Green thumbs

Micro-green seeds bought on-line @ botanicalinterests.com

by Ed, 11:53am

Let’s preface this with the fact that I’ve never been a natural gardner, and in the past I’ve had the uncanny ability to kill most house-plants no matter how hardy the variety.  So today I enter this new venture with some trepidation. My new pet-project: Growing Micro-greens for Ruxbin.

So what are Micro-greens? Micro-greens are kind-of like the in-between of sprouts (ie alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts) and the baby lettuces that most people are familiar with.

Generally speaking, sprouts have just grown their first set of leaves while microgreens are older and have grown four or more leaves. Also sprouts don’t need sunlight while most microgreens do. The next step for some kinds of microgreens would be the baby greens we find in the popular mesclun salad mixes  (http://www.rawfoodunderground.com/glossary.html)

These guys pack a lot of flavor in a little package, and are quite beautiful visually. In restaurants they’re often used as garnishes, and among the health-food heads they’re coveted for the amount of nutrients that they carry.

There’s a few reasons why I’ve chosen to grow micro-greens:

  1. They can be grown in-doors, at any time, (don’t have to worry about the unpredictable Chicago weather)
  2. They don’t take too much room
  3. They grow really quickly, estimated harvest time of 14-25 days

From everything that I’ve read Micro-greens are pretty easy to grow so I’ve included a few pics of my set-up, so that anyone interested can follow along.  If you guys have any questions please ask, and if you have any suggestions I’m all ears.

1. Get a 11"x 20" plastic tray (no holes) and fill all with water, just enough so that the grooves are filled, but not enough so that the water is pooling throughout the container (all growing supplies purchased @ Brew & Grow, Chicago)

2. Insert a 11" x 20" x 1/8" cellulose grow mat, and place about 2 Tbsp of Micro-green seeds evenly through-out the mat, spray the seeds with a fine-mist of water

3. Spray the inside of a humdity dome with a fine mist of water and cover the planter

4. Cover enclosed seeds with a cloth for the next 2 days near a warm space, spraying them with a light mist of water twice a day, and keep fingers crossed that they'll sprout.

I’ll post updates on whether or not this works, and if they sprout I’ll be documenting the next steps!

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Green thumbs

  1. Vicki

    Good job, I saw some sprouts! They’re going to be tasty, hopefully this pet project will work and the results will be showcased on the plates at Ruxbin:)

  2. Runae

    Hey Ed, are you going to use these just as a garnish, or do you have bigger plans for them, ie in a salad or as part of a bigger dish?

    • Ed

      I’ll be using the micro-greens as a finish to some of the dishes we’ll be making @ Ruxbin. When I garnish a plate I like the garnish to be something edible, and also something that adds to dish, rather than a pretty little thing that you just brush off to the side of the plate. I would love to do a microgreen salad, with some bitter greens, but the greens are really small so you’d have to use a lot. Now if you added them to a Snow Crab Salad, with some pickled watermelon you might have something going =)

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