Recently I’ve seen some interesting posts about growing something called “microgreens.” This is created by thickly sowing the seeds of edible plants on a growing medium, allowing it to germinate and grow for a week or two, depending on how quickly it grows, and then harvest and eating immediately. I think of it as creating sprouts but on a soil medium.
This trendy edible is a great way for those who’ve never started seeds to learn the basics and have a fast feedback in the form of a fresh harvest. Although most people use vegetable or grain seeds for this, don’t forget there are several herbs that can be grown as microgreens too. Here’s a quick list for you to try:
- Basil, any variety you like
- Chervil, good with French foods
- Cilantro, a Tex-Mex favorite
- Dill, great with any fish or fish condiment
- Fenugreek, from Southeast Asia
- Onion chives, for that characteristic onion flavor
- Papaloquelite, native herb of Mexico
So how do you set up your own microgreens farm? First you need a tray with sides at least two inches high. If you just want to create a small plot use a 9×13 inch baking pan (glass so it won’t rust). Fill with damp – not soggy – potting soil. Then thickly sow your seeds over the top, tamp down with your fingers and cover with plastic wrap to hold in the moisture and encourage the seeds to germinate. Pick edible seeds that have a short germination, usually 7-10 days. Once you see the first green shoots remove the plastic wrap move to a place where it will get indirect light and mist daily to keep the soil moist
After about 10 days, your sprouted microgreens are ready to harvest. Clip them with a sharp pair of scissors, rinse, and use immediately. The remaining roots will die once the young plant is harvested. When you’re all done the potted medium can be mixed and re-used for the next batch. Microgreens, can be added to anything where you want the fresh flavor of herbs. Add them to a whole grain bread, turkey, and avocado sandwich. Finely mince them to add to cream cheese for a cracker spread. Sprinkle on top of soup for a crunchy finish. There’s no end to the possibilities.