HISTORY AND WHAT ARE MICROGREENS ANYWAY?
Microgreens first appeared in Southern California in the 1990’s where they quickly gained popularity among fine chefs as a fresh and delicate focus to highlight a particular dish. Soon they were included in special salads or to complement a particular dish, such as with the intense cilantro/coriander flavor, delicate textures, color and interest. They soon began showing up in Europe in the next decade. Many chefs have begun growing their own microgreens, knowing how easy it is and how important it is to have an herbal, floral or delicately or even hot and spicy green on hand to finish a particular presentation.
These are actually the smallest of cultivated green plants which are harvested at a young stage (1 to 2 “ in height) as opposed to sprouts which are germinated seeds. Sprouts are soaked and then allowed to germinate in a jar or specialized container. Microgreens are sprouted and then planted on a bed of healthy soil or a synthetic mat. They are a complete plant which usually has a rich or intense flavor for its small size. And their nutritional value is becoming more and more of interest.
Grown from vegetable, herb or edible flower seeds, the whole plant is eaten: the single central stem and leaves. They are harvested just above the soil when the first two leaves or cotyledons are fully developed and the actual “true leaves” (which appear in the middle of two fully developed cotyledons) may have started to form. From seed to table is actually from 7 to 10 days. And to the surprise of many, some micro greens are even more flavorful than the fully grown plants. This is especially true with cilantro and basil. From bitter, to neutral to sweet, micro-green seeds are often given a separate section in seed catalogs to provide specifics on what to expect from this power packed greens.So let’s get started…and I promise you once you see how pretty and easy these greens are, you will be ready to go. Can you believe that each week of the year, you can plant and harvest at least a half dozen plants and spend no more than five minutes a day (except maybe when you clean trays)…
GROWING MICROGREENS STEP BY STEP