Growing your own Micro-greens.
I am an impatient gardener, especially when it comes to vegetables. When all my lettuces bolted early this year I decided to try my hand at growing Micro-greens. Micro-greens can be harvested after a week or two depending on the variety of seeds you are sowing. Radish seeds germinate quickly and within 10 days you can eat the first delicious, delicate little offerings. These little plants are super-high in nutrients, they are harvested by snipping the stems just above the soil and are enjoyed in a variety of dishes – so often used in upmarket restaurants. You can buy them in supermarkets, but the prices are eye-popping, so learn how to grow microgreens yourself and impress your dinner guests with these home grown marvels.
You will need:
- Planting mix
- Spray bottle
- Container – clear lidded plastic container (I used a strawberry container)
- Seeds – lettuce, argula, broccoli, celery, radish, beetroot, Swiss chard and Asian greens
Make a few ventilation holes in the top of your ‘greenhouse’ container. (Most lids already have ventilation holes). Moisten the planting mix in a separate container, blending well to allow water to be absorbed. Fill container about 2 ½ cm deep with the moist planting medium. Smooth the surface.
Sow seeds and gently tamp down the seeds with your fingers. Mist the seeds with the sprayer and close the container or cover with plastic wrap. Place in a sunny place (avoid a hot position) and wait. Activity starts within days!
Mist with water as the planting medium begins to feel dry. Harvest when the first leaves have grown a little, rinse gently and store as you would lettuce in a crisper.
- Toss with a subtly flavoured vinaigrette and serve over fresh mozzarella and slices of tomatoes.
- Use as an artistic topknot atop a tender fillet.
- Mix into a salad of lettuce for interest
- Garnish canapés for a party
- Add to sandwiches instead of sprouts.
Contributor: Esther Townsend