, Fennel(dill), lemongrass, Mint,
  • Grains and Pulses – Wheat, Chickpeas. Moth, Green Moong
  • Flowers – Sunflower, Marigold, celosia,

The basic need to grow microgreens

It is a joy of growing as well as eating too. Microgreens need a small area and can be grown on a windowsill, greenhouse, soil, or without soil. The modern trend is to grow on dining tables too.

Self-consumption and household does not need much equipment to grow microgreens. The following basic things are required:

  • Seeds
  • Drinking water
  • Growing medium or mat
  • Growing containers or trays
  • A small measuring cups
  • A spray bottles and a pitcher
  • A sharp knife or a pair of scissors

The key factor in growing microgreens requires a base. The most popular media is compost, cocopeat, mats, coconut coir, or synthetic fibre. Some seeds need presoaking. Select a clean surface or a growing tray. Natural sunlight is available on a balcony or window sill enough to grow microgreens. Artificial light also helps to supplement plant growth. Some seeds can be grown in a dark environment and do not need light from sowing.

My quest with Microgreens

Our start was like other beginners who grew microgreens in the kitchen, Sprouts. I have grown methi(Fenugreek)and mustard many times in my past. My husband has tried various methods and techniques to grow Beetroot and Carrot Saladmicrogreens at home in the past five years. I am not much interested but as and when he says, “You can take now” my mind slowly started diverting and deviating towards these lush green shoots in a small area. Who will not go crazy for them? I cut it and used them in our salads, soups, sandwiches and garnish over the curry. We derived quite a good outcome from our composting by growing Microgreens.

When I started using them in my recipes, more interest, initially, we grew them in small boxes and flat surface containers. We gained confidence and knew the health benefits purchased seven trays. The quantity increased at home as per the requirement. We eat a variety and nutrient-dense power-packed microgreens.

My passion for growing starts after my husband grew many varieties and colourful microgreens past three years. If you are into Organic and Sustainable living like me, you must definitely have to try a green patch of microgreens at home. It’s simple, therapeutic and mindful work. If you have a garden at home or not, you will get an experience to take care of the edible garden, kitchen garden and growing experience in a small area. Microgreens to grow are very simple, easy, cheap and rewarding work apart from wearing a green apron and working in the kitchen.

Buying food is easy, but when you grow your own food right before your eyes. It’s nourished with love for your own family and when that comes on your Dining table the value of that food is completely different!

Some quick tips to start:

  • Start small – If you are very new to microgreens, do not invest big.
  • Start with what you have – Basic things to start microgreens are already available at your home. A small plastic tray like a sweet, biscuit, cookies, box. Cocopeat, tissue paper etc.
  • Seeds – In any Indian family you will surely have fenugreek, mustard, grains, peace, coriander and wheat available in your kitchen. Use them.
  • Tissue as an alternate substrate – If you cant invest on cocopeat as the start you can use tissue paper and try.
  • Cocopeat – do not use clay or red soil. Gardening is fun, do not make it gymnastics by using a hammer to dig the soil.
  • Kit -If you really passionate and like to have microgreens all the time at home then you can invest in good microgreens kit
  • Darkout period – Make sure you have some dark out period
  • Moisture – in the beginning, moisture, humidity, water and air balance is essential, else you will invite mould!
  • Fertilizer / Pesticide – You do not require any Fertilizer or Pesticide when growing Microgreens. The seeds already have essentials to germinate and grow.
  • True leaves – Harvest only when true leaves pops out.
  • Harvest – Depends on the species you have to harvest mostly within 7 to 14 days.

If you like this article and like to know and try microgreens at home, do not forget to subscribe to my Newsletter to get instant notification for my future Microgreens article.

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Some Microgreen items you can consider buying

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9th Grand Nursery Mela, Peoples Plaza Hyderabad - My Green Apron Feb 1, 2021 - 5:04 pm

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