fresh micro-greens NOW!

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    Marica
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    There is a discussion going on in the Weekly Prep thread about sprouts & how to grow them. Check it out. This got me thinking about another great thing to grow NOW– wherever you are: Microgreens.

    From one of my favorite seed companies, Botanical Interests (botanicalinterests.com):

    “Micro Greens are the newest and greatest food in upscale gourmet restaurants – and for good reason! In addition to being tasty and very nutritious, they are very easy to grow and can be grown at any time of year – even inside during the winter! Harvest greens young when plants have at least two true leaves or when they are 1” to 2” tall. Cut plants just above the soil line, rinse, and use immediately. Frequent sowings will ensure that you have fresh greens on hand year round.”

    Now– I do not give a hoot that they are served in upscale restaurants, I only care that they are super easy to grow inside, and are really really tasty as a garnish on soups, on top of cream cheese on a cracker, instead of lettuce on a sandwich, in a salad. (I will say that the hoity toity look to them is cool, too. When my daughter became engaged, her sisters, grandmother and I threw her a tea party. We all dressed up– even found some old school hats in Mom’s attic. And in advance I grew a bunch of greens. We had such fun making old-school hors d’oeuvres. Back to business.)

    Botanical Interest sells two varieties of micro-green mixes, mild and spicy. Not necessarily plugging BI, see below. The mild mix contains Beet Bulls Blood – 20%, Pak Choy – 20%, Cabbage Red Ace – 20%, Kohlrabi – 20%, and Swiss Chard Lucullus – 20%. The spicy mix contains Sawtooth Mustard – 30%, Peppergrass Cress – 30%, Cabbage Red Ace – 15%, Mustard Red Giant – 15%, and Radish China Rose – 10%.

    To grow them you just need a shallow container. I use a tin cookie sheet or cake pan or tray, with some pin holes poked in for drainage. Fill it with about 1-2″ of potting soil or composted manure, sow seeds on top, sprinkle with water. Put the tray in front of a window, any window will do but southern exposure will be quickest.

    You can buy seed packets, but what I’m going to do this weekend is cull my seed inventory. I have a number of packets from 2006-2008 that I’ve replaced b/c I didn’t store them under the best of conditions. I’m going to sow these, probably along with some sunflower seeds (which I will rinse first in a 2% solution of bleach water; 1 tsp. bleach to 1 cup hot tap water for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.) No telling what the germination rate will be, but what have I got to loose? I’d never throw away seeds! Looks to me like any sort of green will work. (Beets & Swiss chard are one & the same plant. Remember this as you’re thinning your beats. Use the thinnings as greens.)

    Like many of you, I am going nutseroonie not having fresh veggies. This may help.

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