Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Micro Greens for Holiday Meals

From the folks at Botanical Interests: (a few comments by me in italics)

"Gourmet restaurants have been using micro greens for years to dress up their entrees, but it's so easy to grow them yourself at home in a sunny windowsill and jazz up your holiday meals! During cold weather, growing micro greens is also the perfect way to get our 'gardening fix' indoors.

The article below talks about many different varieties of micro greens and we have most seeds of these plants in stock from Botanical Interests. Pretty easy to grow!
Unlike sprouts, micro greens are vegetables or herbs that are grown in a shallow container of soil and harvested when the first shoots are just 1"-2" tall. In this tender young stage, nutrients are concentrated, and you can enjoy the essence of each flavor as a sprinkling on your favorite dish.

Micro Greens Mild Mix contains: Beet Bulls Blood, Pak Choy, Cabbage Red Acre, Kohlrabi, and Swiss Chard Lucullus. These varieties add pretty red & green color and a very mild flavor to soups, crackers, sandwiches, or salads.

Micro Greens Spicy Mix contains: Sawtooth Mustard, Peppergrass Cress, Cabbage Red Acre, Mustard Red Giant, and Radish China Rose. These varieties add pretty red & green color and a more perky, spicy flavor that is a complement to creamy soups, mashed potatoes, cream cheese spreads on crackers, salads, sandwiches, and Asian dishes.

Once you realize that micro greens are indispensable in the kitchen, you can get really adventurous and try growing individual varieties. Amaranth, arugula, basil, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, and sorrel are great vegetables that can be harvested as micro greens. Some excellent herbs to try include basil, cress, dill, marjoram, oregano, and watercress.

Since micro greens are grown and harvested so quickly, a sunny windowsill or fluorescent lights will work fine as a light source. Grow a quick batch in a shallow container with a drainage hole or a recycled plastic clamshell container like those you get berries or cherry tomatoes in from the grocery store (keep the attached lid closed to hold in moisture until seedlings sprout). Fill your container up to ½" from the rim with seed starting mix or a finely milled potting soil. Make sure the soil stays moist, but not soggy. Watering by soaking the tray from below will prevent soil from splashing onto the plants. Or, you could just mist frequently with a spray bottle. Most varieties sprout in 5-10 days and will be ready to harvest within a week after that. When seedlings are 1"-2" tall…voila! You've got micro greens ready to harvest.

Microgreens in an attractive container can also add a fresh look to your holiday table, especially when paired with the warm glow of candles. Think how fun it will be to allow guests to do their own little 'snip snip' to add a dash of freshness to their meal!"

"Pass the micro greens, please."

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
November 16, 2010

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