We are so excited to share with everyone our adventure into microgreens! We embark on this journey with you while we expand our garden to enhance our farm to table experience. Theo Rosolino is the 5th generation family member to work the land on our farm. For over 60 years we have cultivated crops and harvested vegetables using traditional farming. We are learning every step of the way and wanted to invite you along for the ride. The photos are Theo and one of our owners, Phil Capshaw, planting our first microgreen seeds. There is also a blog from Medical News Today to help those who are unfamiliar, understand our initial process and may help you get started on your own indoor microgreens as well! Enjoy!
Microgreens. Whats the big deal?
Microgreens are the seedlings of vegetables and herbs. They are an emerging type of specialty vegetable that people can buy from shops or grow at home from the seeds of vegetables, herbs, or grains. They include some wild species.
Scientists see microgreens as a functional food, which means that they can provide key nutrients in a practical way. Some people call them a superfood. People have long grown mustard and cress on their kitchen window ledges and in classrooms. They are fun to grow, tasty to eat, and healthful. However, other types of sprout and microgreen have recently become popular as health foods. Microgreens can play a role in both sweet and savory dishes. In addition to their nutritional value, they can add flavor, texture, and color to salads and sandwiches. People can also add them to smoothies or use them as a garnish. They are suitable for eating raw, which means that they retain their vitamin and mineral content. In this article, we look at the benefits of microgreens, how to add them to the diet, how to grow them, and any potential health risks.
What are Microgreens?
Like sprouts, microgreens are a young vegetable. However, sprouts and microgreens are not the same. Sprouts are newly germinated seeds that people harvest just as the seed begins to grow and before their leaves develop. Conversely, microgreens grow from sprouts, and they have leaves. When the cotyledon leaves — the embryonic leaves — have fully developed, and the first true leaves have emerged, the plant becomes a microgreen. People usually grow sprouts in water and harvest them within 2–3 days. Microgreens can grow either in soil or hydroponically, but they need sunlight. People harvest them after 1–3 weeks, depending on the type. People can grow microgreens from any herb or vegetable. The flavor will depend on the plant.
Popular microgreens include:
Many fresh plant products provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients can help with:
preventing a range of diseases
boosting both mental and physical health and well-being
Microgreens can offer all of these benefits and possibly more. Kale is available as a microgreen as well as a regular vegetable.
Many plant based foods are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals play hundreds of roles in essential bodily processes. Antioxidants help the body eliminate unstable waste molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals result from both natural bodily processes and environmental pressures, such as pollution. As they build up, they can lead to cell damage. Eventually, this damage may contribute to the development of diseases, such as cancer. The body can remove some free radicals, but they can still accumulate. Antioxidants from foods can help remove more of them. Plant based foods can provide antioxidants. There is evidence to suggest that microgreens have a high antioxidant content, which means that they may help prevent a range of diseases. The exact types of antioxidant will depend on the plant. Microgreens from the Brassica family, which include broccoli, contain high levels of vitamin E, a phenolic antioxidant. Asteraceae microgreens, such as chicory and lettuce, appear to be high in vitamin A, or carotenoid antioxidants. Details about using microgreens to treat or prevent specific diseases are not yet available, but scientists are looking into their possible benefits. Broccoli and its cousins — cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts — are healthful vegetable choices. Learn more about broccoli.
There is a growing interest in sustainability, and microgreens could be a good way to provide city dwelling families with locally produced seasonal vegetables at a low cost. Microgreens are easy to grow at home in a confined space. A small outlay can provide a significant return in terms of bulk, variety, and nutrients. As they take just a few weeks to grow, it is possible to have an ongoing source of microgreens. By rotating three crops, for example, people could have fresh microgreens every week. Hydroponically grown microgreens do not even need soil.